the moment of truth as i revealed my fermenting glutinous rice late this morning. it looked good, no mold on the rice surface, a pool of liquid in the well. i gave it a taste test: no sweetness, just sour. plus i didn't really smell any alcohol. this is not a good sign. maybe it needs more time to ferment. when i made it the first time, it was slightly sweet and sour when i tried it after 24 hours, the sweetness only improving after 30 hours. bear in mind i'm only using half the amount of yeast ball, so it stands to reason that the glutinous rice wouldn't be sweet yet. i don't know if the sour taste precedes the sweet taste or comes after it. if it's after, then i've somehow managed to over fermented again. but based on the fact that the fermented glutinous rice became sweeter the longer it fermented in the instant pot, i'm going to give it a few days to see if the taste will improve. lookwise, the fermentation seems textbook.
i scooped out the fermented rice and put them into jars. i seemed to have amassed a small collection of jiu niang. months ago i bought a small jar of jiu niang from the asian supermarket that i've yet to try. it contains osmanthus flowers, a traditional additive to jiu niang. the rice grains are so much more compact compared to mine which are soggier and more like rice porridge. if wonder if this doesn't mean i've either overcooked the rice or over fermented. i should do a jiu niang test where i don't use the instant pot and ferment it slowly on the countertop, to see if there's any improvement.
for lunch i was going to make a jiu niang soup, just to use up my old jar of jiu niang. for that i needed glutinous rice balls, which i made from scratch using 1/2 cup of glutinous rice flour and 1/4 cup of hot water (2:1 flour to water ratio). i've never it before and initially i got the wet dough stuck on over my fingers. but i kept kneading until it became a nice dough ball. i wanted to make some red ones but i didn't have any food coloring so i just made plain white tangyuan. i broken off small pieces of the dough and rolled them into balls, before i realized i could get more uniform results by rolling the dough into a rope and cutting them into uniform nuggets before turning them into balls.
i ended up only cooking half when i really should've cooked them all. the tangyuan are ready when they float, i tasted one, so good, so soft, freshly made are vastly different than store-bought. into this boiling water i added several spoonfuls of jiu niang. i also added a teaspoon of sugar because i didn't think it was going to be sweet enough. finally i cracked in an egg. the final result was more watery that i'd like (use less water next time) and had a distinctive sour taste because my jiu niang isn't that sweet. but for my first time it wasn't bad.
i took a walk in the afternoon to catch my very first slaking after i spotted it on the pokemon go radar. there was a big green plastic crate on my doorstep. at first i thought maybe it was a grocery delivery for my upstairs neighbors, but it said ##. turns out it was ## some-other-street. so coming back, i stopped by ## some-other-street to ring the doorbell to let them know their order was at my house. normally i'd just drop it off, but the crate was a little heavy. unfortunately ## has 3 units, and i didn't remember the name on the invoice, so i had to go back home to look. i returned to ## some-other-street and rang the correct buzzer. at first nobody answered, so i was ready to leave a note, but somebody spoke on the intercom. a woman came down - melissa - she thanked me for letting her know, the order should've arrived at 10:30am, she was wondering where it was.
afterwards i went to market basket to pick up a few things. most of them were for my parents - boneless chicken thighs, eggs, scallions, sugar-free root beer, baking yeast. i should've paid with the company credit card but i always forget to bring it with me. it was already well past 3pm when i finished shopping. i had about an hour of daylight to get to the cafe to drop off the supplies before returning home. my parents made some scallion bread again, i took home a few slices, got back before 4pm. there wasn't as much scallion and salt this time, so it didn't taste as good, but they've perfected the texture (soft) and the crust was just right.
in the evening i made my sausage & broccoli risotto, but using the instant pot instead. i looked up nearly a dozen recipes, but ended up following my own recipe, but just cooking everything in the instant pot instead.
i started by sautéeing the chopped onion and garlic in some butter. the sautée function on the instant pot heats up surprisingly hot. i just had to hold the inner pot with dish towel to keep it from moving around in the pressure cooker. i then added the sausage meat, broken off into small nuggets. usually i just get the raw sausages and squeeze out the ground pork like toothpaste, but this time around i managed to get ground sausage meat without the casings. a problem i noticed with sautéeing in the instant pot (besides the inner pot moving around) is a smaller surface area compared my normal chef pan that i'd use to cook risotto. food also had a tendency to stick to the bottom of the inner pot, so i kept scraping off any stuck food.
once the sausages looked cooked, i added the rice. after a few minutes i added 1 cup of white wine. my white wine is so old it's changed colors, but i think it's still usable for cooking (probably not to drink though). once the wine had been absorbed by the arborio rice, it was time to add the chicken stock, which i'd heated up earlier on the stove. at that point it looked more like soup than risotto. i set the instant pot to manual pressure cook with a time of 6 minutes. i then closed the lid and waited. it took 10 minutes to pressurize, and then 6 minutes to cook. it did it so fast, i almost forgot to steam my frozen broccoli.
after venting the pressure cooker, i opened the lid. what i saw was a soupy mess, nothing close to being a risotto. most likely i added too much liquids. some recipes only called for 2 cups of broth with 1 cup of rice, while i used 4 cups of broth to 1 cup of rice, plus 1 cup of wine. i fixed it by turning on the sautée function to boil off some of the broth while i repeatedly stirred the risotto. so much for no-stir-risotto! i also added 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese which helped to thicken the risotto to the point where it was edible.
the final result was more like a savory rice porridge than true risotto. people online still swear by instant pot risotto, so i'm not entirely abandoning this method, but most definitely i'm using less liquids next time. instead of eating it with a fork, i had to switch to a spoon because it was too soupy. i still think my slow-stir risotto is much better, the individual risotto rice keep their shape better, while instant pot risotto rice seem a bit more soggy and smashed.