Once you’ve got your machine, cooking the rice is very easy indeed. You simply plug your machine into the nearest plug socket, and you are up and running. Inside the machine you will find a metallic bowl. Into this bowl you need to place the amount of rice that you want to cook. You then need to add water, and press GO.
At this point though, you need to work out the right ratio of water to rice. This actually varies slightly depending on what cooker you have purchased. The cooker will come with a set of instructions making this clear, so consult them before you load up your machine. However, the usual ratio is about 1 and a half cups of water to every cup of rice.
Even with the instructions, you might want to play around with this a little. Of course, everyone has slightly different preferences when it comes to how they like their rice, and every machine varies slightly. So, what you’ll want to do is play around a little and work out the perfect ration of rice to water for you. This won’t take very many attempts and before long you’ll have a cooking routine that makes perfect rice with no effort whatsoever.
For steaming vegetables, you should insert the plastic tray or basket (depending on what model you have) on top of the rice and water. You can put chopped vegetables directly onto this shelf and then close the lid. By the time your rice is done you’ll have perfectly steamed vegetables to go on the side. Again, you’ll need to work out exactly when to do this, as some vegetables steam faster than others. Carrots for example, take a little more steaming that broccoli or leafy vegetables. If you want steamed by still crunchy beans, then you might want to let the rice begin to cook for 5 or 10 minutes before you add the beans for the last 5-10 minutes.
These are just the basics. If you want to get a little more adventurous with what you can do with your rice cooker, just go online and have a look at some recipes. There are hundreds of recipes specifically designed for rice cooker users and there are even books available which contain recipes solely geared towards this type of cooking. Try looking at how to make Dim Sum and other Asian classics and you will find that a whole new world of cooking is open to you with your rice cooker.