Achieving Rice Perfection

Whilst our premium rice cookers are extremely robust and almost fool proof sometimes we do get questions about their use. Our instruction manuals detail many tips, tricks and answers to many questions but on this page we have complied some of the more regular information requested for your reference. Often issues come down to human error so please check through these things first before getting in touch with us should you keep having problems.

Typical problems can be easily solved such as a power cord needing to be pushed further into the cooker, or the user filling up water to the wrong rice level or using milk when making oat porridge instead of water (then adding milk after cooking). Whatever the issue, most of the time it is usually not the rice cooker at fault. However, we have a very flexible approach to these things with our very generous Yum warranty to give you peace of mind and as always we respond to emails or chats very quickly so you don’t have to wait long to get any issues resolved.
Hands lifting Ninja bowl out of Sakura rice cooker in USA

Tips for cooking perfect rice

There are many different ways to cook rice. Some are better than others. Check out our advice for great tasting rice every time.


Use a good rice cooker

Whilst not essential a good rice cooker with fuzzy logic technology does more than simply boil the rice. It steams, braises and other cooking techniques to achieve optimal taste, texture and aroma.

Rice-pan-cooking icon

Use a saucepan but do it right

The most common method of cooking rice is the boiling method in a saucepan. Often a lot of nutrients are lost in this method but if the process involves some steaming then the results can be satisfactory


Use good quality rice

Use a good quality grain which doesn't have many broken grains. If using a rice cooker choose the right function for the rice you are cooking. Do not use pre-cooked rice.


Wash your rice if needed

Not all rice needs washing but if your rice is particularly starchy then run through cold water using a sieve or similar until the water runs more clear.


Use the right amount of water

Different rice types require different amounts of water. This amount is also determined by the amount of rice you are cooking. You can either use rice cooker bowl level lines to assist with this or try work out the ratio of rice to water yourself.


Leave to rest

When finished cooking in either a pan or a rice cooker remove the cover, gently stir the rice to release excess moisture and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Leaving on keep warm in a rice cooker with the lid shut after stirring works best.

  1. Always buy the very best rice they can – we advise you use basmati and Thai jasmine rice for  plain white rice or short grain rice for specific Japanese dishes.
  2. When choosing packs of rice, make sure there aren’t too many broken grains as this can cause problema with rice being sticky, stodgy or mushy
  3. Read the packet carefully to ensure the rice isn’t any kind of quick cook or partially cooked rice – this is not suitable for using in fuzzy logic rice cookers.
  4. Before cooking, pour your rice out into the measuring cup and transfer to a sieve and rinse under cold running water until the liquid runs clear. The starch in the rice can often be the culprit for soggy rice. You can also use a bowl for this, swirling the water around the rice grains and draining, repeat until the water is clear. Do not wash rice in your rice cooker bowl.
  5. Leave the rice to drain for 5 minutes or so, to make sure all the water has run off (give it a good shake and shuffle to make sure).
  6. Put the rice into the rice cooker and fill the cooker up to the relevant line with fresh, cold water. We always fill to the bottom of the indicated line rather than the top – the less water there is in the machine during cooking, the less sticky and soft the rice will be – a very precise way of doing things, but it works. If you prefer your rice to be softer in texture, then fill to the top of the line.
  7. Once the cooker has swtiched to keep warm, open the lid, give the rice a good stir with the spatula to release any excess water / steam and to break any clumps of rice which may have formed and then leave on keep warm for maybe 30 minutes.

NOT ALL RICE NEEDS WASHING FIRST – It depend on how the rice has been processed. If you find after washing or rinsing the rice, you are still getting rice that is too sticky, then try a batch without rinsing and see how it turns out – if it cooks ok, you have a batch of rice that doesn’t need rinsing! We always find that the first cook of a new batch of rice is a learning experience – judge how the cooked rice is, if it’s too soft you need slightly less water next time (3-4mm less) and if it’s too hard you need slightly more water (again, 3-4mm).

Checklist For Perfect Rice

Premium rice cookers can do a lot of the thinking for you but sometimes certain tweaks can make the rice you cook absolutely perfect. After all, everyone likes their rice a certain firmness or moistness. Some people like rice to stick together whilst some prefer more indivudal grains and some things everyone can do to achieve rice cooking perfection.

Our Yum Asia and Zojirushi brand premium rice cookers should not ever produce stodgy rice…you should get perfect fluffy rice as the end product. Zojirushi rice cookers do not produce completely separate grains of rice as this is not how Japanese rice is; by their nature Zojirushi rice cookers make rice which clumps together to some extent as both Japanese and Chinese eat rice with chopsticks, so rice which sticks together is essential! Yum Asia rice cookers can produce rice that has more distinct grains because they have been programmed to cook more than only Japanese style rice. Also following our tips regarding rinsing and the type of rice to use in your rice cooker will help to produce more ‘Indian style’ basmati with distinct grains.

