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After reading the Rice Cooker topic, I realized that many DR people, many more than I expected, are using rice cookers.

I have been using one for more than 20 years but due to time constraints I started buying instant rice two years ago.

Het-Bahn is the one I mostly use. Het-Bahn means fresh steamed rice.

It has been manufactured by Cheil Jedang (briefly called CJ food - which branched out from Samsung) since 1996. Soon after being introduced it became a great success in the market and stimulated other companies to make similar products. Because of the ease and speed of cooking, it makes it possible for Korean airlines to serve rice dishes for the passengers.

You open the seal slightly and microwave for a minute and you have fresh steamed rice. It is vacuum packed so it isn't necessary to store in the fridge.

As a Korean and a working woman, I often carry a lunch box. Whenever I want steamed rice quickly, I microwave a pack. When I cook fried rice, I use Het-Bahn because cold steamed rice works better than freshly steamed rice.

CJ provides not only Het-Bahn white rice but also brown-rice, mixed rice with barley or black rice. I think the CJ brand is the most reliable of all that I have tried. You can buy an individual pack or a box of a dozen in Korean grocery stores. I know this sounds like a commercial, but the convenience and taste make this a good choice on those days when you want rice in a hurry and don't want to wait for the rice cooker.

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I've been using similar products as well, both the Trader Joe's brand and the Uncle Ben's line of 90 second rice packages. Brown rice in a minute and a half , mixed with whatever leftovers I have makes for a healthier lunch these days. I'll look for the brands mentioned by grover next time I'm in one of the markets likely to have them.

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