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!

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Long Bean Flavorful Mixed Rice (豆角有味饭)

This cooked long bean rice is full of flavor. Some of you must be asking what is 豆角 (dou jiao). 豆角 is literally long bean in Cantonese. We usually called this 长豆 in Singapore.

This is a ONE POT dish that my grandma used to cook for me during my childhood time. This pot of flavorful rice can serve the whole family with little effort, and it is really good if your cooking need to be done way in advance, because this can be well kept in your rice cooker up to 2 hours or longer if you want. It is not a quick meal. Because you need some effort when it comes to preparation. I would say, it’s more on a quick-quick-slow meal. Like Tango dance 🙂

It’s a busy Saturday today. Max went Bintan for company trip. I’ve got to send my car to the garage to get it serviced, drive to the market and get some fresh ingredients. Reached home around 1pm, and start to do all my cooking preparation. I choose to cook this mixed rice today because I’ve got some errand run around later at 4pm, and need to fetch Max from the ferry terminal at 5pm, which this timing supposed to be my dinner preparation time. I don’t want him to reach home without dinner being served after his long day. So… here it is.

The ingredient that I’m gonna use here is common ingredient that you could easily get from the market. This recipe could easily feed 4 to 5 adult.

Ingredient A – (Rice)
3 cups of Jasmine Rice (the ordinary chinese rice that you have at home)
500ml water

Seasoning for Rice
2 cloves garlic – peeled, washed, chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce

Ingredient B – (Long Bean)
3 tbsp oil
4 shallots – Peeled, washed, and sliced.
3 slices of ginger – Julienned
3 tbsp dried shrimps – Washed, soaked till soft, drained.
1 pair Chinese sausage (腊肠)- Washed with hot water, drained, remove skin, sliced.
10 long beans – washed, cut into 1 inch length.

Seasoning for Long Bean Mixture
1 tbsp Shao-Xing Wine (Chinese cooking wine)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
a dash of pepper
a dash of sesame oil

Ingredient C – (Roasted Pork)
1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
200g Roasted Pork (烧肉) – chopped into bite size

Seasoning for Roasted Pork
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce

The list of ingredient is long eh? But It’s worth preparing. Trust me.

Method
1. RICE – Rinse and soak rice in water for 30mins. Drained and set aside.

2. ROASTED PORK – Heat up wok, a tbsp oil, chopped garlic, fry till fragrance. Add in roasted pork, give it a quick toss under high heat. The pork will release some oil during stir frying. And this is what we want. The oil! Add in sugar & soy sauce, fry till the pork looks brownish and caramelized. Heat off, dish up. And by now, your kitchen is full of stir fried roasted pork aroma, that makes you wants to put one into your mouth immediately… Cantonese called this method of stir-frying roasted pork as 爆烧肉 (bao-siu-yuk). It’s simply enhancing the flavor of the roasted pork.

3. LONG BEAN MIXTURE – Heat 2 tbsp of oil in wok, fry shallots till golden brown, add ginger and fry till fragrant. Add in the rest of the ingredients – Chinese sausages, dried prawns, long bean. Sizzle in Shao-Xing wine, give it a quick toss. Add in seasoning – salt. sugar. pepper, sesame oil. Heat off, dish up, set aside. You don’t need to thoroughly cook this. What you need is just kinda combine all of them and make sure that they are evenly coated with flavors & fragrance.

4. RICE – Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok, fry garlic till fragrant. Reduce to low heat, sizzle in seasoning for rice – light soy sauce, add rice, dark soy sauce and oyster sauce. Fry evenly at high heat for awhile. Off the heat. Transfer fried rice and add 500ml water into rice cooker. Switch on and cook for about 13 to 15 minutes. Using time to time yourself is always the best choice.

5. When the water almost dried up, add in fried long beans mixture, and roasted pork.

6. Cover it, continue to cook until the rice cooker automatically turn to “Keep Warm” mode. Leave it there for another 5 to 10 mins. Stir well – But I would prefer to use the word “Messed it up”. LOL!

8. And serve!

I couldn’t tell you how delicious this pot of mixed rice is. But the fact is that, my dear father-in-law ate HALF POT of the rice on his own. Scroll up the picture and see the rice in the rice cooker once again. The rice in my rice cooker is almost full. The space is juuuuuust nice when i shut the rice cooker cover. When we return home, and I open my rice cooker. Wanted to serve Max some rice, I rubbed my eyes twice when I saw my pot of rice left with half pot only. If I knew this mice my father-in-law could eat so much, I would have cooked more.

So, you want a bowl?

Max loves it too. He ate two bowls 🙂

Review : My Zojirushi NP-HBQ10 Rice Cooker (Part 1)

Before I start off with my rice cooker review. Let me briefly tell you what I had been using all these while.

This is my old rice cooker. The big one belongs to my Mother-In-Law. The small one is mine. My mother gave it to me. All of us loved this rice cooker so much because of it’s petite size. It can only cook upto 3 cups. That is juuuuust nice for us. The big rice cooker is more suitable for party time tho. Haha…

Seriously, I don’t feel like throwing away the mini rice cooker that my mama gave me. I just keep it.

As all of you aware, I’ve got myself a new Zojirushi Rice Cooker that cost me alot.

I love eating rice. I’m rather particular and opinionated on how rice should taste. But people always says rice makes me fat. Serve me some noodles, porridge, bread, pita & whatever, and I’ll kindly stick up my nose and pout about the lack of plain rice to eat my meal with. Okays, I shall cut the crap about myself.

Here’s the function available on this rice cooker…

Another reason why I spent so much for this rice cooker is because it comes with stainless steel inner bowl. It has real heavy weight. I like it.

And another impressive part is that, the upper detachable lid is also stainless steel. In which, none of the Tiger rice cooker models has this. This lid is a real thing!

It has this steam vent set on top, to capture the steam water. Detachable and washable.

This morning, I decided to give it a try. But I’m not really hungry. So, I just cooked half cup of rice. I used Japanese Sakura Hitomebore Rice here. Added the water according to the white rice level. The water indicator is really really useful.

Pressed Regular White Rice on the menu and start cooking. 45mins later, my rice finally ready. It looks ordinary when it’s just cooked.

But when I loosen the rice, the rice gives me a deliciously fluffy texture.

Side track abit… Saw the rice paddle? The rice paddle comes with little bumpity bumps, which are supposed to help with mixing your rice and is supposed to keep rice from sticking to your paddle. Unfortunately, I don’t like the paddle, as rice still sticks to it. If you want to keep it rice-free, you’ll need to have a little bowl of water to store it in, otherwise when you store the paddle in the holder, the rice will simply crust on it.

Let’s take a close look at the rice.. Nice?

Ahhh… The rice tasted utterly fantastic.

And let’s see the fluffiness… It doesn’t looks only nice looking. It taste delicious too.
It’s not just it’s immediate taste; there’s a distinct aftertaste with the rice that is, in fact, sweet and tasty. I appear to be addicted to the rice, which isn’t exactly the greatest thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

Let’s add some furikake on top…

What about making it into Onigri?

Yummm~!!!

In overall, this rice cooker produces very delicious rice on a consistent basis provided you use the correct amount of water and the setting.With Extended Warm, keeps rice moist and fluffy for a much longer period of time without drying up. It’s easy to clean outside and inside too. For the cons part, so far the rice paddle not the greatest, which it doesn’t really affect me. I can always get another one.

Upcoming next, I will blog more about my experiment on my rice cooker. The next one would be GABA Rice.

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“.
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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.