Mathematics in the Kitchen

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Following recipes in the kitchen is one of the many applications of math in our daily lives. We may choose to follow the instructions to the letter or make changes to the quantities, as long as we keep the ratio of ingredients that we use constant. Hi tech Japanese rice cookers sold today often come with two rice measuring cups. These are not the standard cups that cooks in the U.S. are used to. Instead, they are a 180ml cup, which is used for measuring out all but one type of rice, rinse free – for that the rice cook should use the smaller 171ml cup.

The rinse free cup is a light green color while the regular one is clear. While it’s volume is just a little bit less, it actually looks smaller, so you’re not likely to get confused. This Youtube video shows the rice cooker cups that come with Zojirushi rice cookers these days.

When you make rice with a rice cooker, there are really only a couple of factors that you need to pay attention to. First of all, what rice are you making? Let’s say that you want to cook up some brown rice. You’d use the regular rice scoop (not the one shown above) and scoop out the number of cups that you want to make. It’s important to measure out each cup accurately, so we don’t want heaped cups, level is best. You just pour the rice from the cup into the rice cooker. Once you’ve done that, you need to add water up to the mark that corresponds to the number of cups of rice you are making. So if you are making two cups of brown rice, you simply add water up to the brown rice level two mark. That’s all there is to it. Oh, you’ve got to turn the rice cooker on too!