If you are moving to another country, what is that ONE kitchen equipment or tool you will take it with you?
14 years ago, my answer was a “rice cooker”.
Today, my answer is my “KitchenAid stand mixer”. It is because it is the most experience equipment I own. After spending $300+, I would hope to use it for the rest of my life! It is also very useful and pretty. No matter where I am going, I will be taking it with me.
For the rice cooker, when I came to the States 14 years ago, I did bring along with me a Philips 1.5-cup rice cooker. It is not that you couldn’t buy a rice cooker in Los Angeles. My mom thought it would be easier to bring one with us. That way, we don’t have to spend time finding one and we can cook for ourselves right away. I still remember clearly that my parents took me to an appliance store a few months before leaving Hong Kong. We realized that a regular rice cooker wouldn’t work in the US, because the power plug and power voltage are different. So, we ended up putting in a special order for the rice cooker. We may have gone though a lot to get that rice cooker, but at least I used it for a good 13 years. It was no doubt the right decision!
Fast forward to 6 years ago, my sister followed me and came to Los Angeles. And guess what? She brought a rice cooker too! But this time, it wasn’t a small 1.5-cup one. It was this gigantic multifunction electric pressure cooker. Other than rice, it can be used to make soup, congee, beans, meat, fish and even cake. However, my parents forgot to check one important thing. The minimum requirement for the rice cooker is 2-cup of rice. My sister lived by herself and she didn’t like rice too much. Therefore, she may have only used the pressure cooker once or twice in a full 2-year. Before moving into a tiny dorm of UCLA, she handed me the pressure cooker and it is with me ever since.
This pressure cooker is a truly amazing. Just plug it in and press a button. Instead of dealing with fire and a stovetop pressure cooker, an electric one is much easier to use and feels a lot safer. These days, electric pressure cookers are pretty popular. Instant Pot is the brand I heard the most. If you love braising meat or like cooking food that requires a long period of time, you really should consider getting an electric pressure cooker. It will save you a lot of time, but still achieve the results you want.
Today, I am sharing with you this braised short ribs recipe. It is from Just One Cookbook. Unlike most braised short ribs, the flavors in this one are much lighter and cleaner. No red wine or tomatoes. Just beef, onion, daikon, carrot and a little sake. It is hearty, but not heavy. You can taste the flavors from every single ingredient. The beef was tender and still remained juicy. The sweet daikon and carrot were soft and soaked up all those delicious meat juice and seasoning. After trying this dish, you will want to do it again next week. It is THAT GOOD! Enjoy!
Braised Short Ribs with Daikon and Carrot (Pressure Cooker)
– 1 pound boneless short ribs (2 pounds for bone-in)
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– 1 large onion (cut into 8 wedges)
– 1-inch piece ginger (minced, about 1½ tablespoons)
– 3 garlic cloves (minced, about 1½ tablespoons)
– 4-inch daikon (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, about 2 cups total)
– 3 carrots (peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces, about 1½ cups total)
– 1 green onion (finely chopped)
– ground black pepper
– ¼ cup, plus 3 tablespoons soy sauce
– ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons mirin
– 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
– 3 tablespoons sake
- Cut the short ribs into 1½-inch cubes. Pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- In an electric pressure cooker with the “saute” setting (cook over medium-high heat in a stovetop pressure cooker), warm up the sesame oil. If your electric pressure cooker doesn’t have a “saute” function, use a large pan and cook over medium-high heat on the stove. Sear the short ribs on all sides until nicely brown. Transfer the meats to a plate. Set aside.
- Remove most of the fat and brown bits with paper towels, but leaving ½ tablespoon oil in the pan. Add onions and cook until just tender. Add ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for a minute. Pour in the seasoning and cook for 2 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Stir and mix well. Cover and lock the lid. If using electric pressure cooker, make sure the pressure release valve is at the “sealing” setting, not “venting”. If using stovetop pressure cooker, bring to high pressure over high heat. Once it is at high pressure, reduce to low heat.
- Cook the meat and vegetables for 25 minutes. When cooking is done, the “keep warm” button will be on (turn off the heat for stovetop pressure cooker). There are two ways to do it. You can either release the pressure naturally by doing nothing, about 20 – 30 minutes or you can release pressure slowly or carefully by opening the vent. Make sure you read the manual book to know how to do it safely.
- Open the lid and transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving plate. Top with a few tablespoons of sauce and green onion. Serve immediately with hot steamed rice.
- Before using a pressure cooker, make sure you read through the manual and know how to use it. Pressure and hot steam can be dangerous.
- Daikon, sake, and mirin can be found in Asian supermarkets.
- If you can’t find daikon, you can use all carrots (about 3½ cups total).
- When you first open the lid, you will see a lot of liquid. The liquid is mainly from the daikon and carrot. It is normal. And don’t worry, the seasoning is enough for that much liquid.
- For the leftover sauce, save it up and use it as a broth for soup noodles some other day.
(Adapted from Just One Cookbook)