on April 28, 2003
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.
on December 4, 2003
I bought this book before I purchased my rice cooker. I really wanted to prepare beans and whole grains, not just rice. I learned that I could use this appliance in many ways. It made me so excited to purchase a rice cooker. All questions are answered. You CAN use this book to prepare many healthful foods in the basic on off rice cooker. There are only a few recipes that require the fuzzy logic rice cooker. I don't think I have ever had a cookbook that was so well written and entertaining to read, or easy to follow.
on October 25, 2005
I use this cookbook quite often and the recipes are very good.
If you want to use every recipe in the book, you will need two rice cookers. The Tiger JAE-A18u 10-cup and a typical large older model auto shut-off with steamer basket which makes sure you can use the recipes for steaming.
I don't know if another reviewer has mentioned this but you can use the Tiger 10 cup to make the 5 cup fuzzy (neuro) logic cooker recipes because the bowl is narrower than other 10 cup machines in its class. I do this all the time for the steel-cut oat recipe, which turns out perfectly every time.
I haven't tried any of the steam recipes but I may do so by using the stove and a steamer basket since I only own the one rice cooker.
I also do NOT recommend making the bean soup recipe in a electronic rice cooker because it smelled like beans and I had to get out the manual and figure out how to clean it and it wasn't worth the mess and trouble. Some things are better left to the stove unless maybe you use the other steamer rice cooker. That probably is easier to clean.
Of the recipes from the book I have tried, they were delicious and easy to follow. Just make sure you note whether the recipe is saying to use a rice-cup or standard measuring cup.
I highly recommend this cookbook along with the TIGER JAE-A18u to maximize its use.
I personally own a 5-cup fuzzy logic rice cooker and in addition to this new edition of Beth Hensperger's and Julie Kaufmann's rice cooker cookbook, I also have the older edition of this book. Both books are excellent.
The first few chapters describe in detail the various rice cookers available and the types of rice. In addition to the recipes that follow, there are various tips listed throughout the cookbook such as a section on "steaming in the rice cooker" located in the vegetable section.
This new version claims to have over 50 new recipes compared to the previous book. What I did notice is that even though there are some new recipes such as:
Beth's Golden Rice with Black Beans
Basmati Rice with Asparagus
Brown Jasmine and Globe Artichoke with Lemon Buttter
Sweet Brown Rice with Curry, Carrots, and Raisins
Greek Hot Rice Salad
I found that some recipes from the previous version of the book are missing such as:
Paella Saute with Saffron and Spanish Rice
Salmon-Stuffed Japanese Rice Balls
This new book is about 1/4 thinner than the previous version, the format is not as colorful, and the index is missing (even though it's mentioned in the front), but that could be because the copy I received is a pre-release version.
Many of the recipes are designed for the fuzzy logic rice cookers as well as for a medium rice cooker or on-off variety; however, most are for the larger size 6 or 10 cup rice cookers. On rare occasions there's a recipe for the small 3-cup rice cooker such as the Coconut Basmati Rice recipe which calls for a small (3-cup) or medium (6-cup) rice cooker, fuzzy logic or on/off.
This book is 368 pages (currently 331 without the index) packed with wonderful recipes and tips about rice cookers, rice, and various other tips (such as "about quinoa"). Although most of the recipes are geared toward the larger or fuzzy logic rice cookers, there is enough variety to supply most people who have a smaller 3-cup fuzzy logic rice cooker with at least several recipes for their rice cooker. Also, who says you can't reduce the recipe to accommodate the size difference. The only thing I would not do is try a "fuzzy logic only" recipe in a non-fuzzy logic rice cooker. Those who have a fuzzy logic cooker will benefit most from this book. In my opinion, either this edition or the first edition are both equally good. I happen to prefer the formatting for the first edition because the recipes are in orange and the instructions in black whereas in this edition everything is in black ink; but that doesn't take away from this being a 5 star "rice cooker" cookbook.
on March 14, 2004
I have been using a rice cooker at least 3x/week for over 16 years, but only to make white rice. I bought this cookbook so that I could explore other ways to use this "must-have" kitchen appliance. I think the book is well worth the price, even if you don't own a "fuzzy logic" rice cooker. There are not too many recipes that call for "fuzzy logic" cookers only. Most recipes can be done with either the "on/off" type (like I have) or the "fuzzy logic" type.
on January 5, 2008
I bought the Zojirushi 10-cup induction rice cooker and love the rice it makes, but I was wondering if there was more I could do with it. Could I use it to cook other whole grains? What is the porridge cycle on it? Could I cook rice meals with other ingredients in the cooker (vegetables, meat)? For me and what I was wanting to know, this book FAR EXCEEDED my hopes and expectations! I learned that I can do many other things with my cooker - I can include vegetables and/or meat when cooking the rice.
