1 Rice in steam pan (4 to 5 people)

Rice steamerThis is Beb Vuyk’s first recipe of her famous Groot Indonesisch Kookboek: how to steam rice. “Rice is the staple dish of Indonesian cuisine … Rice should be cooked dry and the original grain should still be clear” translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 41.

I hear a lot of Dutch friends explaining me how their rice always fails. To wet or too dry. My grandmother and mother always used this metal rice steamer. The rice steamer is very useful for other recipes as well, like roti kukus, kue mangkok or kue lapis. Below first Beb classic recipe of ‘rice in the steam pan’ from her famous book. After that the way my mother and grandmother used to make it.

Rice in Steam pan (4 to 5 pers.) translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 43.


1/2 liter of rice
3/4 liter of water

Wash rice until the water looks clear. Add 3/4 liters of water from the hot water tap. Lower the heat as soon as the rice is boiling and let it simmer for 8 minutes. Fill the reservoir of the steamer and bring the water to the boil. After 8 minutes add the rice to the upper part of the steamer which has a perforated bottom. Put the top pan on the bottom pan. The water should not touch the rice. Steam the rice for about half an hour, until cooked. Stir the rice through once in a while with a wooden spoon. Put it in a bowl and let the moist evaporate. One can also only cook the rice and steam it a half hour before meals. Leftover rice can be used the next day. It will be warm enough after about ten minutes of steam time. 

Rice steamer colanderThe way we steam rice at home is not much different as Beb Vuyk’s way. Maybe we use more visual clues, then quantities and time. I will show you.

The old steamer consists of 2 parts; a bottom pan and a colander. In the bottom pan I add 4 cups of rice. When the rice needs a wash now is the time. But I use supermarket jasmine rice, which is already clean.

Rice steamer distal phalanxI fill the bottom pan of the steamer with water when the rice is in it. I fill the water one distal phalanx of water above the rice. That’s enough.

Rice steam panI bring the water to the boil, uncovered and without the colander on it.

Steam pan riceBoil the rice until small craters appear on the surface. Most of the liquid has evaporated now. Time to add the rice to the colander.

Rice steamer in colanderMy mother always leaves and open space in the middle, allowing the steam to circulate, she says.

Rice steamer classicNow fill up the bottom pan with water and place the colander with the rice on top. Make sure the colander does not touch the water. When the water steams, I leave it steaming for about 10 minutes.

In this classic rice steamer the rice tastes slightly different than rice from my the electrical rice steamer. Rice from the electrical steamer can be a bit too wet sometimes.

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7 Responses

  1. Ellen says:

    Where can I purchase the steam pan

  2. Hedy says:

    Where can you purchase it

  3. Shobha says:

    Where can I purchase this exact steam pan

  4. Shobha says:

    Pls let me know where can I purchase this kind of Rice steamer pan. Tq

    • Pauline Chavannes de Senerpont Domis says:

      This is the old rice steamer my mom and grandma used to use. I’ve looked for it everywhere because you are not the only one asking for it, but unfortunately, you can only buy it at second-hand stores and even there they are hard to find….

  5. jackie says:

    My Oma gave my mom as steamer just like this! I’ve never seen another one like it until I came across your website and saw this picture. I want one so bad but, yes; they are impossible to find. 🙁

  6. Deb says:

    I’ve had one for over 20 years and would love to have another maybe even 2. Where can I get one?, as it gives the perfect dry rice for Nasi Goreng

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