Cooking rice on a campfire

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every weekend for a new post or read more on her website here!

When I went on a camping trip last summer with the junior high students that I regularly teach, there were many things that surprised me. For example, we lit fireworks (sometimes firing them at each other), took a night walk to a creepy overgrown shrine, and stabbed snails at the bottom of the sea.

But the thing that caught my interest the most was the way they cooked rice while camping.

It makes sense that Japan would invent a tool to allow even the most remote campers to enjoy their dinner staple. Here’s a picture of the finished product:

Cooking rice on a campfire

You simply pour pre-soaked, uncooked rice into the container, add water, and cook over the campfire until the water is evaporated. It takes about 45 minutes.

To my surprise the rice was just as good, if not better, than the rice I make in my rice cooker at home. A few of the pots of rice were kept on the fire for too long and got a little burnt around the edges, but the rice in the middle was still delicious. Actually, the crispy brown/burnt rice was pretty good too.

My husband and I have been eating rice pretty much every day since living in Japan. Maybe we’ll buy a few of these campfire rice cookers to take home to the US so we can enjoy rice wherever we may roam.

Cooking Rice on a Campfire

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