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I have a cheap-o rice cooker that works fine for me. It came with a plastic cup to measure 1, 2 or 3 "plastic cup" units of rice. Water is added to match the '1', '2' or '3' mark in the cooker bowl. It was great until the cup vanished.

Now how to pour in the right amount of rice?

Do all rice cookers use the same standard "plastic cup" unit? By any luck, would it be exactly 1 cup, or 1/2 cup, according to a standard measuring cup? Maybe I could dump rice and water into the bowl in any amount as long as they're in the right proportion by volume. Meeting the '2' or '3' mark isn't important, actually, just getting great rice in the end.

The actual model I'm using is CKRVRCM061 and yes, of course I could google it, but it would be great to have a general answer which could apply to any cooker I or anyone will use in the future - for those of us with a talent for losing small important items!

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    It's always the ratio that matters, never the absolute amount. See Proper ratio of Water to Rice Also, your question title is definitely inviting "google it" answers/comments; if you want a general answer then you should make it clear that it's a general question, not specific to your model personally.
    – Aaronut
    Mar 26 '13 at 1:12
  • I think your title is a large part of the problem with your question. "How do I get the right amount of rice?" is the real question (you don't actually need to know how big the plastic cup was), and that's answered by the question Aaronut linked to, right?
    – Cascabel
    Mar 26 '13 at 2:01
  • The optimal ratio seems to be somewhat dependent on vessel geometry etc ... which means it doesnt scale 1:1 for the same vessel. Dec 12 '17 at 13:19

13 Answers 13

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Assuming you bought a rice cooker designed by a Japanese company (and apparently even other brands tend to meet that market's expectations), the measurement is 1-gou, slightly more than 180ml, which, by no coincidence, is also the typical measure of a wooden sake, cup, and is closely associated with a historical sake bottle size (approximately 1.8l)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masu_(Japanese)

It turns out that this amount, 1 gou of dried rice, neatly corresponded to a typical serving of rice. In practice, most contemporary Japanese eat about 1.5-2 gou per day; 1 gou of dried rice cooks up enough for 2 Japanese adults for one meal if you have several side dishes. There are other measurements that derive from the gou (or perhaps the other way around), such as the koku, which was considered the amount of rice that a single person would consume over the course of a year.

This is one of the human-centric forms of measurement that has survived the metric push; you can find various examples of this in many otherwise metric-converted countries. It turns out some studies show that those metrics often make certain categories of estimation easier for people.

Edited to cover the concern about matching the right amount of water:

It's worth noting that you don't need perfect precision for the amount of water, as long as you cook with the full cycle and not one of the express cooking modes. I can't remember the exact scientific principle behind it, but perhaps something to do with osmotic pressure. Some people use the remarkably effective method of measuring a certain amount of space between the dried rice and the water based on the size of their forefinger segment or thumbnail. It apparently works well for almost any imaginable size of pan (though you can have other problems with a pan too wide to have the rice cover the bottom). (Some types of rice do prefer more water than others, but within a single type, you have a fairly flexible range for the water ratio)

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The plastic cup that came with my rice maker was 180 ml (3/4 cup). It's an odd size, but that's the standard.

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    Does a cup with three lines suggest 60, 120, 180 mL or 180, 360, 540 mL? (Also this is ridiculous.)
    – Cascabel
    Mar 26 '13 at 16:31
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    180mL for the full cup. Aug 11 '16 at 10:19
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I have an Aroma brand cooker (Got Rice GRC-003) and also lost the measuring cup. Their site tells you if you ever lose the cup, use a standard 3/4 cup and observe the water marks in the pot.

http://www.aroma-housewares.com/kitchen/appliances/rice101/21/Rice%20Measuring%20Cup.html

Hope this helps.

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    and 3/4 of a U.S. measuring cup is 177.5 mL, so really close to the 180mL mentioned in the other answers.
    – Joe
    Aug 11 '16 at 1:07
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I have an Aroma automatic rice cooker. Its directions says "The measuring cup provided adheres to rice industry standards (180ml) and is not equal to one U.S. cup (240ml)." 180ml is equal to 0.76 U.S. standard cup, so use 3/4 cup standard measure of rice to their water measure line in the steaming pot and it should cook correctly.

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I'm struggling with this too, as I replaced my rice cooker cup. However, as someone else pointed out, ratio counts. It's one cup of white rice to one and a half cups of water. Doesn't matter if it's American standard cups or Japanese metric cups. The proportion is what counts. And it's one cup of brown rice to two cups of water. So, if you're using the 180 Gou as a measure for rice, then use 180 Gou plus 90 Gou for water (for white rice).

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Your rice cooker is probably metric, so I'd think in terms of milliliters rather than cups. Now if it were me, I'd use the link in @Aaronut's comment to make rice and forget about it, however if you want a pretty good estimate then simply measure out how much water it takes to fill to the 1 line, then divide it by 3. Again, use ml, it's much more precise.

