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Japanese appliances

November 9, 2008

The last rice cooker I bought was a Breville.  I’m sure I didn’t make the choice out of patriotism (even though the company was founded on Melbourne Cup Day, in 1932) as it’s not a force that usually directs my purchases.  It was stainless steel, so matched all the other shiny things in the kitchen, and looked good enough to sit on the bench in permanent view.

Unfortunately, it couldn’t cook rice.

I tried many, many different types of rice, experimented with water:rice ratios, washed the rice thoroughly, didn’t wash the rice… Nothing worked.  The Breville always delivered a mushy sludge on top of a brown crust.

So, despite the fact that the Australian dollar is languishing against the yen right now, we decided we had to buy a Japanese rice cooker.

I have a soft spot for Zojirushi, from childhood picnics accompanied by the trusty “air pot” (we called it an air pot in our family, but I drew a blank from a friend when I mentioned it.  Apparently her family called them “pump pots”).  A quick google identified “fuzzy logic” as the “must have” in rice cooking technology, and Zojirushi as the top of the line in FL rice cookers.  And the elephant logo was as cute as I’d remembered. Not quite as cute as the cat courier service logo seen all over Tokyo, but still kawaii:

Not quite as cute as the courier service logo seen all over Tokyo, but still kawaii

We took a trip down Victoria Street, where I was sure I would find an overwhelming array of rice cookers.  The range of Japanese cookers was, however, disappointingly slim.  No Zojirushi!  There was an Hitachi (their trains are still going strong, so I have no reason to doubt that they can cook rice), a Toyo (which didn’t appeal to me at all – the only experience I’ve had with the Toyo brand has been with the very high-tech toilets in Japan.  That’s not to say the toilets don’t work, although I could never figure out what some of the functions could possibly be) and a Tiger.

tiger_logoSo, obviously we got a Tiger.

jag_b_sIt’s telling me that it has 10 minutes to go before our perfect rice is ready.  I hope I’m not in for a disappointment…

UPDATE: The rice is perfect!  As is the congee.  Now I’m just trying to figure out how much rice is too much…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2008 2:23 pm

    Breville appliances are crap. I have a toaster that keeps on shorting the whole kitchen out, and a bread maker that needed to be replaced within its years warranty. This breadmaker now 18 months old is about to clack out.

    Sorry you touched a nerve with me on this topic! I must check if there is a I hate Breville appliances Facebook site.

  2. injera permalink*
    November 16, 2008 3:04 pm

    I just did a quick kitchen audit and realised that our hopeless toaster is also a Breville. So is our new kettle, but at least that has lived up to the “Quiet Boil” promise (our last one sounded like the Orient Express was making its way through the living room).

    The Tiger rice cooker is brilliant We’ve had perfect, fluffy basmati rice just about every night since we got it. We’ve also managed to get the rice/water ratio right and have woken up to delicious congee on the timer/porridge setting. It’s fab! Maybe I’ll reactivate my Facebook profile just to set up a Tiger appreciation group… I’m sure there must be a Breville hate group for you!

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