I love my rice cooker

January 11, 2010

If you are looking to cook more often and lower your food expenditure, invest in a rice cooker. This revelation will be old news for readers who come from cultures that traditionally eat a lot of rice, but it's been an amazing discovery for someone who doesn't.

Rice may not be the most nutritionally valuable food on the market, but at around $0.16 a serving, it's a cheap filler if you, like me, are on a budget.  Rice quickly turns veggies and protein into a whole meal, and adds fiber, manganese, magnesium, and a little protein to the plate. Left to my own devices though, I cannot cook rice. The grains turn out undercooked or the bottom is coated in a thick layer of unappetizing char. I've ruined meal plans, destroyed pots, wasted time, and dumped unnecessary amounts of food into the garbage simply because I haven't mastered the art of stovetop rice cooking. I used to fear rice the way some bakers fear yeast. Magically, a rice cooker appeared under the tree this past Christmas. After a few days of eying it nervously (it does cook the dreaded rice, after all), I opened the box, plugged the contraption in, and gave it a spin. Within a half-hour, I had several cups of perfectly-cooked little grains. It's quickly become my favorite kitchen tool. A rice cooker is a must for the gluten-free crowd and handy tool for everyone else-- but vegetarians and vegans especially. A quick vegetarian meal (for me, at least) often means stir-fry, and stir-fry is much better when served on a bed of fluffy rice that is eager to soak up the savory juices clinging to the veggies. Still, I cannot tell you how many times I decided not to make even stir-fry because the task of making rice was too onerous. But not any more. Plus, a rice cooker has many other purposes besides just making plain rice. It can be used to make fancy rice dishes, steam vegetables, cook other grains, or even prepare entire one-pot meals-- chocolate cake, anyone?  This makes it an excellent tool for vegetarian college students whose dining hall options may be lacking. Do you love your rice cooker as much as I do? Have any good recipes to share?


Other people who love their rice cookers:



Anu's picture

Thank you so much for your lovely comment in my blog as well for the invite. I will definetly send in my entries and add the widget in my blog. Thanks.

The Cookbook Apprentice's picture

OK, I HAVE to get a rice cooker asap. My college roommate was from Korea and she had one going all the time but I never paid much attention to it at the time. My husband loves all things rice so I think this would be a welcome addition to our home. Chocolate cake in one? OK, that's definitely for me!

helen's picture

You will not regret it!

Charles Ravndal's picture

Is that your rice dish on the picture because it looks soo good. Did you add some sort of spices or herbs on it?

I don't have a rice cooker, but I can cook rice without it.

Molasses, Unsung Hero- Recipes for Everyone's picture

[...] I love my rice cooker [...]

helen's picture

Thanks Charles! The topping is just a seaweed-based rice seasoning I picked up at the local Japanese market.

The Amazing Rice Cooker - Real Cheap Food's picture

[...] “I love my rice cooker.” at the Foodista Blog [...]

Andrew's picture

A couple of popular breakfasts eaten in Japan that taste nice and also do a pretty good job of keeping you full until lunch time are:

a) white rice + natto + 1 raw egg

b) white rice + 1 raw egg + dash of soy sauce

I was never really into raw eggs before I moved to Japan but in both the recipes above, they are great!

Plumbing's picture

Making sure that your rice is not undercooked or overcooked is no longer a concern. When using a electric rice cooker you can say good-bye to burnt rice, ruined pots or having to serve rice less than perfect.

copper fittings's picture

If rice cookers fell into that category, they would not be so necessary either, however, they do more than just cook rice. There are several choices that you can make when picking the right rice cooker for you and your family.