I'm Japanese American. I learned to cook rice from my Japanese mother and we steam it without salt. This was something Alex had to get used to. As a cook he thought that everything needed salt but after a while he came around or at least stopped trying to change my mind. That doesn't mean that he doesn't find ways to add flavor to the rice without salt. We had some garlic scapes on hand and they were a little woody, so he threw them in with a batch of rice in the rice cooker.
The cooked rice was delicious. It was infused with a green garlic flavor and intensely savory. Even better, the scapes had actually softened enough to become edible, so next we'll chop them up before tossing them in the cooker. It's a great way to infuse flavor and make the most of ingredients that may appear to be less than perfect. There's always a way to make them delicious.
August 26, 2008