Review : My Zojirushi NP-HBQ10 Rice Cooker (Part 2) – GABA Rice

I’ve given my 1st review on my rice cooker not long ago. Tested the review about cooking white rice using normal white rice function. The result was really good. I cooked brown rice two weeks ago, but I don’t have the time to post it. So, now here it is.

Because of the Zojirushi Rice Cooker that I wanted to buy has a function named GABA. Before I buy the rice cooker, I tell myself that I really wanted to know what the hell is all about. I read alot about rice and I did some research. I wanted to make sure that the price that I’m paying for such good technology rice cooker is worthwhile. As I mentioned, the rice cooker has GABA setting that not all rice cooker have.

Before anything else, I’m gonna side track abit and talk about the rice, just to give you a clearer picture. I come to realize that the GABA is actually related to Hatsuga genmai (発芽玄米 germinated brown rice). It is one of the most nutritious rice promoting in Japan. Basically, it is unpolished brown Japanese rice that we are talking about.

A week before I buy my rice cooker, I went Isetan Orchard to hunt for Germinated Brown Rice, and I’ve got this pack of 2kg Japanese Germinated Brown Rice. Cost me S$19.90. Mad expensive. And all the instruction manual is not surprisingly… Japanese. Duh!

It is said that this rice has a softer texture than brown rice and a pleasant fragrance, yet retains the health benefits of brown rice and is marketed in Japan as a health food product. This rice is produced by soaking washed brown rice in warm water for dunno certain degree for 3 days or something. This cannot be done at home. So, they do it, and sell it to the market at such a damn expensive price.

Take a close look at the germinated rice. It’s been germinated by a special process, but still retain it’s brown in color. The bran of the rice has been removed, the germ remain.
For the 1st time I cook this, I didn’t mix it with white rice, and it was a disastrous! Until I carefully see the picture of that packaging (I can’t read Japanese!!). Then I came to realize that I need to add white rice to cook together with it using regular white rice function. The 2nd time, it was much better because I cooked it correctly. So, I conclude, this pack of rice is meant for people who own basic rice cooker at home, but wanted to enjoy germinated brown rice. So, for those who do not have a higher end rice cooker with GABA setting, buy this. I have to be frank, it’s delicious.

This is part of the reason why my rice cooker is so expensive. It has GABA function! Wuahahahaha!!!

This GABA setting on the menu activates brown rice for increased nutritional value. Well, since I’ve got GABA function on my mighty rice cooker, I’ve get myself a pack of medium grain brown rice and give it a try then!

Cooked a cup normal white rice using Quick cooking setting, it takes me about 20 to 25mins. While I’m still using my old basic cooker for brown rice cooking, I will normally pre-soak my brown rice for 1 hour and then take another 25-30mins to cook it. Little did I know that by doing that, I actually spent 1 hour 30 minutes hour to get my brown rice cooked. Insane, right? But I can tell you, it pays to eat good rice. Because apparently, it’s the same way with this new one, taking anywhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes to cook brown rice.

As if that wasn’t crazy enough, the GABA setting on my mighty rice cooker will take at minimum 3 hours and 15 minutes to cook! According to the instruction manual, the rice cooker will begin activating the brown rice, after which will start cooking automatically. During the brown rice activation process, the temperature in the Inner Cooking Pan is kept at about 40 degree Celsius for 2 hours. Insane!

Still, I cooked a batch of brown rice using the GABA setting. I do it over the weekend.

I was sold totally when it is said that by activating brown rice, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a naturally occurring nutrient in brown rice, increases to 150% of the amount contained in non-activated brown rice. This process also makes brown rice softer, thus making it readily edible. So, you still don’t know what is GABA? It is actually a type of amino acid said to lower blood pressure, relieve stress & many other health benefit. Replenishing GABA to the body can also help fight insomnia, depression and other neurological conditions. Researches also found that a regular intake of GABA helps improve kidney function, lower blood pressure and reduce sleeplessness. MIGHTY RICE!!! 😀

So, are you sold by now? Hehe…

The rice was nice, fluffy, tender and not at all like the horrible brown rice you get served all along. Eating brown rice cooked with GABA setting is really a great way to eat a little healthier while avoiding the full blast grainy texture that people usually hate about brown rice. Seriously, I never liked brown rice like the one I’m having now.

Although this rice is stickier than the normal rice. But if you look carefully, you can see how loose & fluff the kernels of rice are.

Take a close look. Did you see the rice has a brown line on every grain, and there’s a tiny germ kinda thing stick at the end of the grain?

I’ve eaten exceptionally good rice before at high end Japanese restaurant in Singapore. The rice that made me want to eat another bowl. There was a definite difference!

This GABA rice is the rice that really makes me wanna eat one bowl after another. 3 hours and 15 minutes cooking time, I would say, it’s worth the wait.

I love my rice cooker! 😀

Next time, I will get myself a pack of Japanese short grain brown rice instead. Stay tuned!


Random : My loots from Tangs today!

Weeeee~!!!! Tangs is having sale today!

After so much of research, so much of reading and comparison, I finally bought my Zojirushi (傻猪老鼠) Rice Cooker today!!! Mad happy can!!!

The total damage for today…
1) Zojirushi Stainless Steel Vacuum Mug. Getting it at promo price = S$30.00
2) ZojirushiRice Cooker. S$539 – 10% Discount + 12% Citibank Rebate = S$426.88 *pain*
3) Tiger Stainless Lunch Jar. S$78 – 10% Discount + 12% Citibank Rebate = S$61.77

Luckily my husband is the one who paid for my rice cooker. Hahahahas!!!

