How to Steam Vegetables in a Rice Cooker


The easiest way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle is by steaming vegetables — and you can use an electric rice cooker for that. It’s an excellent way to cook vegetables without olive oil or butter. They turn out to be very tender and delicious and retain their color, flavor, and nutrients!

Including steamed vegetables in your meals will help you meet your daily nutrient requirements for a healthy body.

When learning how to steam vegetables in a rice cooker, the most common difficulties are deciding how many cups of water to use, its steaming process, and the cooking time. Keep reading this article for a step-by-step guide on how to steam vegetables in a rice cooker!

How Do You Steam Vegetables in a Rice Cooker?

Steaming vegetables in a rice cooker is possible in various ways. The most common method is to put the vegetables in a streaming basket or tray placed on top of the rice cooker.

You don’t need fancy equipment to steam vegetables, though a rice cooker comes with a steamer basket to fit inside the pot. It is still possible to steam vegetables if this kitchen tool is unavailable in your household.

If your rice cooker’s steaming basket is unavailable, you can also place a trivet in the bottom of the rice cooker and place the veggies in a bowl.

Prepare your small steamer basket or other kitchen items, such as a mesh strainer, then follow these steps to steam vegetables in a rice cooker:

  • First, add 2 to 3 cups of water to the rice cooker.
  • Put your choice of vegetables in the steamer basket, then place the basket in the cooker and cover it.
  • Begin steaming by pressing the cook button.
  • Vegetables should be steamed until tender or to your liking.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to unplug the cooking pot after steaming vegetables.

Depending on its features, most rice cookers require a longer cooking time than usual. But you won’t need any instruction manual once you’ve steamed or cooked veggies a few times. You will learn to estimate and vary your steaming time!

Other Recipes to Try With Steamed Vegetables in Rice

Since many rice cookers have a limited capacity to cook rice and steam vegetables concurrently in a steamer basket, you can steam vegetables over the rice as it cooks. It only works best when you want to cook rice in small batches.

Be selective of your veggies because some vegetables steam more quickly than others. After you’ve cooked and steamed vegetables a few times, you can adjust the portion based on the rice cooking cycle.

Consuming brown rice is another option for making a healthy dish, though it takes twice as long to cook. If you decide to set and forget as the rice cooks, remember to choose vegetables that are thick in texture, such as carrots, to avoid them becoming mushy.

If you are interested in steaming vegetables over rice, here are some recommendations and recipes to get you started!

Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower

If the florets are large enough to be placed in a steam basket, you can steam cauliflower over cooked white rice in a rice cooker. While steaming broccoli florets require a different cooking time than cauliflower since they cook more quickly.

To steam broccoli, cook for 5 to 6 minutes, and be careful not to overcook it. Once ready, season broccoli with any of your favorite seasonings and serve it over white rice.

Steamed Asparagus

First, rinse and cut the ends of the vegetables. Arrange in an even layer at the bottom of the rice cooker pot. Add water until it reaches about 1 inch up in the rice cooking pot, and then set the rice cooker to steam mode. The cooking time is 5 to 7 minutes until the asparagus is tender and cooked. Once ready, serve it as a main dish or side dish.

Steamed Sweet Potato

Wash them thoroughly, then chop them into even pieces. Next, fill the rice cooker pot with water, ensuring it reaches the level of the steamer basket. After that, put the sweet potatoes in the rice cooker with the steamer basket. And finally, press the start button on the rice cooker and let them cook evenly until ready.

Steamed Green Beans

Here’s a recipe for steamed green beans that you can put over cooked rice. This recipe suggests adding seasonings to elevate its flavor. After cooking rice and steaming vegetables, remove the vegetable steamer from the rice cooker.

Finally, you can devour these savory steamed green beans over cooked white rice. It will turn out so delicious.

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

To steam vegetables in a rice cooker, you will need water to cook them. The water from the rice cooker is what produces the hot steam inside. A rice cooker requires a different water ratio, which may vary depending on how much you need to cook.

Typically, for every 2 cups of veggies you wish to cook or steam, you use 1 cup of water. However, if you are unsure how much water to use, add water to cover the bottom of your rice cooker.

Now that you know how to steam vegetables in a rice cooker, you can choose from different rice cookers and multi-cookers in the market. Rice cookers are highly versatile and may be used to prepare a selection of foods.

You can cook fish, chicken meat, dumplings, soups, and even desserts in your rice cooker in addition to steaming vegetables!

Final Note

There you have it! We recommend this method for those who refuse to use a stove for cooking and want hassle-free meal recipes.

We hope we have guided you on tips and tricks to help you get the best results. Try it out to start living healthily and save time on meal preparations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you steam carrots in a rice cooker?

You certainly can! Steamed carrots are an excellent option because they maintain a lot of their nutrients when prepared in this way.

First, wash the carrot and slice it thinly. Next, fill the rice cooker with water until it reaches the steaming basket. After adding the carrots to the basket, cover it with the lid, and press the cook button.

Steam the carrots for about 15 minutes or until soft. When cooked, season them to taste with salt and pepper.

How can you steam vegetables in a rice cooker without a basket?

There are other ways to steam vegetables in a rice cooker if a steamer basket is unavailable. Using a little trivet, place the vegetables to steam in a small bowl, plate, or even on a sheet of foil with a lid. You can also use foil balls as a platform for steamed vegetables by placing a bowl or plate on top of the foil balls.

Another way is to steam vegetables in a bowl or colander that you put into the insert along with the water. Alternatively, place a small wire mesh strainer over the pot of vegetables and cover it with a lid. Make sure not to leave the lid open. Secure the cover top of the rice cooker with a clean kitchen towel to prevent the wire mesh from opening the lid and preventing hot steam from escaping.

Lastly, if you’re cooking rice, the greens and other delicate veggies can go on top of the cooked rice. If you open the lid immediately, the rising steam from the rice will slowly cook the vegetables.