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Posted on Nov 13, 2008 | 891 comments

Fancy rice cooker giveaway

Fancy rice cooker giveaway

High-end Zojirushi IH rice cooker Panasonic SR-NA10 rice cooker

(Nov. 20 UPDATE: The rice cooker giveaway is now closed; see the announcement of the winners here.)

Need a new rice cooker but don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy one? I’ve got a Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup rice cooker with Induction Heating (IH) and a Panasonic SR-NA10 5.5-cup rice cooker with fuzzy logic to pass on to two lucky U.S. readers. To enter, leave one comment below with your favorite rice-related tip by midnight on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, and I’ll choose two comments at random on November 20 using the random number generator. The first pick will receive the Zojirushi ($350 value, the same one that Ajinomoto and Zojirushi recently gave away in their Lunchbox Photo Contest), the second will receive the Panasonic ($150 value). (Read on for full giveaway details.)

Steaming carrots with rice in a rice cooker (finished)For your rice-related tip, be creative! Any of these would be interesting:

The rice cookers will be will be the same ones that I tested by cooking rice in them, so they’re now slightly used. Panasonic and Zojirushi kindly sent me their best rice cookers for the U.S. market to test out, but my Product Reviews policy prohibits me from keeping anything valued over US$40 so it’s time to pass them on. The list price for the Zojirushi is US$347 (street price around $287), and the list price for the Panasonic is US$150 (street price around $118). A round of thanks go to both companies for donating these good-quality rice cookers and paying for shipping to the winners.

Panasonic vs. Zojirushi high-end rice cookersOnly one comment per person on this post please, and you must have a shipping address in the U.S. to win. (Sorry to my international readers.) Comments without rice-related tips will not be considered. Entries close at midnight Pacific time on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, and I’ll post the winner on Thursday, November 20, 2008. Stay tuned for the full rice cooker shootout review, and good luck!



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  1. being an Asian (Filipino), rice is a permanent fixture in our dining table. there are viands which go well with garlic fried rice. but instead of going through all the trouble of actually frying the rice, we sometimes just crush garlic chips and sprinkle them on hot steaming rice. ;)

  2. I use my old Oster rice cooker for cooking sticky white rice as well as Hispanic style rice dishes. For Mexican rice, I like to toss all the seasonings in the cooker along with some tomatoes.

  3. Cooking rice with a broth or stock in place of the water gives it a bit of flavor, it’s delicious.

  4. I haven’t read all 898 comments (yet) so hope I’m not repeating anything.

    My favorite way to eat rice may be as cold leftovers. Cold white rice with milk and cinnamon and a little sugar is an excellent breakfast or snack. Dead easy and I think I even like it better than rice pudding or something fancier.

    I think everyone has already covered any tips I might have for cooking rice and I already see some others I’d like to try.

  5. My only real tip about rice involves steaming Jasmine rice then cover it with cinnamon and sugar. Its SO good and you forget its (more or less) healthy for you. I eat it as dessert often!

  6. Hi, Biggie!

    My favorite thing to do with rice is to sprinkle it with some dried, ground Thai peppers, then put a dollop of Sri..Srach.. you now, that wonderful hot sauce. I find that this goes wonderful with a great meal of Thai beef lettuce rolls. Thank you for a lovely site!

  7. As a gluten-free, rice crazy girl I can’t tell you how much I want one of those rice cookers to replace my $20 asian market wonder.

    My tips…

    I like to make Japanese or Indian themed rice. Our method for making Indian rice comes from the great rice cooker cookbook. You heat a little sesame oil in the rice cooker (yes, alone) and then add black mustard seeds and cumin. Let the spices pop and then add your water, basmati rice (rinsed), a splash of lime juice and salt. Set your rice cooker and let it figure out the timing!

    Our Japanese style rice is more of the DH’s project. He liked to add sesame oil, vegetables, and even tuna to short grained japanese rice in the rice cooker and turn it on. Sometimes I will make umeboshi plum rice with rice and black sesame seeds… mmmm.

    Oh, and we always rinse the rice until it runs clear. We have a great rice strainer from a hyaku en shop.

  8. I now use a rice cooker to steam sticky [glutinous] rice. So much easier than steaming it on the stovetop. Just use less water than for regular rice, because glutinous rice is usually soaked overnight.

    I’ll cook the other ingredients [aromatics, meat, seasonings] on the stovetop, mix it with the cooked rice and replace the mixed-up rice into the rice cooker pot that I’ll have lined with a soaked lotus leaf. It’s like a giant rice packet from a dim sum restaurant.

    I don’t know about the newer, fancy cookers, but I’ve also used a rice pot to cook pasta and make soup.

  9. Glad I made it in time! Last night I waited until the rice was just set in the pan, but still steaming/bubbling and added a bag of baby spinach (I crammed it in there), by the time the rice was done, the spinach was done. It was great! I hope I win, but the chance to read everyone else’s comments was fun too!

  10. My favorite super-quick, super-simple, when-I’m-feeling-super-lazy lunch is made of three ingredients: cooked brown rice, frozen shelled edamame, and some sweet chili (Mae Ploy!) sauce. Throw it all into the microwave for a couple minutes, and out comes a bowl full of happiness. Yum!!!

  11. My favorite is to put strongly flavored or well marinated meat in the rice cooker while the rice is cooking. It cooks the meat and gives the rice a wonderful flavor.

