I bought this rice cooker over the weekend, and I am already in love! Rice comes out perfectly every time, no matter how little or how much I make at one time. All weekend we have been eating perfect jasmine rice. Now that the bag is almost empty, I’m curious what other types of rice come out well in rice cookers.
I know it’s a little against the cooker’s rules, but I cook rice in it in chicken broth. While it’s cooking, I saute some chopped onion in butter. Then I mix the sauteed onions and their butter into the cooked rice for some faux rice pilaf.
I believe they don’t want you cooking in anything but water because sometimes a broth can scorch a bit. However, fat-free chicken broth doesn’t seem to cause any problems.
Here’s something I picked up on the Dope a few months back. I’m sorry, I don’t have the poster’s name, but I’ve been meaning to try it.
When I was doing the “super healthy eating” routine in college, I had a rice cooker. (You can do the equivalent with a pan that has a steaming insert of some sort, but you’ll have to watch it more carefully than I did.) Toss in rice, water, seasonings, then put chicken in the steamer insert with some veggies and seasonings. 15-20 minutes later, you have a nice, moist, well-steamed chicken, yummy rice, and veggies that have partially absorbed some of the chicken flavor and seasonings. The bonus of this routine was that I didn’t have to watch the food for long, and it was pretty cheap.
I have often used a jar of salsa or a tin of crushed tomatoes along with the rice to make something a bit different… at the end, stir through some chopped herbs (coriander/cilantro is nice with tomato rice, as is basil)…
Obviously, you need to add water as well. so there’s enough liquid.
We’ve also added crushed pineapple and the juice. That tends to stick a bit, and the rice on the edges goes crunchy, but that’s also a nice change.
We’ve also added shredded coconut and a tin of coconut cream or coconut milk to good effect.
I am totally willing to destroy my appliances for my culinary pleasure
We’ve also had reasonable success making sticky rice (the first stage anyway), but you really need to wash that first. Normally we don’t bother.
Why would it be against the cookers rules. I have a cute little 3cup Zojirushi(sp) that’s perfect for one person, and the recipe book let’s you cook in chicken broth, or even make Jumbalaya if you want in the thing.
One word of advice from from a previous idiot though; Cause I didn’t know this about my cooker when I got it, I had always riced in a pan on the oven, and didn’t know. There is a little plastic cup stuck on the back to collect overflow steam. This should be washed out on frequent occasion. The overflow steam is full of nice starchy slury that molds and things love. I had a horrible smell in the kitchen that I just couldn’t find until one day, ewwww.
This raises the issue of “horses for courses” with cooking rice. The rice cookers in the OP are fantastic for fluffy, slightly sticky Vietnamese or Chinese style rice, but I’m not sure how some of the Indian stuff would go in them. Or how good the Jasmine rice would be in your plastic microwave thing.
We use our rice cooker constantly; of course, Papa Tiger having lived in Japan for six years, he wouldn’t dream of cooking rice any other way; and my folks got used to rice instead of potatoes when I was little and we lived in India, so I grew up on rice far more often than most American kids. It’s our favorite kitchen appliance, and has its own regular place on the counter while so many others sit in the closet.
I’ve cooked basmati rice in it many times to good effect; you just have to adjust the water slightly upwards or it comes out a bit dry. The fuzzy logic in ours does mean that it cooks better to doneness no matter what the type of rice.
And oatmeal is wonderful in a rice cooker, although it does require a bit more cleaning afterwards. Ours has the steam vent in the lid, and I have to clean it out after oatmeal. But it’s worth it, makes perfect oatmeal every time.
I use my fancy Japanese Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker daily for steel cut oatmeal. It’s awesome; I load it up at night, set the timer, and have perfect oatmeal first thing in the morning. I occasionally use it for perfect rice as well but it was worth it for the oatmeal cooking alone.
When I use a rice cooker my rice still comes out mushy on the outside and crunchy inside. More water makes it mushy throughout. Less water makes it crunchy throughout. I have decided that rice hates me.
I’m on my second rice cooker. I plain ‘used up’ the first one. No appliance in my house gets as much use.
Basmati, Thai Scented, Saffron, with or without broth, it’s all good!
I flat out couldn’t do without it.
(Yes, I do know how to cook rice on the stove top/campfire. But with a cooker I don’t have to be attentive to when it comes to the boil and turn it down. Or attentive to when it’s done and shut it off. Or attentive to the timing so it’s done when dinner is. The cooker does all that and keeps it perfect for several hours, should I be distracted.)
You should always, always wash your rice. Even in the third world they know to wash their rice. And they think you are a tad uncivilized for not doing so.