Cooking fish in a Zojirushi NP-HBC10
Hi, I was the very happy recipient this year of a Zojirushi rice cooker with induction heating. This thing makes awesome rice. I would also like to be able to make some veggies and fish (filets) in this thing too, on top of a bed of rice. Is this possible?
I know it can be done in Zojirushi's line of transparent-lid rice cookers - steaming food in a rice cooker isnt exactly rocket science. But is it possible in the fuzzy logic ones? Will they get mad/do the wrong thing?
My guess is if I put a piece of salmon in with the rice and start the process, it will simply oversteam the salmon as it puts the rice through the full cycle. Has anyone tried this, or does anyone know what the right time to add the salmon in is?
Okay, I repeated the experiment with a small piece of frozen chilean sea bass. It was a one inch thick square that was about 2.5x2.5 inches. When put in, it was frozen solid - dry on the outside and hard.
It was put in with a cup of dry brown rice (Rinced), the requisite water to the exact deth and cooked via the normal brown rice cycle.
The result was that the rice came out slightly mushy and the sea bass came out overcooked. It was not inedibly mushy, just slightly mushier than before.
Overall, I would say that the presence of the frozen fish either did not affect the timer or it affected the temperature reading of the rice, which is how the fuzzy logic determines when the rice is done - somehow it decided slightly too early, or it would not be mushy.
Lesson learned: Either the fish being sea bass or the temperature of the fish caused the outcome of the rice to be mushier. I think it's safe to assume that it was the fact that it was frozen.
Pretty common to steam stuff along with the rice in Asia. Often, you put a bowl/plate on top of the rice at some point (closer to the end than the beginning of cooking). It helps that the fancy electronic ones nowadays give you a countdown of how many minutes are left at around the 30-minutes-left mark. For any raw fish, I'd put it in around 10-20 minutes before the rice is done, depending on the thickness.
Also good for heating up leftover dishes that you want to eat with the rice.
I do this quite often.
The key is to the put fish into the rice cooker AFTER the rice is finished cooking.
I usually put in a seasoned filet of salmon or halibut on a cooked bed of rice and keep the Zojirushi on the "keep warm" stage (not the extended keep warm setting) for about 30 minutes and you're good to go. Supple moist fish every time.
Sure, I'll post my future experiments here. I wont be doing a lot of what is suggested below in this thread because I am not interested in the fuss of putting stuff in at different times or putting a dish/bowl on top of the rice. I want to throw stuff into the rice cooker and press cook.
The frozen filet sounds worth trying. I wonder how the fuzzy logic will respond to it; probably it will run much longer until it gets the temps it expects, and then proceed to slightly overcook anyway.
Okay, well I know no one cares, but I just want to put this here for the record, because I searched ALL OVER THE INTERNET(S) for information on cooking salmon filets and other large chunks of meat in the zoji induction heating cookers. Its like no one even tried - there are lots of recipes for non-fuzzy logic cookers (and non-induction heating) but no one talks about cooking anything larger than chopped salmon in the cooker.
Anyways, I put a good 6-7 oz salmon filet in with dry brown rice and water, and put it on the brown rice cycle, and it's pretty good, though ever so slightly dry. No other ingredients - no salt on the salmon, just water, dry rice, and the filet. If I were steaming it on a steamer, i'd take it out earlier because I like my salmon rare. Not bad considering the brown rice cycle is like 90 minutes.
With some consideration I decided to put the fish in without letting it touch the bowl itself. I didnt want it to sizzle against the bowl and somehow wear down its precious nonstick surface. Also, I didnt use any lemon juice to avoid contacting it with acids (you are not supposed to cook the sushi rice with vinegar in it either). I dont think this was a problem.
I'm going to try it again but put some olive oil on the filet. I think this should delay evaporation of water out of the filet until the oil evaporates, which should allow it to remain moist longer. Alternatively, a drop of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, post cooking, made it perfect.
Overall I think it was a great success, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try.
Edit: incidentally, the salmon was a fairly thick square piece (this allowed the 7-8 oz weight without touching the sides of the 5.5 cup bowl, which is not that large in terms of horizontal cross section). I recommend thick square pieces of fish for this approach overall because they cook more slowly. An oilier fish, like (renewably farmed) chilean sea bass might do even better here, as they really dont dry out.
Edit2: Also, it was cooked with only one cup (zoji's rice cup, 6.1 oz) of dry rice, and the salmon was skinned before cooking.