Troubleshoot Your Issue

Here are some issies that are sometimes experienced with suggestions as to how to fix them.

Get answers to your questions

Try our help pages or get in touch

We work almost 24 hours, 7 days a week!
Our response usually takes up to 6 hours

My cooked rice is too hard or soft!
– Make sure your rice cooker is on a flat surface
– Remember that using the timer results in softer rice
– Remember that using the Quick cook results in slightly harder rice
– Add a little more water (if rice is too hard) or less water (if rice is too soft) next time you cook the rice

I have a strange white film on the inner bowl when the rice is cooked!

– This happens when the rice has a lot of starch. You should try rinsing/washing the rice more to remove the starch
The rice is scorched
– Check nothing is stuck on the underside of the inner bowl or on the heating element
– The rice may not have been rinsed properly so there is too much starch left on the rice
– You might need to add slightly more water before starting the cooking cycle. Too little water could cause the rice to scorch or burn
Why is the water boiling over during cooking?
– Check the inner lid is attached properly
– The rice may not have been rinsed properly so there is too much starch left on the rice

– Check you didn’t add too much water
– Check that you are cooking within the maximum capacity of the rice cooker and remember that maximum capacity is different for white and brown rice.
The rice cooker doesn’t cook
– Check it’s plugged in!
– If it is plugged in, check the power cord is pushed firmly into the unit. It only takes a little bit of the connector to not be in contact to cause the rice cooker not to work correctly.
– Make sure the ‘keep warm’ function isn’t on, if so press reset/cancel and then the start/cooking button again
Why is there a funny smell/the rice is yellow/too dry?
– Make sure the bowl is properly cleaned after using it for mixed rice or other dishes
– Don’t keep the rice warm for over 12 hours (Zojirushi) or keep too little rice on keep warm
– Don’t keep the rice warm with the spatula inside the inner bowl
– Loosen the rice after cooking is completely, stirring it thoroughly
– If using the keep warm on Yum Asia rice cookers, we find that the rice can deteriorate after 15 hours of use of keep warm. To keep the rice moist you can periodically add splashes of water and mix through the rice. This helps the rice not to dry out
– Remember that the keep warm is keeping rice at a high enough temperature to eat and this means that some of the water evaporates out of the rice, so using the keep warm does result in drier rice. Use the tip above to help mitigate this.

NOTE – All newly bought rice cookers will have some limited smell for the first few uses. Some people say that they smell new, of plastic or similar aroma. This is typical of all new appliances. Please do not be alarmed. This is why we suggest to run a rice cooking cycle through the cooker first and throw away the rice as it will help remove any manufacturing residual aromas. 
The rice cooker started cooking immediately after the timer was set
– Check the timer is set correctly
– If the timer is set to a shorter time than the default cooking programme’s time then the rice cooker will start cooking immediately
The rice is not ready at the correct time
– Check the timer is set correctly
– The timers on these rice cookers are not *exact*. Note that the timer does switch the rice cookers on slightly earlier as the fuzzy logic has to figure out what exactly is in the inner bowl (rice/oats/water) and volume so it can calculate the cooking time effectively. It deals with this by turning the unit on early so it can ‘assess’ the contents. The completed cooking time and length of cooking time will be the same as if you didn’t use the timer, but there is some ‘figuring out time’ built into the timer feature and you may see a discrepancy with the keep warm time displayed – this is normal.
The timer can’t be set
– Remember to press the start/cooking button after you have set the timer – you need to press the start/cooking button to complete setting the timer

Stuck For Food Ideas?

See our Greedy Panda Blog for hundreds of great rice cooking recipes and a whole lot more which can be cooked in your Yum Asia or Zojirushi brand rice cookers.

Perfect rice on it’s own can be delicious. Ask anyone who has visited Asia or ate the rice from one of our premium rice cookers. Add rice to your favourite side dish and it can be so much more interesting. Whether you like Thai food, Indian, Malay, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese or whatever, rice is a staple that can help make some of the most amazing dishes you will ever eat and some of hte most healthy too!. Rice dishes are incredibly versatile. From the Chicken Thai Basil with rice of Thailand across to simple Hainan chicken rice to the marvelous Mexican rice dishes to the Sushi wonders of Japan, what are you waiting for? Discover how rice should be eaten!

How about buying our Greedy Panda cook book for recipes, tips, tricks and ideas for what to do with your rice cookers and to get things started?

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