In some places were we went to eat in Japan, they would put some kind of pot containing rice from which we would take the amount of rice we wanted.
The truth is that the rice tasted great and was kept at an ideal temperature. This “pot” is really a machine that makes rice and keeps it warm during your meal. When I first saw it, I didn’t know what it was. The chef who had prepared the food came out and explained how it worked. He had a big smile on his face when he saw our astonished faces.
Well, once we knew about the machine, we often saw people carrying their recently bought Suihanki in the streets of Tokyo, which is how the device is actually called. It is curious that when we boil some rice at home, most people keep it fairly uncomplicated and just make it on the stove. But in Japan, it is one of the most common used ingredients and I imagine they would have a lot of practice in doing so as they are using a special machine for this.
Due to the amount of stuff we bought in Japan, we did not dare to buy a Suihanki, but I still really wanted to have my own machine.
Upon returning to Spain, my partner gave me a Suihanki for my birthday and honestly it has been a great benefit ever since. It is very easy to put the rice and water in the machine and completely forget about it until it’s done. It always comes out perfect! Once the rice is prepared, the Suihanki keeps it at the perfect temperature.
Mind you, it is very important to know the differences between the rice, for example, when you use the short rice, you must wash it thoroughly before you cook it, so the starch is removed – otherwise it might turn into a big mass of pulp.