Vegan Rice Cooker Recipes and Rice Cooker Reviews

How to Cook Rice

Before I arrived in Japan, I had no idea how to cook rice properly. I thought I was supposed to cook it like pasta. Little did I know that I was meant to cook it dry! Using just the right amount of water helps to ensure you make the best rice possible.

What to learn how to cook perfect rice every time? Choose what type of rice you want to make and decide whether you’ll use a rice cooker or the stove.

How to Cook White Rice in a Rice Cooker

Using a rice cooker takes the guess work out of making perfect rice every time. While at high school, I sometimes ate dinner at my Japanese friend’s house. I remember being amazed that the rice was sticky yet dry. My own efforts used to be pretty disappointing. Looking back, I was using WAY too much water! Now I know better.

First of all, let’s look at how to cook plain white rice using a rice cooker. The kind of rice I’m using in these videos is Japanese short grain rice.

The first step is measuring out the number of cups to make. Rice cooker measuring cups are 180ml. One cup is enough for two smallish bowls or one very large bowl of rice.

The trick is to be as accurate as possible with the amount of rice you choose to cook, not too much nor too little, just the right amount. The instruction manual that comes with Zojirushi rice cookers suggest that you use a chopstick to level off each cup of rice.

Once you’ve measured out your rice and added it to the cooking bowl, the next step is giving it a wash. See my How to Wash Rice page for two videos that show different ways to wash rice.

The final step is to add the correct amount of water for the amount of rice you’re cooking. You’ll notice that on the cooking bowl of the rice cooker, the amount of water needed to make brown rice is greater than that for white. All you have to do is add water up to the appropriate mark. For instance, if you’re making one cup of white rice, add water up to level one for white rice. It really is that simple!

That’s all there is to it. With a Zojirushi rice cooker, I can make perfect rice every time. Let me know how you get on.

To recap, these are the steps I follow:

  1. Measure out the rice
  2. Wash the rice
  3. Add the washed rice to the rice cooker cooking bowl
  4. Using the markings, add the appropriate amount of water
  5. Choose the white rice setting (often this is the default), and press Start
  6. Once the rice has cooked, either serve immediately or fluff it up so it keeps better

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

I’d say it’s even easier to cook brown rice in a rice cooker than white. Easier in the sense that you don’t have to wash it as much. To be honest, I just give it a rinse before dumping it in the rice cooker bowl.

The brown rice cooking cycle does take longer than when you’re cooking white rice. It’s worth the wait though, as the rice comes out succulent and bursting with flavour. I like to cook up batches of brown rice and keep it in the fridge. I can use it for rice salads and also add it into soups and stews.

These are my steps for cooking brown rice with my rice cooker:

  1. Measure out the rice
  2. Wash the rice – I like to use a sieve with a metal bowl underneath
  3. Add the washed rice to the rice cooker cooking bowl
  4. Using the markings, add the appropriate amount of water. The amount of water to use is more than when cooking white rice
  5. Choose the brown rice setting, and press Start
  6. Once the rice has cooked, either serve immediately, let it cool so it can be stored in the fridge or fluff it up so it keeps better

How to Cook White Rice in a Saucepan

It’s a bit of an art cooking rice in a non-non-stick saucepan. Cook it for too long and it will stick and possibly burn. Undercook it and it will be too wet. Once you get your rice to water ratio and know how long to leave it on the heat, you’ll be able to make perfect rice every time!

  1. Measure out the rice
  2. Wash the rice – I like to use a sieve with a metal bowl underneath
  3. Add the washed rice to the saucepan
  4. Add 1.5 cups of water for each cup of rice
  5. Bring the water to the boil, leaving the lid off so you can see what’s going on
  6. Stir the rice to make sure it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan
  7. Let the water boil for a minute or so then reduce the heat and pop the lid on
  8. Cook the rice on a low heat for 15 minutes
  9. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the rest of your meal), fluff, then serve

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Saucepan

There’s more margin for error when cooking brown rice in a saucepan as opposed to white. Brown rice is less sticky so I don’t have to worry about making a mess of my saucepan. As with rice cookers, making brown rice takes a bit longer than white in a saucepan as well.

  1. Measure out the rice
  2. Wash the rice – I like to use a sieve with a metal bowl underneath
  3. Add the washed rice to the saucepan
  4. Add 2 cups of water for each cup of rice
  5. Bring the water to the boil, leaving the lid off so you can see what’s going on
  6. Let the water boil for a minute or so then reduce the heat and pop the lid on
  7. Cook the rice on a low heat for 25 minutes
  8. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for between 5 and 20 minutes (depending on the rest of your meal), then serve

How to Cook Rice in a Donabe

Cooking rice in a donabe is fun. In some ways it has a bit more character than using either a rice cooker or saucepan. Rice tends to stick to the bottom of the donabe and become crispy. This is one of the reasons I sometimes use it. Japanese people call this burnt rice, okoge. That said, most of the rice retains a moist consistency.

  1. Measure out the rice
  2. Wash the rice – I like to use a sieve with a metal bowl underneath
  3. Add the washed rice to the donabe
  4. Add 1.2 cups of water for each cup of rice
  5. Bring the water to the boil, leaving the lid slightly open so you can see what’s going on
  6. Reduce the heat and cover with the donabe lid
  7. Cook the rice on a low heat for 12 minutes
  8. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the rest of your meal), fluff, then serve

Watch more rice cooking videos on the Karate Rice Youtube channel.

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