A while back I bought this Zojirushi 6 Cup Rice Cooker / Steamer and have been playing around with it a bit. It’s my first rice cooker so I can’t compare to others, but I have been happy with it. I’m usually only cooking for 2 or 3 and it suits our needs great. I have been fine with cooking rice on the stove for years and it comes out good BUT it doesn’t “keep” well if you’re timing is off in terms of your other dishes. What I like about this is that once the rice is done, I fluff it a bit, put the lid back on, and it keeps warm without getting mushy for quite a while. (They say one to two hours but I haven’t pushed it that far!)
Last night I was making tacos for 7 and I was worried perhaps I didn’t have enough taco meat and shells so in addition to refried beans I wanted some Mexican rice as well. I have a recipe for Mexican rice I like that I do on the stovetop but I decided to try one in the rice cooker. I used the one in The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker and it came out great! I especially liked that it used fresh tomato since my garden is still producing. And just like on the stove, it was a one-pot recipe!
Red Rice in the Rice Cooker
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/3 cup onion, diced
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced about 1 tsp
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup peeled and chopped tomato
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tsp ground chili powder
- salt to taste maybe 1/2 tsp
- Turn the rice cooker on and put the oil in. Add the diced onion and stir for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
- Add the rice and cook 5 - 10 minutes, stirring, until lightly golden. Add the tomato, stir and cook a few more minutes. .
- Add the water, chili powder and salt. Reset the rice cooker to start the normal rice cooking mode.
When the machine switches to the Keep Warm mode (mine does, not sure what to do if yours doesn’t), cook another 15 minutes. Take the lid off, stir and fluff with a wooden or plastic spoon, then put the lid back on and leave on the warm setting until the rest of your food is ready.
This went great with my normal recipe for tacos, which I doubled for last night. It doesn’t use the seasoning packet so many folks spend a dollar or more on at the store but some garlic, onion and cumin. Just as easy and way cheaper than the packets! (But when I just reviewed that I realize I do a few things different these days. First, I always use diced fresh onion and minced fresh garlic. I’ve also gone to using just an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and adding 1/3 cup or so of water, basically rinsing the can out and just eyeballing the measurement. But if I only have a 15 oz can I use it all up.) Either way it comes out good! And I use either ground beef or turkey, depending on which is cheaper.)
You can, of course, always make your own taco seasoning mix if you like it that way better.