Rice cookers are very simple and easy to use, and they take the hard work out of cooking rice.
Basically, how a rice cooker works is you have a pot that boils the water until it’s gone and then you have freshly cooked rice.
Rice cookers are easy to work with, and they have very simple controls like an ‘On’ button and the ‘keep warm’ button.
Did you know that you can steam veggies in the rice cooker? Or lentils, beans, millet?
That’s right; they are not just a machine used to cook rice. Let’s find out how.
How To Steam Vegetables In A Rice Cooker
To steam veggies in your rice cooker, you need to add ½ cup of water to the pot, then add three rolled-up balls of foil into the bottom. Place a bowl on the foil balls, ensuring it is heat-proof. Put the lid on the rice cooker and bring the water to a boil. Once boiled, add the veggies, then cover and cook until they are tender and crisp.
Steam Vegetables In A Rice Cooker
There are rice cookers that come with a basket that fits in perfectly. To stem your veggies, if you have a basket like this, it is really easy.
You need to add the right amount of water that is recommended for your cooker.
Throw in the vegetables you want to steam, place the basket evenly in the middle of the pot and close the lid.
Steam your veggies this way until they have reached the doneness that you prefer.
You might have a rice cooker that controls the pressure or has its own steaming functions.
Some types will require you to choose the steam option from the menu then using the button on the front to choose how long for.
Other types get you to continue pressing the steam button until the time you want is reached.
The machine will either start automatically once you have set the time you want, or you might need to start it yourself.
Now the timer won’t actually begin until the water has reached boiling point.
So you are actually cooking them longer than you have punched into the control.
Allow the time for the water to reach boiling point, and for the time it will take to cook the veggies.
Can You Steam The Veggies Over Rice?
You can cook the rice and steam veggies on top, sure!
This does, however, work only when you are cooking a small batch of rice.
Rice cookers don’t have much room in them for the steaming basket and the rice.
Certain veggies actually steam better than others, so check that out before choosing your veggies.
For example, if you have cauliflower florets that are large in size, they can be cooked with the rice.
Brown rice takes longer than white rice to cook, so if you are steaming veggies with brown rice and you set and forget, you will probably have over steamed and mushy veggies at the end.
You can wait until the rice is half done, then add your veggies.
If you do this, ensure that you are careful when opening the cooker, as the steam can burn your skin.
Tips For Steaming Vegetables
You can adapt the choices of veggies that you want to steam.
Such as cauliflower cooks slower than broccoli.
If you are cooking carrots with broccoli that steams faster than carrots, try cutting them smaller or slicing them up.
This will allow all your veggies to cook evenly.
Some rice cookers have a shallow steamer, and you need to think about space.
You can add enough sliced carrots and beans, for example, but adding more than one or two potatoes or pieces of pumpkin is near impossible.
Using A Rice Cooker With A Steam Basket
Some rice cookers don’t come with a steam basket, and if this is your case, there are a few options available.
A trivet that can fit inside your cooker can be used, and the veggies can go inside a bowl or on a sheet of foil even.
You can also use rolls of tin foil squeezed into balls and set a plate on them, so it works as a platform to sit the veggies.
If you have a colander, you can pop that into the rice cooker and add your vegetables to that if you can find one small enough to fit.
If you find that whatever you use is a little too big and keeps the lid open only slightly, you can use a tea towel to cover it, so the steam is trapped inside and cannot escape.
If you are already cooking some rice in the cooker and you have only a few veggies that will steam fast can be put in on top of the rice.
To do this right, when the cooker is finished, quickly open the lid, chuck the veggies on top, and then close it again.
The warmth and steam that is still inside will cook the veggies as the rice slowly cools.
Veggies are so good for you, and now when you have rice, you can add them, so you only have one pot to clean instead of the veggie pot and the rice pot.
It helps to have a steam basket to steam your veggies in the rice cooker, but if you don’t, then there are others ways to steam the veggies in the rice cooker.
Enjoy tender veggies that are full of flavor. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions about Steaming Veggies
Can You Steam Carrots In The Rice Cooker?
You can steam carrots in the rice cooker, which takes about 12 to 15 minutes. Put your carrots in, close the lid, and set the timer. Eat and enjoy.
Is It Possible To Steam Broccoli In The Rice Cooker
After rinsing the broccoli in water, cut into florets, then into slices. Add into the rice cooker with 1/3 water in the cooker. Steam until you reach the desired tenderness.