Help me understand my Japanese rice cooker!
May 23, 2006 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Japanese readers: help me get the most from my (Japanese) rice cooker!

Four or five years ago, I "inherited" a Japanese rice cooker. I do not speak or read Japanese. I managed to figure out that the red button makes rice and the blue button stops making rice, but I'm sure there is additional complexity (texture of rice? a setting for making brown rice?) that I've been missing all this time.

So if you read Japanese and have some spare time, could you mark up this photo or explain these controls a bit here? Thanks!
posted by uncleozzy to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: done.
posted by misozaki at 3:39 PM on May 23, 2006

Best answer: Up & down arrows on left are for setting the clock (or probably timer); the button under the arrows says "Reservation" (probably means "set the current time on the timer"). Rice cookers often have some way to set them up the night before so you have fresh-cooked rice for breakfast. Sometimes it's just a "start X hours from now" setting, and sometimes the cooker has a clock and you can set the time you want the rice to be ready.

On the right, I can't read the top button, can read the middle but don't know what it means, and the bottom says "Select Keep Warm" (that one probably rotates through several times and/or temperatures for keeping already-cooked rice hot & ready to eat).

The red button says "Cook Rice," and in smaller characters, "Reheat." The blue button says "Off/Keep Warm." I'd guess you press it once to go to "Keep Warm" mode, and again to turn it off (or vice versa).

There may be a rice porridge ("o-kayu") mode, but it's somewhat less likely to have a brown rice mode. I don't think most Japanese rice makers have many different settings for types of rice, because Japanese people generally only eat short grain white rice.

posted by spacewrench at 3:39 PM on May 23, 2006

Best answer: This is my wife's quick translation of the buttons. I hope it makes sense:

On the left: at the top, Timer adjustment; at the bottom it's the timer button.

The buttons in the middle are Start (or cook) and Off / keep warm.

On the right, from top to bottom: Soak; choose softness and type of rice; temperature to keep the rice warm at (relates to the blue button).

The icons above the clock (left to right): White rice (white on black icon, soft, hard; Quick cook (white on black icon), sushi rice, small amount of rice.

The icons below the clock: temperature to keep the rice warm (like button right, bottom) - Normal and Moderate (slightly less warm than usual).
posted by Grangousier at 3:45 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: You guys are awesome, thanks! (And misozaki, yes, I can read the Japanese characters in your flickr comment. Thanks a lot!)
posted by uncleozzy at 3:47 PM on May 23, 2006

I've found the solution for burnt/browned/stuck rice is to use more water the next time 'round.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:34 PM on May 23, 2006

the solution for burnt/browned/stuck rice

Mixed with warm water to make a gruel, that stuff is the end to many meals in Korea. It's considered delicious, and I've developed a taste for it myself -- it's called 누룽지 (nooroongji). One of the many ways that Koreans have internalized widespread poverty in recent, living memory, and made the marginal food that was eaten then a delicacy on the modern table (at least that's my take on it).

(Don't get me started on organ meat or salted fish guts...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:59 AM on May 24, 2006

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