Here's what I like about this book:
It explains how the various cookers work; it defines what a 'fuzzy oooker' is (they sense by weight rather than by temperature); it defines how the induction cookers work (a more advanced fuzzy machine in which the sensor unit also judges temperature and moisture proportions).
It explains the importance of and how to wash/rinse the rice.
It explains the benefits of soaking the rice.
It explains the different varieties of rice (with sources for purchase)
I never knew what exactly rice pilaf was - that's explained along with several pilaf recipes.
There are a lot of insets strewn throughout the book ('to wash or not to wash', 'the Lundberg Family Rice Farm' (I love their basmati...), 'to salt or not to salt', toasting various nuts, blanching almonds, 'about ghee', 'risotto in the rice cooker', storing/freezing cooked rice, etc. etc.)
With my variety of cooker which includes a porridge cycle, I was quite pleased to see that the authors found that this cycle can be used for the following:
Risotto, homemade applesauce (you can make chunky or smooth, with or without sugar, with cinnamon - yum!), rice pudding, tapioca pudding, and hot breakfast cereals with various grains.
I think this cookbook is just wonderful for anyone who has bought a fuzzy-logic cooker (basic or an induction-style) and is wanting to do more with it other than just make the basic rice. I particularly like all their explanations and how the information in the book is laid out.
Thanks Beth & Julie! Great Book!
Although I don't own the earlier edition of this cookbook, I had heard wonderful things about it, so when I learned of this 10th Anniversary Edition, I delved right in. With 250 recipes, authors Hensperger and Kaufman try to cover huge ground, and they succeed.
The introduction provides excellent information about the different types of rice cookers and how they work. If you don't yet have a rice cooker, this is the place to start; although it doesn't give brand recommendations, it does explain the differences among types and will help you choose based on how you expect to use one. The next chapter provides 33 recipes on how to cook all the different kinds of rice, from converted to jasmine to black to red -- and everything in between. I especially appreciated the paragraph preceding each recipe that describes the type and its uses. These two basic chapters alone are worth the purchase. Note: Not all cookers work with all recipes, and some require a steamer insert.
But it gets better. In addition to all sorts of rice-with-additions dishes (basmati rice with asparagus, Polynesian Tiki Rice, Purple Jasmine Rice with Ginger, butternut squash risotto), the authors supply whole chapters on grains, legumes, hot breakfast cereals, vegetables, sushi, one-pot meals, international recipes, and sweet puddings/dessert, with interesting and informative text on each. For example, the full page description of the basics of cooking risotto in a rice cooker is informative enough to understand both the dish and the how-tos, giving cooks confidence to experiment with their own recipes.
None of the recipes I tried failed, although some take more effort than others to prepare. For instance, the risotto with wild mushrooms recipe requires sautéeing ingredients in the rice cooker bowl before adding stock and reconstituted mushrooms and using a timer to keep the risotto from overcooking/drying out. But you know what? The results are delicious and still easier than making risotto on the stovetop.
My only criticism of this book is that many of the recipes are just as well suited to a crockpot or stove top. You won't necessarily save time or make it more convenient with these recipes, although, certainly, if you have ONLY a rice cooker (college students, take note!), you can make a variety of great tasting dishes without needing another appliance or even a stove. Vegetarians will find that most recipes are vegetarian- and even vegan-friendly, and those that are not can be easily adapted. (Use good vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.) The curried quinoa, lentil, and brown rice dish went over especially well with my vegetarian daughter.
-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
Because of my diet restrictions, I had to switch over from the easy (but tasteless) instant rice to the wholegrain brown rice.
Having only limited skills in the kitchen, I decided to get a rice cooker because I don't really know what to do with real uncooked rice, so I got a Black & Decker rice cooker. It was great at just cooking the rice and I never entertained doing anything with my rice cooker but making the plain stuff,till I saw this book.
This book has given me a total wake up call with ways to make a much more exciting side dishes than I've ever had before.
The book starts off by giving a simple education to all the different kinds of rice cookers that there are (I had no idea)and then it teaches you about all the different kinds of rice that are available (I had a slight idea about this), the book answers all of my questions that came to mind.
The first thing I tried making was the Mexican Rice and Beans....WOW! Delicious and it was so simple and looks like something I get in a real restaurant, I will be making this one a lot (big Mexican food fan) it is so delicious and Easy.
The next thing I made was the Indian Yellow Rice (I love Indian too), it was even easier than the Mexican and a total taste treat.
This book is really great and I have several recipes that I will be doing over the next few weeks and will be repeating these two as well.
I have limited skills in the kitchen but have eaten many different foods from around the world and have educated tastebuds and now I can make much better foods in my kitchen with this book.
