Using the best Japanese rice cooker can be an easy and almost foolproof way to enjoy perfectly cooked rice using a totally hands-off process. You won’t have to deal with overcooked mushy rice or undercooked crunchy rice, ever again. However, these appliances can do so much more than just cook rice, which you’ll see in our rice cooker rice recipes. A rice cooker may excel at cooking your favorite sticky rice, but it can also handle main dishes and your favorite side dishes, not to mention desserts and even breakfast foods.
You can use rice cooker rice recipes for side dishes and main dishes, and for any meal of the day, including breakfast. Models that come with more preset options will even allow you to prepare fresh steel cut oatmeal, steam veggies, bake bread, and cook fish. But in terms of rice specific meal ideas, you’ll find that modern rice cookers can handle sauces and seasonings, not to mention fresh ingredients such as meat, diced up veggies, and more.
Keep on reading to learn about the top four rice cooker meal ideas that are fast and easy to make and packed with flavor.
Best Recipes for Your Rice Cooker
In the past, rice cookers were only used to steam rice. There weren’t any settings to choose from, as far as the type of rice you were preparing or any programming options in terms of how you wanted the rice cooked. As you know, certain types of rice can require a longer cooking time. As an example, brown rice takes much longer to cook than jasmine rice. But today’s modern rice cookers can handle it all and will allow you to choose from a variety of settings that can ensure your rice is cooked perfectly and in a fraction of the time it takes on the stove top.
Whether it’s a main dish or a side dish, rice cookers can be the perfect option for easy cooking since these appliances don’t require much in terms of monitoring. A rice cooker works much in the same manner as a slow cooker, offering that set it and forget it option that allows you to run errands or take care of work around the house without having to hang out in the kitchen and keep a close eye on the rice.
Below, you’ll find some handy, easy to follow recipe ideas that you and the whole family will love.
If you’re a big fan of steel cut oats or rice porridge, then making your own porridge in your rice cooker can be a huge plus, especially if your mornings tend to be chaotic during the week. To make rice porridge, simply cook your choice of rice as you normally would. Once the rice is cooked, add soy milk, almond milk, cow’s milk, or even coconut milk, dried fruits, nuts, and switch the rice cooker to slow cooking mode. Many models have this feature for soups and stews and it’s the perfect setting for porridge. Other models will have a specific porridge setting, which will make the entire process much easier since you can add all the ingredients at the beginning instead of waiting for the rice to finish cooking.
Lemon and herb rice can be the perfect side dish, whether you’re enjoying a steak or a broiled chicken breast. Plus, it’s a simple side dish that you can easily prepare using your rice cooker. It features oregano and basil, both of which really make the lemon flavor pop. You can use any type of herb rice recipe, using the slow cook option.
This is probably the easiest recipe to try with your rice cooker, and actually one of my favorites. When cooking basmati rice, simply add a can or two of coconut milk in order to enhance both the texture and flavor of the rice. You can use the coconut milk to replace the water entirely or add half coconut milk half water, then prepare the basmati rice in your rice cooker as usual. Sometimes, I add just a drop of lime or a strand of lemongrass to give it a very slightly tangy flavor.
Most Spanish rice recipes call for long grain rice. To prepare this dish in your rice cooker you’ll need to add one can of tomato sauce or tomato paste, water, and one cup of chicken stock. You can also add peas, carrots, cilantro, and onion. Set the cooker to slow cook mode and reheat mode so your rice will stay warm and ready until serving time. This is actually a much healthier way to prepare Spanish rice since traditional Spanish rice is boiled and then lightly fried in oil.
Can You Cook Other Types of Food in a Rice Cooker?
Yes. You’ll find a variety of recipes online for rice cookers ranging from boiled eggs and pancakes to sliders, and shrimp. Some models of rice cookers, like the Tiger JKT-S18U Multipurpose IH Cooker will allow you to cook fish, bread, and steam veggies. If you’re looking for a more versatile model and one that comes loaded with preset cooking options, then this model by Tiger is worth a closer look.
What Type of Rice Settings Will You Find on an Induction Rice Cooker?
Most induction rice cookers will come loaded with preset options that will allow you to control the cooking process in terms of cooking length and the type of rice. These models have internal sensors that are able to determine when the rice has been cooked to perfection. They also come loaded with an automatic stay warm feature, which works to keep your rice ready to serve for a period of twelve hours. Higher priced models come with an automatic cleaning mode, which is perfect for people who don’t know how to clean rice cooker, or simply don’t have the time. To learn more, click here to read our Japanese rice cooker buyer’s guide.
Rice cooker rice recipes allow you to prepare a meal in a fraction of the time, without having to closely monitor your meal as it cooks. As you can see, rice cookers can do so much more than just cook plain white rice. With the right recipes, you’ll quickly find yourself relying on your rice cooker to prepare side dishes and main dishes that are packed with flavor and perfectly cooked.