It's Japanese, which will become important in later steps, but basically it is a metal bowl that fits inside of a squat bread-maker-looking device, with a few buttons on the front. This is a short grain white rice, typical of Japan.
It is more starchy than its long and medium grain cousins, and that translates into a stickier rice, good for chopsticks (It has been asked what brand or variety of rice I'm using in particular, which is a good question. I eat tons of Japanese rice at home, but I'm usually too lazy/hungry to do it "right".
Several well done Instructables already exist on how to make pizza and bread and hamburgers in a rice cooker, and even alcohol, but none (that I could find) on how to make plain 'ol rice. This is delicious, fluffy white rice that the Japanese use as a base for almost every meal.
- short grain white rice water Pictures 1, 2 & 3 show the rice cooker I'm using.
If you're cooking over flame, bring the water to a slow boil then reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes [I wouldn't say 'better', I'd say different.
I buy Koshihikari rice (Wikipedia), as I believe most people in Japan do as well. Korea and haven't quite got it dialed in - most likely because I wasn't letting it rest before starting (TYVM! I lost the measuring cup that came with it, but before I did I checked it against my ' SAE' gear - 1 cooker cup was just a tad over 2/3 US cup. But on my last trip there, my best friend gave me a few batches of her family's homegrown rice, and I intend to show it the respect it deserves.
I am not sure if this exact variety is available in every country, but undoubtedly some form of short grain rice will be. rice is 'old' as in having been stored for more than a full season and dried (not 'green').
Rice is the second most cultivated plant on earth, after corn, and is by FAR the dominant source of carbohydrates in Asia, where I currently live.But growing up in America, I learned how to make rice in a pot, on the stove. My coworkers were amazed (appalled really) that I didn't know how to use a rice cooker.