Typically, the “steamed” rice that you find in restaurants is typically boiled in a sealed pot or the best rice cooker they can find. Usually, it is the novice that prefers a rice cooker, because it doesn’t require nearly as much supervision on a pot as on a stovetop. However, if you don’t happen to have a rice cooker, but you do have a veggie steamer, you can use that to create a pot of perfectly prepared rice. There are some models that even come with a rice-cooking bowl, but this is optional.
The areas within the veggie steamer are made with a bottom of mesh, which will hold the veggies in place, but also allows the steam to pass through freely. The openings in the mesh are typically large enough that the rice is going to fall through and end up in the reservoir, which means that you can’t really pour the rice directly into the steamers’ compartments. In most cases, a veggie steamer also has a rice bowl, just for this reason. This bowl is solid, to keep the rice contained, but will be open for that reason. Therefore, the hot steam can help to seal the rice just as it would in a saucepan that is sealed.
Start by measuring the water and rice into the bowl of the steamer with just a small pinch of salt. Fill the steamers reservoir to the top and then put together the steamer compartments as usual. Position your bowl inside of the steamer and cover with the lid or another compartment that contains other foods.
For brown or red rice, you need to set your timer to about 45-50 minutes and 25-30 minutes for white rice. If you have a model that has a setting for rice, you can use that instead.
When the timer goes off, you can open up the steamer, be careful to avoid the hot steam that will escape and test your rice. If it’s not cooked evenly, replace the lid and leave it for 5-10. Unlike traditional methods, you can do this without causing the rice to be spoiled.
Once fully cooked, you can remove the rice from the steamer and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving. As you can see, a veggie steamer works very well if you don’t have the best rice cooker.