How to Steam Fish Over Rice in a Rice Cooker


A rice cooker is primarily designed for cooking rice. But these days, most rice cookers are capable of cooking various food items such as vegetables, beef, chicken, and fish. That’s right, you can cook fish in a rice cooker! If you want to know how, you’ve stumbled upon the right article. Read on!

Can I Use a Rice Cooker to Steam Fish?

Yes, you can use a rice cooker to make steamed fish! It is an excellent appliance that lets you have a healthy, simple dish without exerting much effort. Fish cooked in a rice cooker is exactly that: nutritious and easy to make, and you won’t even need to use multiple pots for it.

How Do You Steam Fish in a Rice Cooker?

Steaming fish using a rice cooker is pretty easy! For this tutorial, we’ll be using salmon as an example but you can definitely use any fish or recipe that you want. Check out the steps below:

  1. Before cooking, make sure that your fish fits perfectly into your cooker or steam basket.
  2. Scale and wash the salmon fish fillets. 
  3. Season the salmon. Pour a dollop of olive oil all over the fish and rub it with your fingers. You can sprinkle salt and pepper all over the fish, squeeze lemon juice, or rub minced garlic, scallions, chopped onions, ginger, hot chili, or other flavors over it. If you want to bring out the flavor in your spices, cook them on low for a minute or two in olive oil until they turn slightly brown. You may also prepare a sauce if desired.
  4. Fill the inner pot with water. 
  5. Place your steaming plate or basket on top of the inner pot. Make sure that the water level is below the steamer basket.
  6. You can line the basket with parchment paper to prevent the fish from sticking to the surface.
  7. Put the salmon into the steamer basket. You can drizzle some sesame oil and soy sauce over the fish. 
  8. Cover with the lid and cook salmon on the lowest setting. If the cooker does not offer setting selections, simply press the cook button on your rice cooker.
  9. Set a timer and cook the salmon for 10 minutes. If you’re cooking a whole fish, check for doneness after 12 minutes.
  10. Transfer the steamed salmon (and sauce, if you have it) to a serving plate.
  11. Garnish with vegetables and serve.

How Much Water Do I Add to My Rice Cooker for Steaming?

It depends but in general, the amount of water should be below the steamer rack or basket. Some use around 3 cups of water while others use 2 cups.

Can I Cook Rice and Steam Fish at the Same Time in a Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can make rice and steamed fish at the same time in a rice cooker. The key to having perfectly cooked rice and steamed fish is adding the fish just as the rice finishes cooking. Here’s a short recipe on how to make fish and rice in one cooker at the same time:

  1. Prepare your fish. If you’re using a frozen one, thaw it thoroughly first and then briefly rinse it under running tap water to clean it. If there’s a fishy smell, pour hot water all over it. Pat dry.
  2. Season your fish to give it flavor. Use any seasoning that you like: it can be salt, pepper, minced garlic, chopped onion, or olive oil, or you can even marinate it in soy sauce.
  3. Place rice in the cooker’s inner pot and pour in the appropriate amount of liquid needed. You may use water or broth.
  4. Cook the rice in the normal mode. Set a timer to alarm you once the rice is done cooking.
  5. When the timer beeps, open the rice cooker. Place your steamer basket or rack over the cooked rice.
  6. Place your seasoned fish into the steamer basket. If you do not have a steamer basket, you can place the fish directly on top of the rice.
  7. Close the lid of the rice cooker and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of your fish fillets. Don’t forget to set a timer.
  8. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the fish, and set it aside.
  9. Scoop some rice into a plate or a bowl, and lay your fish over the rice. Garnish the fish with lemon slices and herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro, or ginger.
  10. Serve with broccoli on the side.

Final Note

Rice cookers are incredibly handy to have, bringing anyone a delicious bowl of rice every time. Aside from rice, it can also be used to steam food such as vegetables, meat, and fish. If you want to eat a simple, healthy dish but can’t be bothered to use your stove, a rice cooker has your back. Use it to steam fish and rice at the same time, allowing you to have a complete and healthy meal without any hassle.