“The rice cooker was where?!” I asked my Mom as she sanitized the bottom of the rice cooker with Clorox sheets.
My Aunt and Uncle routinely go camping. My Aunt is an excellent Korean chef. All chefs have an important tool in their arsenal. Hers is a rice cooker. My Aunt brought a rice cooker to our camping trip. The reality is, we can’t have Korean Bulgogi without piping hot rice from a rice cooker. Also, don’t try to tell a Korean that cooking rice on the stovetop is the same thing. That method is right for cooking risotto, not cooking the type of rice my Aunt was about to make.
Rice cookers need electricity to steam. Airstream Bambi has electricity but because I was “dry camping” and not hooked up there wasn’t sufficient power to run an appliance. So what’s the solution? We were at a campsite that had public bathrooms and showers and in those rooms were outlets.
My Aunt plugged the rice cooker into the outlet in the bathroom.
If you are disturbed by this image, it is understandable. If this image continues to haunt you long after reading this, I apologize.
Upon hearing where the rice cooker had been, my Uncle began constructing something to help mitigate the grossness. Using packing tape and cardboard boxes, he built a rice cooker…platform. In case someone would desecrate this altar, my Mom stood watch and made sure no one was disturbing it.
Imagine a camper’s surprise: he walks into the bathroom to find an appliance steaming in the corner. We must have been on to something because by the end of the week, the campers across from us used the same bathroom to plug in their coffee maker.
You can’t do things 50 percent or even 80…if you’re going to make the most of a situation, you go all the way. So we siphoned electricity from Tahoe National Forest to make rice, the cornerstone of every Korean meal.
See, this just begs for steamed rice.
My Aunt, cooking Korean Bulgogi.