  12. On the stove, I put the rice in boiling water, let it boil up again, then take it off the heat for awhile. I always end up burning it unless I’m right there when the burner’s on.

  13. A fast staple meal in my household (ok, studio-apartment-holdS) is beans and rice, with a twist.

    I make brown rice, and then cook beans (either cannelloni or black) on the stove, add the rice, stir it all together, and then add a bit of shredded cheese to hold it all together. Warm, filling, and CHEAP!

  14. In under the wire on this one

    Add a tablespoon of oil to the water when cooking rice so the grains stay separate and don’t stick together.

    To keep rice (especially brown rice) fresh longer, store it in the refrigerator.

  15. My favorite rice dish is beyond simple: A bowl of jasmine rice topped with: fake crab meat, a couple of flower fish cakes, some furikake, and low sodium soy sauce. I’ve been having it for dinner a lot lately. :)

    My only tip is this: learn how much water to how much rice. I often get a crispy bottom when cooking in a rice cooker.

  16. Didn’t see this mentioned, so forgive me if I overlooked it…

    My mom always used to put a few grains of rice in our salt shaker to keep it from clumping up.

  17. Wow, I’ve learned a lot of neat new things! My tip is…

    When making onigiri, NEVER use Basmati rice. Basmati seems to flake apart with too much water and the texture isn’t right for the nummy goodness of an onigiri.

  18. I use day old rice for sushi. It seems to stick better.

  19. Rice loves sauces! Even when we eat all of something at supper, if there is sauce leftover I will dribble it over the top of my rice in my bento. Even just a little adds a nice flavor the next day. (Yesterday I had leftover General Tso’s chicken sauce: yummy!)

  20. Hi,

    My tip is try cooking the rice with homemade chicken stock. Makes it taste super good.

  21. Hi!

    Some of the things I do have already been listed though I did want to add–When growing up, my Mom (who is originally from Japan) always stressed how important is was to rinse the rice even though I pointed out the bag would say it was not needed. To this day, I always hear her in my head when preparing rice. The one time I didn’t rinse the rice, it didn’t taste the same though I am not sure if it was due to the lack of rinsing or the guilt I felt for not doing it. :)

    The only thing that I can think of is when making fried rice to add some butter at the end. It adds flavor and a shine to the rice.

  22. When cooking rice, add a broth/water mix to give the rice some flavor. The water mix is so the flavor is faint.

    My favorite snack to eat that is rice related is plain sticky rice with really sweet mangos or bananas :)

  23. When cooking brown rice in the rice cooker, I just put an extra bit of water, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then cook it just the same!

  24. If you do about 1-1/2 times the water, you can make brown rice a bit sticky – then you can mold it in a rice mold, or shape it with sticky wrap. It also holds together better when you put it in a bento.

  25. I add dried peas or beans to my rice, and by the time the rice cooks, they are cooked as well and add a nice texture to the rice.

  26. - Steaming other foods like Chinese sausage and eggs can cut cooking time.

    - Sticky rice is versatile and is popular in many cultures. Good in savoury dishes (sticky rice with chicken and mushrooms) and in sweet dishes (sticky rice with coconut sauce and mangoes)

  27. I just recently learned that you are supposed to wash jasmine rice through a few rinses before cooking. Rice comes out fluffier and less sticky.

  28. Sara’s Rice Cooking Tip: Save throw away rice water to water your garden or larger potted plants.

  29. My only rice tip is that olive oil helps rice stick together better if it is cooled (which is weird, seeing as oil is usually suppose to make things unsticky) and that rice is less sticky if you don’t rinse it first (less starch?)

  30. Leftover rice makes a great breakfast the next day topped with milk and sugar. Kids love it!

  31. I love mixing beef broth and cooking rice until it becomes gruel. Then I add soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil. What a comfort food.

  32. My favorite rice cooking tip is very simple and basic, but an easily ignored detail. Make sure you have a nice, sturdy pot and keep the lid on it in order to trap the steam in!

  33. I have made Spanish rice in the rice cooker and it is great! You take long grain rice that you fry with a little oil in a frying pan for a few minutes, a can of diced tomatoes, some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and chicken broth. So easy!

  34. If you soak Japanese short grain rice for about 10 minutes after you wash it,then cook it, it turns out perfect in the rice cooker!

  35. A fast and delicious side dish is Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice with a can or two of sliced mushrooms. Throw it all in the rice cooker and voila! People will think you put a lot of effort into this side dish that goes with everything!

  36. A tip my grandma taught me to make sure you have the right level of water to cook the rice…

    1) Add water to the rice.
    2) Stick your hand in the water, right over the rice.
    3) The water level should come up to your knuckles.
    4) Cook the rice.

    Voila! Perfect rice.

  37. Rice Breakfast:

    put raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla in your leftover rice, maybe a little nutmeg (good for either brown or white rice.

    then when it’s done and the raisins have plumped up, add either vanilla yogurt, plain yogurt, or soymilk, or milk.

    can be sweetened if you like, or add frozen fruit to it.


  38. Thank you for keeping such a great site! I am very curious as to how the rice cooker shoot out went and was wondering when we might see the review?
    I am currently shopping for one and would love to hear the results!
    Thanks again!

  39. @936 from Megan: Ah, it went well — I should be putting the writeup up in the next week. :-)

  40. Have to share a silly rice story. When I was single I used to strain rice, never had a problem doing it at all. But when I met my wife she explained that you only have to boil rice.

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