It’s a fact: the rice cooker may be the most underutilized piece of kitchen equipment in your kitchen. That’s because it’s easy to forget that a rice cooker is actually a cooking tool and that it can do more than just steam rice and vegetables.
Here are tips on how you can hack a recipe so that you can cook the entire meal in your rice cooker:
1 Preheat the rice cooker.
It may sound odd but you can heat up the rice cooker even before adding the rice. This way, you can gently “cook” the onion, garlic, and other aromatics and spices before you add the rice and the water that goes into it. This is a great way to transform a recipe into a one-pot meal.
2 Season the water.
Just like you were cooking normal steamed rice, you’re going to need water to cook the rice. But to make it even better than just your plain steamed rice, you can add your favorite seasonings to the water so that when the rice is cooked, it’s more flavorful.
3 Use the right cuts of meat.
Just like you would choose easily-cooked meats when cooking via steam, use these same cuts when cooking in a rice cooker. Since the meat is likely to be cooked gently in simmering water and then steamed, the cut of the meat is essential in ensuring that it cooks so look for thinly sliced meats to ensure it cooks in the little time a rice cooker cooks.
4 Add ingredients at the right time.
Not all ingredients cook at the same time but for a rice cooker recipe, all the ingredients cook at the same time, so when one is done, the rest of the ingredients should be done, too. The rice is probably the ingredient that will take the longest to cook. You should know when to add the meats and veggies so neither are overcooked as the rice continues cooking.
5 Cook it again.
A rice cooker meal is different in that it may require another go at cooking. This means when the button releases signaling you that its done, it may not be completely done. So check the rice and yes, you may have to press it again if there is still too much liquid and the rice and meats aren’t completely cooked through yet.
Now that you know what to expect, here are recipes for you to try to initiate yourself into the world of rice cooker cooking:
Simplicity at its finest, this easy yet incredibly flavorful chicken recipe can be cooked in your rice cooker.
Spicy Fish Burrito Bowl
Nothing says fast and easy like a fish dish. These bowls, however, take it one step further to make it into a burrito bowl that’s made for the rice cooker. Use your favorite taco seasoning mix and top with your favorite Mexican sides for a truly customized dish for your taste.
Garlic Mac n’ Cheese
Who said only rice could be cooked in a rice cooker? This recipe defies that by not only cooking pasta in the gadget but also making a kid-friendly meal that everyone can enjoy.