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The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker (Non) Paperback – February 13, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


If the rice cooker is buried in a cupboard, this book can restore and enhance its usefulness...[Hensperger and Kaufmann] know their subject well and aren't stingy with sharing information. --Hartford Courant

It's great to see a book dedicated to an appliance that is integral to creating the core of so many dishes, regardless of the origin of the dish. --Ming Tsai, host of East Meets West, co-author of Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai

Rice cookers are a must in Asian kitchens, and the Hensperger-Kaufmann book makes a convincing case to stock this easy-to-use appliance in every kitchen. --Arizona Republic

About the Author

Beth Hensperger, a New Jersey native who has lived in California since her teens, has been educating, writing, and demo-lecturing about the art of baking for over 30 years. In the last few years, she has shifted focus to countertop appliance-driven cookbooks that embrace adapting traditional and professional recipes for the home cook: the bread machine, the rice cooker, the microwave, and a four-volume compilation specifically for use with the electric slow cooker, stressing personal creativity in preparation and selection of ingredients. Hensperger is the author of over 22 cookbooks, including the best-selling Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook series, which includes NYMSC Recipes for Entertaining, NYMSC Family Favorites, and NYMSC Recipes for Two, along with the blockbuster first volume, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. Her other books include highly-acclaimed titles such as The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, NYM Microwave Cookbook, and NYM Weeknight Cooking. She is also the author of The Bread Bible (Chronicle Books), winner of a James Beard Award in 2000. She has twice been nominated for the Julia Child/IACP Cookbook Award. Hensperger wrote a San José Mercury News food column for twelve years, “Baking with the Seasons.” She is a contributor to dozens of national and online cooking & lifestyle magazines, such as Food & Wine, Rachael Ray Magazine, Veggie Life, Cooking Light, Working Woman, Victoria, Prevention, and Family Circle, and is a sought after newspaper and radio interviewee speaking on slow cooking, bread baking, and entertaining. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Visit her website at and blog at

Julie Kaufmann, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has lived in California since 1979. She is an editor of the food section of the San José Mercury News. Before becoming a food editor, she wrote “Kids in the Kitchen,” a twice-monthly food column for kids, also for the San José Mercury News. She previously worked on West, which was the Sunday magazine for the San José Mercury News, and spent a decade on the paper's business section. In addition to her work at the San José Mercury News, Kaufmann has taught editing in the Communications Department at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, California. Until recently she co-wrote a monthly mystery novel review with her husband for the San José Mercury News. She is an avid home cook who has coauthored several books with Beth Hensperger. Kaufmann lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband and two children. Web:; Facebook presence.


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Product Details

  • Series: Non
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (April 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322035
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

745 of 763 people found the following review helpful By Scott Collard on March 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have owned rice cookers for many years. My latest, the Zojirushi NS-ZAC10, is the best I have ever used. I figured it would be a good idea to branch out from using the rice cooker to cook only rice, so I purchased this highly recommended book.

While the book is very good, and the recipes I have tried so far have all been quite tasty, there is a major consideration that you should be aware of when making many of the recipes in this book: residual odors.

Yes, when you use your rice cooker to make the delicious "creamy breakfast oatmeal" with steel-cut oats, bear in mind that your steamed white rice will smell of cinnamon for at least three or four batches afterwards. My 11-year old (a steamed rice 'purist') noticed the cinnamon 'essence' immediately and complained that 'something was wrong with the rice.'

Similarly with any of the dishes which call for sauteing onions in the rice cooker, or adding other strongly aromatic ingredients. If you use your rice cooker primarily for preparing perfect (and I mean PERFECT) steamed rice, you may not want any other flavors mingling in there.

Just something to keep in mind.

Otherwise, the book is a great resource. There are a few minor inconsistencies (try finding 'congee' in the index), and the resource materials can be a bit confusing (to be fair, the number of rice varieties is quite daunting). And if you are an experienced cook you may get tired of being told the exact procedure for washing rice in every recipe, but all in all, the sheer variety alone is easily worth the price.
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218 of 222 people found the following review helpful By Clara on July 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I love this cookbook, I'm going to tell you about the problems so you can get better results from it.

1. Measuring is a challenge! Depending on your rice cooker, liquids can be measured three ways: using the rice cooker cup, by the marks inside your rice cooker bowl, and by a standard measuring cup [8 fl oz.]. Dry ingredients can be measured by either the rice cooker cup or by a standard dry ingredients measuring cup. Before beginning any recipe, make sure you know what measures are being used, and do not make any recipe for the first time when company is coming over, in case you need to adjust it. Based on numerous recipe failures, I think the writers sometimes mixed up the measurements. They definitely could have made the information clearer in each recipe. How about a revised edition? ;)

2. Some recipes, polenta for example, have overly long cooking times, such as two porridge cycles back to back, or 90 minutes. Polenta cooks on the stovetop in 20 minutes; even a single porridge cycle is too long. Feel free to cut cooking times short.

3. When cooking oatmeal, polenta, grits, etc. with the porridge cycle, open the cover up, and leave it up, once the contents reach a simmer. If you don't, starchy lava will flow out of the vent and make a horrible mess, hot liquid may shoot out, and the recipe may be ruined as a result. If your rice cooker starts to spit, use extreme caution when you open the lid, as the hot contents may splash and burn you.

4. If a recipe says you can skip pre-soaking for tapioca, beans, etc., don't. Your final results will be much better using a traditional overnight soak in cold water.

5. When making risotto, don't perform the first step, briefly sautéing the rice in oil, in the rice cooker.
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255 of 263 people found the following review helpful By P. Crowe on April 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used to use my rice cooker several times a week. With this cook book and my new fuzzy logic rice cooker, I use it several times a day. It will appeal to cooks of all levels. For cooks experienced with rice and whole grains, the most important part of the book will probably be recipes for the porridge cycle of a fuzzy logic cooker: rice porridge, puddings, custards, and hot cereals. Even for experienced rice cooks, however, this book has excellent information on different varieties of rice and different types of dishes. In addition to many styles of rice dishes, it includes recipes for other grains such as couscous, bulgur and grits. It is well laid out and has commentaries on grains and dishes that will enable creative cooks to invent their own recipes as well as using the very tasty recipes included in the book. Although the recipes suggest the size of the cooker to be used, you need to use some common sense. I have a small cooker and have successfully made recipes suggested for other size cookers. This book is utterly clear and easy to follow. All the recipes work, and all taste wonderful. If you have a rice cooker, especially a fuzzy logic cooker, you need this book.
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365 of 395 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous5555 on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading all the reviews of this cookbook, I decided to purchase it. I've been looking for a good rice pudding recipe to be made in a rice cooker.

However, the book is nearly useless to me. Every single recipe in the pudding section calls for using a "fuzzy logic only" cooker. I checked the oatmeal and porridge section as well -- and found the same.

So, it might be a good cookbook for people who own $200 rice cookers, but for the majority of us, the book is just not worth it. There are too few recipes for regular old rice cookers.

(And I find it disingenuous that, when the authors talk about the differences in cookers in the beginning, they fail to note that the majority of their recipes only work in the expensive machine.)
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