KITCHEN TRICK: This Is How You Cook Lugaw In A Rice Cooker

You should be using your rice cooker for more than just rice!

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Any Pinoy will tell you: rice is an important part of any meal, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's intrinsically part of our meals. 

Since rice is such a part of our meals, it's not surprising that a rice cooker is a common kitchen appliance in many households. However, sometimes people forget that the rice cooker can do more than just cook rice. While, yes, it cooks rice perfectly every time, there are different ways to cook rice, too.  

Late-night comfort food includes the humble lugaw, a savory rice porridge also known as a congee, that you can find at many street corners being served up at all hours of the late night and wee hours of the morning. The basic lugaw recipe is technically easy to make on the stovetop but does require some babysitting since the bottom of the pot can burn your rice so some occasional stirring is required. 

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Did you know you can cook lugaw in the rice cooker? This is the best no-fuss way of cooking your lugaw recipe (or any rice porridge for that matter!). 

Why? 

The heat all around the rice cooker pot isn't just concentrated on the bottom. Since the rice cooker is self contained, the steam and thus the heat distributes itself around the covered pot, too, ensuring that not just the bottom of the rice cooker pot that will heat up.

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Plus, the appliance is built to be an automatic rice cooker so as soon as the rice has puffed up and most of the water has evaporated, the button pops up and keeps it warm until unplugged. This is the most important trait of the rice cooker that makes it perfect for making lugaw. Since lugaw is usually simmered until the rice is cooked through, the "keep warm" function of the rice cooker will ensure that even if the button has popped up, it will continue to simmer, albeit very gently, to your desired consistency.      

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We really think you should be using your rice cooker for more than just rice! In this case, make this lugaw or a savory rice porridge recipe easily in the rice cooker using our step-by-step guide: 

Just put all the ingredients in the rice cooker and let it cook!
Photo by Majoy Siason
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1 Place all the ingredients in the rice cooker. 

We highly suggest this super simple but super delicious lugaw with egg recipe. It's easy enough to prepare all the ingredients and tweak as you desire. The basic ingredients are malagkit rice, onions, fresh ginger, and a bouillon cube or two. You can also use homemade chicken stock if you have some. 

From this list of basic ingredients, you can amplify the flavors or tweak it to be what you want it to taste like. Love arroz caldo? Add a few chicken pieces with the rice. Want to make it into a beef goto recipe instead? Use a beef bouillon cube instead and add already tenderized innard pieces you like.     

Instant lugaw in your rice cooker!
Photo by Majoy Siason
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2 Close the lid and let it cook. 

Simply turn on the rice cooker and let it do what it does best. You may have to press the cook button about twice more if you have the basic rice cooker. If you have a fancy rice cooker than the one-button basic appliance, flip the switch to "congee" so you really can leave it alone, just like a slow cooker, until your lugaw is cooked through to your desired doneness, around 34 minutes.  

You can make this lugaw easily in a rice cooker!
Photo by Majoy Siason
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3 Serve it with all the toppings. 

Serve your rice cooker lugaw when you're ready! One of the best reasons to use your rice cooker for this dish is that it will keep it warm until you're good and ready to sit down and enjoy your meal in peace. 

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