This book's a winner
on June 10, 2012
I have owned this book for five years, and it is my go-to book for anything rice. And when we were remodeling my house (for TWO years - AAHH!), the book was in storage, and I sorely missed it.
I unpacked it a few days ago, and I'm like a kid in a candy store. I'm making all my oldie fav's ---
-- Risi i Bisi (rice and peas) -- I tweak the recipe to make it with long grain brown rice (I'm a health but), and it tastes AMAZING. (I'm eating a second bowl of it now as I type) ;-p
-- Vegetable Paella -- to die for. I tried many times to recreate the recipe while the book was in storage, and I failed utterly. I made it last night, and it was just as I remembered it.
-- Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto -- I have the mushrooms and asparagus cut and cleaned, in the fridge, waiting to be made tomorrow.
-- Italian sausage risotto -- I make this with Tofurkey brand vegetarian Italian sausage. Scrumptious.
-- Thai curried rice -- I have NEVER tasted rice this good in a Thai restaurant. The flavors are exquisite.
-- Moroccan Brown rice -- I love this, except that I convert it to an Indian dish: I add some Garam Masala and a bunch of veggies (carrots, onion, potatoes, as wells as peas and pan-seared cauliflower at the last minute) to turn it into the best vegetarian Biriyani I have ever had.
There is a long list of recipes that I WANT to try, but I am so enamored with the ones that I mention above that I never get around to the other recipes. I mean, really, how much rice can a family eat? Excuses aside, I must discipline myself to try the other recipes....
Can you tell that I like this book?!
Oh, and although I have a fancy rice cooker, I usually cook the recipes in my cheapo Black and Decker rice cooker (also bought on Amazon.com). I have to catch it just as it clicks to "Keep-Warm" and take the bowl out of the cooker right away... otherwise, the bottom gets a bit browned. This is yummy in some recipes, but undesirable in others. However, this comment has nothing to do with this book, other than the fact that you don't need a $250 rice cooker to make these wonderful recipes. (I use my cheapo rice cooker because it's smaller, easier to get out of the cupboard and easier to clean.)
= = = UPDATE 22 December 2012 = = =
I have a large collection of cookbooks, but I rarely use them. There are, however, three cookbooks that I keep in my kitchen... and this book is one of them.
As mentioned, I use a cheapo rice cooker, and I have no problem with the recipes. My only "gripe" is that the recipes use six-ounce "cups" -- I mentally convert each recipe to REAL cups, otherwise I can't "think" with the recipes. And yeah, sometimes I have to adjust the remaining ingredients of a recipe, but I've never had a problem. The recipes are really forgiving, and I've rarely had a dud. (The only duds have been when I had too much liquid in relation to the amount of rice. So I usually slightly underestimate the water. I can easily add more water, but I can't salvage a soggy batch of rice.)
Some of my new "favs" are:
-- French Pilaf (page 103) -- This produces the most AMAZING rice for when I serve vegetarian (or meat) shish-kabobs, and pairs EXTREMELY well with Middle-Eastern dishes such as Turkish lentil soup. Just make sure you saute the onions and rice long enough before adding the water. Also, slightly underestimate the water. This is way better when it is slightly a-la-dent.
-- Mexican rice and beans (page 80-81). I add one chile in adobe sauce for added kick. Excellent one pot meal with a side salad, salsa and chips. (Add some cheese if you eat dairy)
-- Butternut squash rissoto (page 120) -- OMG!! Did I die and go to heaven? I roast the butternut squash and then add it at the last moment. I also cook the rice with a little sage and thyme and a can of white cannellini beans for a one-pot meal (we are 80% vegan with the occasional lapse to keep our tummies happy)
In all, this is a really useful book. Sometimes I use the recipes exactly, and sometimes I use them as a starting point. The important thing to keep in mind is the RATIO of rice to water. Usually, the ratio is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water... minus a little bit if you like your rice firm (which is how I like my rice), but the ratio can change a little depending on the type of rice. I always check the package of rice to see what the manufacturer recommends, and then I adjust a recipe accordingly.
I've found the recipes to be really forgiving. I can have more or less of most any ingredient. The only thing that is CRUCIAL is the ratio of rice to liquid, and I solve that by slightly underestimating the liquids.
And remember, vegetables are 70 - 80% water. Because I like to add lots of vegetables, I always subtract a suitable amount from the water/broth. If I add a cup of vegetables, I subtract 1/3 or 1/2 cups of water from the recipe. (I like to "overload" my rice dishes with vegetables -- it reduces calories... yay!)
on December 20, 2003
After buying a Zojirushi NS-ZAC 10 rice cooker, I knew I had to buy this book. I'd checked it out from the library but there are simply too many good recipes that I had to buy it. This is the bible for anyone owning a rice cooker. Only problem is it has recipes for both fuzzy logic and on/off type machines and now I find myself wishing I had both so I could try more recipes!