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  • Of course, you'd have more than 2x the water to rice if you used that method -- you have to account for the amount of water that'd fill the void space in the measurement of rice.
    – Joe
    Aug 11 '16 at 0:50
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I know its been a while since this thread has been run, however, as a rule, most rice cookers also respond well to a 1 rice to 2 water ratio, however take care as some units require a minimum to successfully trigger at the end of the cooking process.

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    A short, clear, and correct answer :) That is what I have been doing, though more like 1 rice to 2.5 water, due to the type of rice and the way I like it to come out. I find the amount of rice doesn't matter, but at first, wondered if the cooker worked properly only if it had exactly 1, 2 or 3 of that cup's volume of rice.
    – DarenW
    Oct 11 '17 at 5:04
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    Yes... I forgot about my experiences with brown (ugh ...) rice... Definitely needed more water (and a soaking period). The Chinaman in me abhors the texture of that brown stuff... It is NOT rice... :)
    – Adrian Hum
    Oct 11 '17 at 23:05
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    Ohhh... something I just found out ... The size of your original rice cooker cup corresponds to a masu - the wooden box that saki is served in.
    – Adrian Hum
    Dec 19 '18 at 4:17
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My rice cooker is a small Cuizen 16 cups and came with this cup, which as you can see holds 2/3 cup, or 160 ml.

enter image description here

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I also lost my multicooker rice cup and stumbled onto this thread since I had the same problem as Daren.W. I finally figured out that serving sizes are 3/4 cup of uncooked rice. So the manufacturers provide a 3/4 cup dry measure for our convenience since standard measuring cups are 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup.

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Use any size cup (coffee cup, juice glass, tea cup) for rice, then add water to a ratio depend on the type of rice: 1.5 of the same cup of water for white rice 2 of the same cups of water for brown rice

So, for instance: 2 coffee cups rice + 3 cups of water for white, or 2 cups rice + 4 cups of water for brown rice.

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  • I find that 2x for white, 2.5x or even 3x for brown, works out pretty good. Maybe you like your rice somewhat firm or crunchy?
    – DarenW
    Sep 2 '20 at 2:27
  • Your point that a given volumetric ratio can be achieved using any old cup is valuable. But it doesn't really answer the question: the asker wants to know the volume of a "rice cup" in order to utilize the markers on the inside of their rice pot. Sep 3 '20 at 5:55
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Your lost cup was, most assuredly, a guo (or "go"). I appreciate being able to put in my 3 go measures of short grain white rice and add water to the appropriate marked line, and not having to actually measure the water in a separate cup. A go is one-tenth of a "sho." A "to" is 10 sho; a "koku" is 100 sho.

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    This answer looks great, till you realize that there is no US or metric version of any of the sizes, and as such it is useless for people who do not use the 'go' or 'sho' or a 'koku' where they live. Can you edit in the US or metric equivalent?
    – Willeke
    Feb 19 at 15:16
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My wife and I love Japanese food, but often make American versions of it. Onigiri and Rice Bowls are a staple in our house. We don't have a lot of side dishes. We get a different bag of rice almost every time and have never used the plastic measuring cup. And the markings on the side of the pot don't actually go low enough for our usual rice usage. (They start at 2 cups, when we just want 1 cup)

1 cup (240mL) of dried rice makes enough onigiri that we are full at the end (roughly one large and one small for each of us, depending on fillings). Some rice requires a 1:1 ratio, and other rice requires a 1:2 ratio. Most of the time, it's a 2:3 ratio. (One and a half cups water to one cup rice) You have to determine the right ratio for your rice.

Sushi rice tends to respond well to more water. Jasmine rice tends to respond well to less water. Different brands will affect it, as will different tastes. We haven't tried brown rice. Broken Jasmine is simultaneously undercooked and mushy no matter what we do.

So whatever you go with, it's definitely a YMMV moment. I would start at 1 cup rice and 1.25 cup water, or if you prefer the smaller rice cups that come with the machines (gou), .75 cup rice and 1 cup water.

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  • @Rumstcho, Your edit yesterday was pretty severe, and took out some very relevant information. The fact of the matter is that there's no one-size-fits-all, as much as everyone wants to pretend you can just substitute any rice in a recipe without adjusting the water. So the details about how we use our rice are important. If you want, I can slim it down a bit, but you changed what I was actually saying, by taking out parts of sentences and smushing things together. It was like taking the "not" out of "I do not recommend". Sep 18 at 20:12
  • The reason for my edit is that the post was flag as "not an answer". The OP asked about a conversion between the rice measurement cup which came with the cooker, and more conventional measurement units. It is not a question about how much rice should be cooked at once, or how much water should be used.The usual action would have been to delete it completely, but since your last paragraph did mention the conversion, I left that part. Do you prefer to edit your answer yourself, removing the extra content? Or we can revert to my edit. The last option is to delete completely.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 19 at 11:14
  • "Maybe I could dump rice and water into the bowl in any amount as long as they're in the right proportion by volume. Meeting the '2' or '3' mark isn't important, actually, just getting great rice in the end." <-- I was providing extra information for this portion of the question. Sep 20 at 3:40
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If you measure the water before you put it in, you can use internet recipes or general ratios to calculate how much to put in. Once the little cup is lost, you may as well just forget about the lines and use standard cup measurements.

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