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5 Reasons Why Asian Rice Cookers Are Better

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 29, 2024

The rice cooker has come a long way since it was first invented in 1958 by Japanese company Taki Corporation. The original model only cooked one type of rice, which had to be washed and drained before cooking. So, here’s why Asian rice cookers are better

Today’s rice cookers are much more versatile, thanks to continued innovation by Asian manufacturers. 

Rice Cooker Brands In Asia

Among all Asian countries famous for their dexterity in making rice cookers or cooking rice, the best Asian rice cooker is made in Japan. We all know that Japan has always been known as an exporter of quality products, including rice cookers.

Here are five reasons why Asian rice cookers are better than those made in other regions of the world.

Top 5 Reasons Why Asian Rice Cookers Are Better

1. They Are A Smart Investment In Your Health

One cup of cooked rice has about 227 calories, and according to the FDA, one-fourth of your daily intake should be whole grains. 

Whole-grain rice is rich in fibre and nutrients, so it helps lower cholesterol and keep you full longer after meals. According to Mayo Clinic, switching to a whole-grain diet can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, among other things.

Why Asian Rice Cookers Are Better: cooked white rice in a small white bowl

Asian rice cookers can cook only whole grains that won’t clump during cooking. 

The unit also regulates heat distribution and pressure depending on what rice is being cooked, resulting in fluffy, perfect rice every time.

2. They Automatically Keep Rice Warm For Hours At A Time

Another reason why Asian rice cookers are healthier than other types is because they automatically keep rice warm for hours after the cooking process has finished. 

This is great if you’re hosting guests or want to have leftovers of your own creation, but it’s not so good if you’re on a diet.

The “warm” setting is not just for keeping your food at the same temperature until it’s time to eat. 

It also switches to “cooking” mode, thus continuing to cook any rice that may have been undercooked during the initial process. This means that your food won’t be cold even if you wait several hours to eat.

One Cautionary Note: 

If you’re not planning on eating your rice immediately after cooking, don’t use the same rice cooker that you reserve for other foods to make it. 

As with most appliances, there are specific functions for different uses. Rice cookers can handle grains safely and efficiently if you give them the proper job.

3. They Can Cook Healthy, Creative Dishes In Minutes

When you’re busy and on the go, cooking healthy is easier said than done. That’s why Asian rice cookers are perfect.

They can whip up delicious dishes quickly that are nutritious to boot. For example, you can make several cups of brown rice with vegetables in less than 10 minutes.

mound of cooked white rice in a small white bowl

With the push of a button, you can have steamed rice ready with your stir-fry or tasty vegetable medley. Some models cook white and brown rice simultaneously, allowing you to prepare your entire meal quickly and easily.

4. They Look Great And Save Space

Asian rice cookers may be small, but they’re sturdy and beautiful. Plus, they free up precious countertop space, as most models fit perfectly on a kitchen counter or pantry shelf. 

Asian rice cooker sizes vary from 2 to 12 cups of cooked rice per batch. They also come in a wide range of colours, some of which include:

  • Natural wood and bamboo exterior with an attractive red or black interior
  • Metal or stainless steel exterior with a chrome finish on the inner pot and glass lid
  • Matte black steel exterior with an elegant red ceramic inner pot

5. They’re Easy To Use, Clean, And Maintain

If you haven’t used one before, Asian rice cookers might seem overwhelming. But it’s easy to get started. Measure the rice you want, add water, and press “start.”

There are a few additional steps for preparing brown rice, but they’re simple enough for anyone. 

Once your food is ready, these appliances clean themselves. Pour out any leftovers and wipe the inside with a damp paper towel. It’s also dishwasher safe, so if you have one of those big machines, it won’t take up too much space.

The Benefits Of Using An Asian Rice Cooker

1. Easy To Use

Asian rice cookers are simple enough for anyone to use, but if you need extra help, documentation is included with the unit that breaks down cooking times, step-by-step instructions and recipes. You can also find a wide range of Asian rice cooker recipes online.

2. Cooks Delicious Food Fast

Asian rice cookers can cook rice without overcooking it. You’ll find that the best Asian rice cooker always produces fluffy grains of white or brown rice.

3. Keeps Food Warm For Hours

You may have a tendency to linger over your meal with family and friends longer than you should because no one wants to end the evening. 

With a great Asian rice cooker, you’re not rushed to eat your meal at a certain time, allowing you to enjoy company for as long as you like without sacrificing the quality of your food.

4. Easy To Clean

These appliances are self-cleaning and come with detailed instructions on how to clean the unit properly, if necessary. It’s also dishwasher safe and doesn’t take up a lot of room on your counter or in your cabinets — which is great for small kitchens.

5. Can Be Used To Prepare More Than Just Rice

Asian rice cookers can cook more than rice, such as soups, pasta dishes, stews and casseroles. You can cook nearly anything that you would cook in a slow cooker or stovetop.

Great Asian Rice Cookers We’ve Reviewed

> Yum Asia
> Zojirushi
> Reishunger

How To Cook Perfect Rice Every Time With An Asian Rice Cooker

1. Measure The Rice And Water

• White rice: 1 cup of dry rice to 1 ½ cups water (1 cup = 180 ml)

• Brown rice: 1 cup of dry rice to 2 cups water (1 cup = 240 ml)

• Converted or parboiled rice: Follow the directions on the package as each brand cooks differently.

white rice ans a small measuring jug inside a large plastic container

2. Rinse The Rice

Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear, about 2 minutes. Some recipes call for rinsing the rice up to five times.

However, this is not necessary if you’re using quality rice that has been properly stored. Using hot water will shorten the time needed to rinse the rice.

3. Add Water And Seasonings 

Asian recipes often call for special ingredients such as ginger, garlic or green onion; however, you’re not limited by this. Add any seasoning along with broth or water and cook your Asian rice dish on the “soup” setting if you like.

4. Press The Button

Once all your ingredients are ready, turn on your appliance and allow it to cook according to the recipe’s directions for white, brown or converted rice. For recipes that call for long-grain rice, you must increase the amount of liquid (water or broth) by ¼ cup.

5. Enjoy!

Once your meal is ready, serve it immediately or allow it to stay warm in the appliance for up to 6 hours. I hope this article helped you realize how easy it is to cook perfect rice every single time with an Asian rice cooker.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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