Here’s Why TikTok Stars Are Putting An Ice Cube In Rice When Microwaving - Women's Health

Here’s Why TikTok Stars Are Putting An Ice Cube In Rice When Microwaving

TikTok is known for producing a questionable trend, but this new hack has us rethinking our methods when it comes to reheating food in the microwave.

by | Oct 12, 2021

Any TikTok trend – from beauty, to fitness, to food – is worth taking with a pinch of salt. We’ve seen it all on the platform: from those who swear by drinking water that’s been left in the moonlight, to skin treatments that involve ocean spray, and pasta recipes that require the use of a counter to smush and mush and mingle all flavours together. While most are questionable at best, there has been one recent TikTok video that has seen us scratch our heads, wondering if we are in fact doing our microwaving wrong. 

In a recent video, lifestyle vlogger and TikTok star Emily Mariko heats up a bowl of salmon rice. The dish combines leftover salmon, leftover white rice, kimchi, Kewpie mayonnaise, Sriracha, soy sauce, avocado and dried seaweed. She captioned the post, “Best lunch of the week!”, and since uploading it to her TikTok page, it’s already garnered well over 50 million views. 


♬ original sound - Emily Mariko

Users were quick to share their own takes on the recipe with the hashtag #salmonricebowl, which in itself had more than 23 million views. HuffPost even reported that Instacart saw orders containing both salmon and dried seaweed double in the week following Mariko sharing her recipe on TikTok. According to Instacart trends expert Laurentia Romaniuk who told the publication, “Salmon and dried seaweed are not historically a common pairing on Instacart, so there’s no question the recent growth of these two items is a direct result of this latest TikTok trend.”

But while most are focusing on the recipe itself, it was mainly the microwaving strategy employed by Mariko that caught our attention. The vlogger places the leftover white rice on top of the leftover salmon, and then adds an ice cube on top. She then covers everything with a piece of waxed paper before putting it in the microwave. When she then removes the plate from the microwave, she tosses the still-formed ice cube and proceeds to add the other ingredients. 

Most couldn’t believe the ice doesn’t melt, but what Mariko is doing is essentially mimicking a common method for reheating rice where you put a little water on top, cover and then microwave. This is due to the fact that rice dries out and can become crunchy and hard. By putting the ice cube and cover on top before microwaving, you create steam which can then fully reheat the food. 

By placing the ice cube in the bowl, the microwave has something to heat, and the steam is then diffused all the way through the food so you don’t end up with leftovers that are still cold. Steam is incredibly effective for heating, as it heats fully and evenly. The parchment paper lid also holds in the heat, so the steam goes up, hits the parchment paper and hot liquid goes down to reheat the food. 

It didn’t take long for the TikTok world to sit up and pay attention to such microwaving techniques. Just recently, Lizzo shared a video in which she reheats a cupcake in the microwave with an ice cube on top, but as some have been quick to note, the trick doesn’t work as well for foods that are already moist. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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