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Wholesome Rice Cooker Meals

Written by Iona, Jan 2017

Mugging for your exams and need a quick fix to get you through the day (or night)? Go easy on those instant ramens and titbits with a one-pot (or in this case, one -rice cooker) meal. A rice cooker is essential in every Asian household, and it should be no different when you set up your new kitchen or cooking space overseas.

Rice cookers can be bought cheaply in at places like Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Target and Big W or any supermarkets for less than $30. A rice cooker can cook well-loved white rice. But with some creativity, you can make these other meals too and share them with your housemates.

Chocolate Banana Cake

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour


  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 175g castor sugar
  • 200ml evaporated milk (1/2 can)
  • 1 large egg
  • 125g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking power
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 150g very ripe bananas


Step 1 - Combine castor sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, turn off fire and keep warm.

Step 2 - Add the beaten egg into the mixture and stir will until evenly mixed.

Step 3 - Mash the bananas with a fork and mix in

Step 4 - Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Combine the sifted flour mixture to the combined batter and stir it until well-mixed. The final mixture should be runny.

Step 5 - Grease the rice cooker pot and pour the batter. Press “cook” and let it cook for 1 hour until a toothpick comes clean when the cake is poked. You may need to press cook 3 times. Note that the time required varies with the brand, model and size of your rice 

Soy Chicken & Rice

Preparation time: 15-30 minutes + marinating time

Cook time: 45-60 minutes


  • 1.5kg/ 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (cold)
  • 2 Tsp brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 Tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 cups long grain or basmati rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Sliced green onions to serve


Step 1 - In a bowl, create the marinate by mixing the soy sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, star anise and dark soy sauce together. Pour the marinate into a zip-lock bag , combined with the chicken thighs and massage the mixture until fully coated. Place the bag in the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes (or even up to 24 hours).

Step 2 - Wash the rice until the water turns clear and place in the rice cooker. Cover with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of the marinade liquid. Place the chicken on top and cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through-about 45 minutes to an hour. Drizzle with sesame oil and green onions.


Mac & Cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour


  • 1 1⁄2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1⁄2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp paprika


Step 1 - Combine macaroni, broth and cream in rice cooker, press cook and stir occasionally.

Step 2 - When machine switches to keep warm, add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly until all cheese is melted.

Step 3 - Press Cook again. The Rice Cooker will switch to keep warm after just a few minutes; this is the point where the cheese on the bottom turns that delicious brown. Serve.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 hour


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot cut into round coins
  • 1/2 to 1 cup celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • 3-4 teaspoons liquid chicken broth concentrate
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1 handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups wide noodles

Step 1 - Turning the rice cooker on, pour the olive oil into the rice cooker pot, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes until the onions start to turn translucent.

Step 2 - Add the chicken, broth, salt and pepper and stir, then replace the lid. Start boiling the water in an electric kettle; when it boils, pour the water into the rice cooker pot and add the spinach and noodles, stir, and replace the lid and let the soup cook for 20 minutes or until the noodles are done.



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