One day, my husband and I were talking about what to have for dinner, which somehow turned to a conversation about lazy cooking and ways to minimize kitchen time. My husband is a Ukrainian who grew up in Japan, and he told me about how his family utilizes their rice cooker to do most of the work. Being a lazy cook, this intrigued me greatly! And thus, this easy, Plov-inspired recipe is born.
What is Plov?
Okay, disclaimer! Plov is actually not really Ukrainian. Plov is a dish originated in Uzbekistan that has become popular across Central Asia and former Soviet Union countries, including Ukraine. But I noticed, it’s basically a rice pilaf, which exists in many different cultures! In India, there is something similar called Pulao too. Even the name sounds similar – Plov, Pilaf, Pulao – maybe there is a story to it but let’s save that for another day.
Anyway – traditionally, you’ll need a huge pan or a slow cooker to make Plov. But true to the lazy cook style, I’ll give you the short cut below.
Ingredients for Rice Cooker Plov
The ingredients below makes for about 4-6 servings
- 300gr of beef – I usually just use a steak for this. The fattier the cut, the better! But I’ve tried this recipe with a lean cut like sirloin and it still turned out okay. You can also use pre-cubed beef.
- 250gr of mixed vegetables. This could be anything you like, but at the very basic should include carrots and peas. You can also add onions, long beans, corn, etc. A lazy cook shortcut is to use frozen mixed vegetable pack.
- 6 x Garlic cloves
- 2 x Bay leaves
- 3 cups of uncooked rice
- 2.5 cups of liquid. This could be just plain water, but if you want a bit more flavor, use Beef / Chicken stock. You can also use beef or chicken bouillon cubes diluted in 2.5 cups of warm water.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking oil
- Whole Peppercorn
- Smoked Paprika
- Dill for garnish
Cooking Instructions for Beef Plov
1. Prepare the vegetables. You can skip this step if you’re using the frozen vegetables. Cut carrots into small cubes, about the size of the peas. Put vegetables into rice cooker
2. Peel the garlic cloves and place it inside the rice cooker, spread them apart so that it’s not clumped in one location.
3. Put liquid of choice (either water or stock), uncooked rice and bay leaves into the rice cooker. (Optional) Add peppercorns if you like.
4. Heat up the your pan on medium heat with a little bit of oil. Sear the beef for about 2 mins on each side. It should be rare or medium rare.
5. Let the it rest for about 5 mins. If it’s not cut already, then cut beef into roughly 1cm x 1cm cubes. Add beef into the rice cooker along with the juice that comes out when searing
6. Stir all the ingredients together, then start the rice cooker like how you usually would when you cook rice.
7. When done, open up the rice cooker while still hot and stir the ingredients around. Try not to leave them hanging around for awhile, or else the rice might become too soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, or more of the list of spices I listed in the optional ingredients section above!
8. (Optional) Garnish with dill. Ready to serve!