For hot pot lovers, the bubbling broth is often the main event. But a good hot pot meal isn’t complete without a bowl of fluffy white rice to soak up all that delicious sauce. However, dragging out a separate rice cooker or pot dirtying up more dishes doesn’t seem appealing. So you wonder – can you simply throw some rice into the hot pot and let it cook?
It’s a great question many home cooks have. Cooking rice directly in the hot pot would certainly be convenient. But is it doable? Can a hot pot really double as both a rice cooker and steaming cauldron of broth?
While it may sound unconventional, cooking rice in your electric or stovetop hot pot is absolutely possible. The key is using the right technique to allow the grains to cook through evenly while absorbing the flavors of the broth.
With a few tips and tricks, you can transform your hot pot into a dual-purpose meal-maker, letting you enjoy perfect rice alongside your meat, veggies and sauce. Ready to streamline your hot pot dinner with built-in rice cooking? Let’s explore the best methods to get flawlessly cooked grains using just your multipurpose hot pot.
Benefits of Cooking Rice in Your Hot Pot
Whipping up a pot of rice in your hot pot offers several advantages:
You can cook your rice and hot pot ingredients in one vessel, avoiding dirtying extra pots and appliances. Minimal cleanup!
The rice will soak up the aromatic broth as it cooks, letting the grains take on more complex flavor.
The rice will finish cooking just as the other ingredients are ready. No worrying about cold, mushy rice.
You can pull the rice at your preferred doneness since it’s right there in your pot.
With the right method, hot pot rice delivers a hands-off, fuss-free way to enjoy the perfect carb alongside your boiled favorites.
Tips for Cooking Rice in a Hot Pot
Cooking rice in a hot pot takes a little finesse. Follow these tips to get properly cooked grains every time:
Use the Right Rice
Long grain white rice varieties like jasmine and basmati work best, as they won’t get too sticky. Avoid short grain rice.
Correct Rice to Water Ratio
Use a 1:1 ratio of rice to liquid for most hot pots. This ensures the rice fully absorbs the broth.
Partially Cook In Advanced
Parboiling the rice by 50% first allows it to finish cooking gently in the hot pot.
Spread Rice Evenly
Distribute the grains evenly over the bottom of the pot to prevent clumping and uneven textures.
Add Rice Towards the End
Introduce parcooked rice into the hot pot during the last 10-15 minutes so it doesn’t get mushy.
Let Rice Sit
After cooking, let the hot pot rice rest 5 minutes covered to continue steaming. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Stovetop Hot Pot Rice Method
Here is a simple process for cooking rice in a stovetop hot pot:
What You Need
- Hot pot base (broth, veggies, protein)
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 cup water
- Large stovetop hot pot
- Rinse rice until water runs clear.
- In a small pot, combine rice and 1 cup water. Parboil for 5 minutes, until rice is 50% cooked. Drain any excess water.
- When hot pot base is nearly done, spread parboiled rice evenly over the bottom of the pot.
- Cook rice for 10-15 minutes more until fully cooked through.
- Turn off heat. Let rice rest 5 minutes covered.
- Fluff with a fork. Serve rice alongside hot pot broth and ingredients.
The parboiled rice will finish steaming gently in the flavorful broth for perfect hot pot rice every time.
Electric Hot Pot Rice Method
Cooking rice in an electric hot pot follows nearly the same process:
What You Need
- Hot pot base
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 cup water
- Electric hot pot appliance
- Rinse and parboil rice following stovetop method.
- When hot pot contents are nearly finished, spread rice evenly over bottom of electric hot pot.
- Set hot pot to “Keep Warm” setting and continue cooking rice 10-15 minutes until done.
- Let rice rest 5 minutes in the appliance before fluffing with a fork.
The electric hot pot’s consistent low heat is ideal for gently finishing partially cooked grains.
Rice Cooking Tips
Keep these extra tips in mind for cooking flawless hot pot rice:
- Stir rice once halfway through cooking to prevent scorching on bottom.
- Add extra splash of broth if rice looks dry.
- For firmer texture, cook a minute or two less.
- Check for doneness by sampling a grain. Adjust time as needed.
- For added flavor, swirl in soy sauce, sesame oil or garlic after cooking.
What to Avoid
Steer clear of these mistakes when cooking rice in your hot pot:
- Don’t use short grain or sticky rice varieties like sushi rice. They’ll get gummy.
- Don’t skip parboiling step or rice will be underdone.
- Don’t stir constantly or rice may become mushy.
- Don’t leave rice sitting too long after cooking or it will overcook.
- Don’t use more than 1:1 ratio of rice to liquid or rice will be soggy.
Rice in Hot Pots Around the World
Adding rice to hot pots is popular in many cultures:
Chinese Hot Pot
A bowl of white rice is the perfect foil for flavorful Chinese hot pot broths. Jasmine rice is a popular choice.
Japanese Shabu Shabu
Japanese-style shabu shabu hot pots often feature rice cooked in the leftover broth. This is called suki meshi.
In Thailand, jasmine rice is routinely cooked in the fragrant broth of sukiyaki hot pots.
Korean Budae Jjigae
Budae jjigae is a Korean stew that originated from cooking rice in leftover spicy broth. It often still contains rice.
Lẩu hot pots in Vietnam commonly incorporate rice noodles into the bubbling broth.
While it may seem unorthodox, cooking rice directly in your hot pot is absolutely possible with some simple techniques. The rice soaks up delicious flavor while avoiding extra dishes. Follow the proper ratio, partial parboil, even spread, and cook times, and you’ll be enjoying perfect hot pot rice in no time!