Model : NP-HBQ10 – My Zojirushi 5.5cups Rice Cooker. It looks like Star Wars helmet to me tho. Hahahas…

And here’s the general info of this super expensive rice cooker. Of course, it must be MADE IN JAPAN. Wuahahaha!!!

I won’t blog about my rice cooker now. I will blog about it in more detail as a review in another post maybe a few days later…..

Another Zojirushi product that I’ve bought. Attracted by it’s promo price (usual price is about S$69 I think), and it’s beautiful baby purple color. Quality quite good. It has non-stick interior that impressed me. But it’s Made In Thailand tho.

Initially, I wanted to get a Zojirushi brand Lunch Jar. Looking at the design and the color that they have, it doesn’t really attract me. And the price is not that cheap. So, I walked over to Tiger’s counter. I did a compare. Both are equally alright. Tiger is also equally expensive. And for product design / quality wise, it is about the same. I walked to & fro Zojirushi counter & Tiger counter for at least 4 to 5 times with my gloomy and indecisive face. Grumbling to myself on why can’t I just made up my mind. Although I would very much love to buy Zojirushi brand at the beginning, but I end up picked this Tiger Lunch Jar. The reason is because the design is pretty good. It has smooth straight body. Nice baby pink color. And most importantly…… This is the one and only Lunch Jar that is Made in JAPAN!

I couldn’t find any Zojirushi Lunch Jar / Box that is made in Japan displayed there. So, I assume that all their Lunch Jar / Box are not Made in Japan tho.

When I reached home, I open my Lunch Jar box… There’s a instruction manual in there. And it’s all written in Japanese! Zzz..

Dear Tiger, you really well done la!

Max say “This is what happened when you wanted a MADE IN JAPAN product“.
Sigh!!! Don’t they know that they must localize?

Luckily Zojirushi’s rice cooker instruction manual printed in English & Chinese language. Imagine with that multifunction rice-cooker, and if the instruction manual only printed in Japanese language? I tell you, I confirm will bang my head to the wall.

Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase today. I will be reviewing on my Rice Cooker soon.

Stay tuned.

Considering ZOJIRUSHI Rice Cooker

For those of us who love to cook, convenient countertop appliances is a must. For example, my sexy red color Kitchen Aid mixer is my baby! I can’t live without it!

I was reading this blog about the review of Zujirushi Rice Cooker, seeing how this product can elevate a cook’s skills to a whole new level.It looks indeed fun and the review is quite promising. But at another part, I knew it well that Zujirushi rice cooker does comes with a big price tag.

At 1st, I was attracted by the Zojirushi’s new Umami rice cooker. According to the blog, Umami means it’s the “delicious” flavor, and Zojirushi is putting forth the claim that by cooking your rice on their Umami setting, your rice will have enhanced deliciousness. I was totally sold by this! Pearl White color! Nice!!!!

After I did abit of google here & there. I was kinda quite confirm what I want. But what about the price? I’m unsure about the price. So, I asked Max to drive me to Orchard to take a look.

Urgh! The price tag! Although it doesn’t surprise me, because this model has “slow cook” function that it can be used as a slow cooker. But still, it makes me swallow my saliva real hard when I saw it.

Takashimaya : 5 cups – S$378 / 10 cups – S$428
Tangs : 5 cups – S$376 / 10 cups – S$408

And when I see the actual thing, I realized that they don’t have Pearl White color that I liked. The one selling in Singapore is greyish color. Urgh!!! After the salesperson gave me a brief introduction, I get to know that the “slow cook” function is kinda redundant to me. Because the maximum level of liquid for “slow cook” function… to me, if I were to cook a pot of soup, it can only serves 3. And the slow-cook function can only allow you to cook 4 hours maximum. This is not the “slow cook” that I’m looking for. So, I concluded that, thou this rice cooker can cook great fluffy rice that I long wanted. I have no doubt. But also, there’s no point paying extra for such “slow cook” technology (thou it’s good to have). So…. I hesitated buying and I think I need to consider.

Aside the Zojirushi’s new Umami rice cooker, the salesperson recommend me the newest model. Zojirushi’s Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker – claimed that it uses precise heat control and pressurized cooking to create perfect rice. Cooking rice with pressure helps turn beta starch into alpha starch, which makes the rice softer and easier to digest. It sounds so fun!

Let’s see…

Again, Singapore doesn’t sell this color. The one I saw is slightly more copper kinda glossy brown. It looks like a Star-Wars helmet to me. Hahaha!

So, what is it so good about this? According to Zojirushi website. – A pressurized system elevates cooking temperatures to higher levels for softer rice. Vacuum insulated inner cooking pan distributes heat to the rice quickly without allowing it to escape outside. I saw the real thing. The good about this rice cooker is that the inner rice bowl & inner top cover where it has direct contact with the rice bowl are stainless steel, and Zojirushi Umami’s one is just standard aluminum. The moment when I hold the stainless steel bowl, I’m so in love with the heavy weight of that bowl. But now I have a bigger problem here….

The Price!

Takashimaya : 5 cups – S$499 / 10 cups – S$539
Tangs : 5 cups – S$539 / 10 cups – S$599

This is a good slap on my face! A rice cooker that cost S$500?! Although I’m really sold by the fact that the inner rice bowl & cover is made of stainless steel that makes me uncontrollably gone “Whoaaaa!!!” for awhile. And I knew that it is fun to use. But the fact is that… the price of this Rice Cooker is 10 times more expensive than what I’m using now!!!

What should I do?

UPDATE : I realized that Singapore doesn’t carry these two models. For Asia Pacific market, it does carry the model that has simillar function, which is NP-HBQ10/18 and NP-YSQ-10/18. Zojirushi Umami NS-YAC10/18 & IH Pressure NP-HTC10/18 is only available in USA market.