help me cook rice
August 3, 2014 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I inherited this rice cooker but cannot figure out what buttons to use to make regular short grain Asian rice. I thought it was the large one on the right but the rice is gross and uncooked yet soggy. Can you help? I looooove rice and need to remedy fast. Thanks for your help. Can you tell me what all of these buttons mean? I can't find a mode number so I can't look up the operating instructions online.
posted by dublin to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
I used to own this brand of rice cooker. The big red button is the cook button. The big one on the left lights up when the rice is cooked - the characters read "keep warm" (which it does automatically), and "turn off" (push this when you want to eat the rice. The blue button on the right is for (I believe) having the rice cooked and ready at a future time. As for the blue one on the left - sorry but I can't remember. The two small buttons on the front are for setting the time / timer. The left one means "hours" and the right one means "minutes".

Now for the soggy rice part! If you look in the metal bowl that fits inside the cooker you should see a bunch of white lines with numbers by them. If you want to cook 1 (Japanese) cup of rice, you put one cup in the machine and then add just enough water that it comes up to the "1" line. For 2 cups, add 2 cups and fill to the "2" line and so on. It's probably the instructions on the bag of rice that are leading you astray.

BTW a Japanese cup is slightly smaller than an American one; I believe it is 200ml.

Hope that helps!
posted by mukade at 5:26 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mukade is right. A Japanese cup is 200 ml, or 0.85 US cups
posted by colin_l at 6:12 PM on August 3, 2014

The modes labeled at the bottom of the display are, from left to right: white rice, mixed rice, and quick-cooking. The arrow in the picture is set correctly for plain, short-grain white rice.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2014

Here's my 2008 english unit for comparison

There are similarities and differences. On mine, I use the up/down buttons to select the type of rice, and an indicator arrow appears near the text on the side.

I would expect, on yours, that the type of rice is indicated by the text on the bottom of the display (because yours has the arrow on the bottom and doesn't have text on the sides like mine).

I would think that "regular short grain asian rice" would be pretty much the default setting, though, so I don't think you would have to fiddle with the up/down arrows.

Perhaps the ratio of rice/water is incorrect?
posted by robokevin at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2014

I can't load your image for some reason, but just to explain what's going on, if your rice cooker has only two buttons, it probably just cooks until the water is gone. As long as there's liquid water in the pot, the pot can't get hotter than the boiling point of water. The control logic checks the pot temperature and turns the heat off when the pot starts climbing above boiling point. So the only control you have is to adjust the amount of water you put in.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:19 PM on August 3, 2014

Nope, it's a Zojirushi with fuzzy logic and presets. Very nice rice cooker.
posted by robokevin at 6:22 PM on August 3, 2014

The Japanese rice cup is actually 180ml, not 200ml. Does your bowl still have the lines on it? If so, please take a picture of it - usually there are 2 or 3 different sets of lines for normal rice, brown rice, congee, etc. This could be why your rice is mushy.

From your picture, it looks like you have this model (link goes to the manual).
posted by xmts at 6:41 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

How long after you pressed the button did you check to see if the rice was cooked? I have a Zojirushi rice cooker, although not your model, and it beeps when it's finished cooking the rice. I typically have to wait 50 minutes or so after turning it on before the rice is done, even for a small amount of rice. (Which is why I make stovetop rice when I am particularly impatient, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook 1 Japanese cup of raw rice.)

Also, were you told that the rice cooker worked when you were given it? There's also the possibility the rice cooker is broken.
posted by needled at 6:47 PM on August 3, 2014

I have the NS-KCC05 that xmts linked to above and it does seem to be the English version of of your picture. The pot should have two sets of fill-lines, one side is porridge/sweet rice, the other is white/mixed rice.

The buttons.

Add desired amount of 180ml 'cups' of rice. Rinse and Fill to appropriate line on the white rice scale. Use Menu buton to change mode if needed. Press Cooking button. When it's ready it will beep a few times and the Keep Warm will activate, press Reset to turn it off when you're done.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:00 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aha, that helps - regarding the fact that 1 Japanese cup is smaller. I have a (non fuzzy logic) Korean rice cooker that I have no problem using, measuring out however number of cups of rice I need and filling water to the marked (in Korean) line. However, this one is causing me trouble. Thank you for deciphering the buttons for me. When I tried to cook in this one, I measured out a (American) cup of rice and fllled to the 1 cup line. I wasn't sure when it was done because it wasn't getting insanely hot and pumping out a lot of steam like my other one. But then it beeped (yes it took a long time, as needled pointed out) but it wasn't done. I kept adding a bit of water and pressing the cook button and waiting for it to beep. It took about 3 tries to get it edible. Probably because of the Japanese cup size and not having enough water. Can you tell me what the difference between these markings are in the bowl? They are on opposite sides of the inside of the bowl. One is rice amount and one is water?

posted by dublin at 5:36 AM on August 4, 2014

The second picture is the water line for normal rice, the first picture is for rice porridge and glutinous rice. And thirding the 180ml rice cup.
posted by Sar at 5:51 AM on August 4, 2014

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