While on vacation, my wife and I have been stepping away from modern conveniences in our life and trying a slower paced life in a small rural town. This being the case, I had the idea to cook rice in an old-fashioned way for dinner. An electric rice-cooker is available here too but I prefer to go with an earthen pot today, even though it takes more time. Boiling rice in earthen pots makes each grain puffed up, soft and shiny.


As the dinner of the day, I picked wild vegetable mixed rice. This simple meal should be a good way to enjoy the fresh taste of local ingredients. The wild vegetables used were leaf bud, lotus, bracken, mushrooms, carrots, potherb mustard, etc.


As side dishes we had fried mackerel and pickled mustard greens that is a specialty product of Karuizawa called “Nozawana”. The texture of the fried mackerel was crispy outside but plump and soft inside. These were all prepared, except the rice, and sold by a local but modern grocery store near our cottage. How convenient the store is!

OOPS!!!      I had cut corners again, while I forgot that we had been avoiding all modern conveniences in our life!

I will post the recipe for how to cook rice the old-fashioned way. The steps below should be followed very carefully:

  1. Rinse the rice a couple of times and let the water drain then let the rice sit for 30 minutes
  2. Put the rice into the pot
  3. Use 1.2 times more water than rice
  4. Turn the stove on high until the water starts boiling
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low and continue boiling for 5 minutes
  6. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 4 minutes
  7. Turn up the heat to maximum for 3~5 seconds
  8. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes for steaming

*** Never open the pot all the way of cooking, even if you are curious about the inside***

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