Received this Zojirushi 3-cup Micom as a self-holiday gift a week ago. Since then, I’ve made sushi rice, basmati, brown & wild medley, along with various types of dal (basmati and red/yellow lentils with curry) and mujadarah (basmati and green lentils with carmelized onions). I’ve also used the warming part of things to gently steam scallops on top of rice for a New Year’s treat. Yum! Soon I’ll try veggies and flavored broths.
I first put in too much water, since the directions didn’t make it clear that the water measures on the cooking bowl include rice at the bottom. But after I got this right, the results were perfect each time. The rice is as good or better than from a restaurant (plus fresher), and much, much cheaper to make at home, particularly if you purchase rice by the pound. I’m working on my sushi technique, but it’s already tasting good if looking funky. I do advise rinsing, rinsing, rinsing the rice before cooking. Soaking the grains doesn’t really seem necessary, unless you’re using the timer, in which case there is no way around it.
Speaking of which, the timer works great. It was wonderful to wake up to the aroma of fresh rice. I fixed dal a few times and then left for the gym. When I came home, it was ready, steaming hot, perfectly cooked and the house smelled divine. I think it gently steams, then cooks just at or below a boil, and then steams again. So it really is terrific with beans, such as lentils, that easily fall apart with too much rough treatment, but that benefit from a long slow simmer. And, of course, that’s the way to go for rice too.
The Zojirushi is easy to use, doesn’t take up much countertop space, is attractive and easy to carry around. I took it over to a friend’s house for my contribution to a holiday meal. During the car ride, the rice stayed warm in the bowl and helped keep some bread wrapped in foil warm. Actually the warm function keeps rice warm for hours with no diminishment of the quality. The Zojirushi makes cute sounds when it starts up and finishes cooking. Also it’s a snap to clean! No nasty white residue and boiled over starch, or scalding steam or water. It truly cleans up in a minute, which is amazing in itself.
What’s not to like? Well, the price! But Amazon was offering $25 off with a kitchen purchase of over $125. So, although I also considered the 3.5 cup Sanyo (which costs $99) — which perhaps has a better, thicker bowl — there wasn’t really any savings. Since this is a newer model rice cooker, probably manufactured to compete with the Sanyo, the Zojirushi is what I went with. It’s perfect for me. If you make bigger batches of rice at one time, though, I suppose a larger size would be better. Amazon offered the best deal, BTW, including eBay, shopping locally, etc, since there was no tax or S/H.
I considered American rice cookers, hot pot styles, etc. They all looked like junk, and I wasn’t convinced that they wouldn’t turn out messy, glue-like rice. I’m glad I went ahead and got the best for my uses. The quality of rice and beans has been outstanding. Plus I can’t get over how much money I’m saving by not buying take-out, and I get to season the food to my liking. There is hardly any food that is cheaper, more comforting or nutritious than rice and beans, and you can keep the oil and butter to a minimum to keep the calories low while not feeling deprived. I’m going to use it to pack lunches too, which means the Zojirushi will pay for itself in one month. Since it arrived, I’ve hardly used the microwave and hardly have eaten any meat. And, boy, does food taste better! Totally highly recommended