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How to Cook More than Rice in a Rice Cooker

You don't need a stove to whip up pasta, soup, vegetables, meat, or even dessert—all you need is a rice cooker!


  • Step 1: Get to know your cooker Get to know your cooker: Basic models have two settings—'cook' and 'keep warm'—while high-end ones have more settings and different accessories such as a separate steaming tray. Basic models work fine for most recipes.
  • Step 2: Cook pasta Cook pasta: Put hot tap water into the cooker – three quarts for every pound of pasta. When it begins to boil, add the pasta. Leaving uncovered, let it return to a boil and cook until desired tenderness.
  • Step 3: Make soups Make a variety of soups. For seafood bisque, sauté garlic and shallots until translucent, add fish, wine, and stock; simmer for about 20 minutes, and add cream.
  • TIP: Make a mirepoix – the basis for many homemade soups – by sautéing diced onion, carrots, and celery until the onion is translucent.
  • Step 4: Cook vegetables Steam vegetables right in your cooker. Then remove the veggies along with the water and saute some garlic and onions in a little olive oil in the cooker. Add the vegetables back and cook for another minute.
  • TIP: The food on the bottom cooks faster because it’s closer to the heat source. Stir for even cooking.
  • Step 5: Braise meat Braise meat: Sear it in the cooker with either butter or olive oil; remove it while you cook a sauce of onions, brandy, wine, or whatever you like; then return the meat to the cooker and simmer for a few hours.
  • Step 6: Make a jambalaya Add shrimp, sausage, peppers, spices, tomato puree, and stock to rice to make jambalaya. Or cook rice in stock, stirring frequently for a creamy risotto.
  • Step 7: Don’t forget dessert Heat heavy cream and chopped dark chocolate to make fondue. Serve with cut up fruit and chunks of pound cake.
  • FACT: A Japanese woman made bread in her rice cooker using a recipe from a baking-superhero cartoon.

You Will Need

  • A rice cooker
  • A willingness to experiment
  • Ingredients for your meal
  • Time
  • Seasonings

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