Rice Cooker Braised Pumpkin
This rice cooker braised pumpkin was made entirely in the rice cooker. This is a time and cost effective recipe to make a delicious side dish while the rice is cooking in the rice cooker. Best of all, this recipe only has 4 ingredients (pumpkin, chicken stock, wolfberry and cornstarch).
Recently I bought a steamer basket for my rice cooker so that I can steam some vegetables (e.g. broccoli, pumpkin, corn) when I cook rice. Occasionally when I am feeling adventurous, I try to make an dish in the steamer basket. This recipe was my first experimental success :) Instead of the rice cooker, you can also use your usual steamer to make this recipe.
- Simmered Pumpkin & Minced Meat
- Stir-fry Bean Sprouts & Tricolor Peppers
- Stir-fry Kailan & Crispy Roast Pork
- Stir-fry Choy Sum & Fish Cake
- Easy Chinese Recipes
The rice cooker braised pumpkin keeps wells in a covered container in the fridge for 3 days, making this recipe ideal for meal prep.
What type of rice cooker will work?
- You must have a steamer basket that fit your rice cooker. The steam from cooking the rice in the inner pot will cook the food at the top steamer basket at the same time (“上蒸下煮”). Some rice cookers already comes with a steamer basket that fits on top of the rice cooker. However my rice cooker (Zojirushi NS-ZAQ10) does not have a steamer basket, so I bought a steamer basket from Taobao which slotted into my rice cooker’s inner pot as shown above.
- A “smart” rice cooker is ideal as it comes with several settings to cook various types of rice, including brown rice and multigrain rice.
- The traditional “Keep Warm/Cook” type of rice cooker will work too but you can’t change the settings if the “Cook” cycle is too short. However you can still use the “Keep Warm” setting to slowly soften the pumpkins.
INGREDIENTS AND PREPARATION
- (1) and (2): Prepare pumpkin by scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the pumpkin flesh to bite-sized chunks and remove the skin.
- (3): Rich chicken broth/stock. The instant chicken soup is a time saver to make the braising sauce from scratch. I used the chicken soup as it is – the braised pumpkin tasted light and natural, and retain the natural bright pumpkin colour after cooking. You can substitute it with any soup broth made with an instant soup pack, consommé powder, bouillon cube, or water + soy sauce + seasonings. You can also use the chicken broth as a base and add your own seasonings for a richer taste.
- (4): Soak wolfberries in a saucer of water until plump. Prepare cornstarch slurry.
MAKE THE DISH
- (1) and (2): The set-up. Place pumpkin pieces in the steaming bowl and fill the bowl to half with chicken stock. The pumpkin will release some liquid when they cook so don’t use too much chicken soup. Let the contents cook (starting from the time the rice is steaming) for 10 minutes.
- (3): Add cornstarch slurry to thicken the soup slightly. Mix well with a spoon.
- (4) Add wolfberries and continue to cook the pumpkin for a few minutes, until the pumpkin is tender to liking (use a fork to test).
Cooking Notes and Tips
- Use a kitchen timer. I overcooked my pumpkin slightly because I went out quickly to buy one thing, but (as usual) I was distracted and came home late, resulting in my pumpkin a bit overcooked :p
- The steaming time starts counting when the rice starts boiling inside the rice cooker (for the steam cooking to activate), not the time you start the rice cooker.
- Remember to take out the steamer basket once the pumpkin is softened to your liking. Otherwise, the pumpkin may overcook and become too mushy.
- Do not add too much chicken stock to steam with the pumpkin, as the latter will release some more liquid as it cooks. Add more stock later if needed.