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The instructions in the soybeans say that parboil first and then simmer slowly for two hours.

Let's consider this in the scale of my plate. The power-scale of my plate is from 1 to 6. I put it first to 2, then to 3 and then to 4. It started to boil little with 4. Therefore, I consider that simmer slowly means no bubbles in the water i.e. 3.

I assume that parboil means "put the power of the plate to 6 and wait that everything bubbles vigorously".

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I explain what the technical definition between a simmer, boil and roiling boil is here. A slow simmer would be a very thin but continuous stream of bubbles rising from the bottom of the pot.

Parboiling does not mean maximum heat. Parboiling means that you're only boiling until it's part of the way cooked, not completely cooked; so, you're cooking mostly at a full boil, then reducing heat to a simmer to finish them. This ensures they don't overcook.

You'll have to figure what setting a boil and a simmer are on your plate, as it depends on the power and size of your pot. On a stove, I'd expect 2 to be a simmer, and about 3 as a full boil, but it varies from one model to another.

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Simmer typically means that there are bubbles.

A slow simmer has a few bubbles occassionally appearing, while a fast simmer has more rapud bubbles, but it's not the violent movement you get with boiling.

The numbers on your dial aren't the only factor ... it's influenced by the amount of liquid, shape and size of the pot, if there is a lid on it, etc.

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