Zojirushi NS-YAC Micom Rice Cooker With Umami Setting

If you desire an electric rice cooker with a setting for cooking umami rice, then the Zojirushi NS-YAC model might be your best option. The Umami setting is supposed to spend more time on soaking and steaming the rice. This should result in cooked rice that has better flavor and taste. My review of the Zojirushi NS-YAC rice cooker takes a quick look at its settings and features, including the Umami setting.

What is umami?

Umami is promoted as flavor number five. The other four flavors that tickle your taste buds are sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Umami might be translated as “delicious taste” or “good flavor”. You can read this article on Wikipedia for the background, discovery and properties of umami taste.


The Zojirushi NS-YAC rice cookers are micro-computerized appliances that use fuzzy logic technology to control the cooking process. There are two sizes available. The NS-YAC10 has a 1 liter, 5.5-cup uncooked rice capacity. The NS-YAC18 has a 1.8-liter, 10-cup uncooked rice capacity (180mL cup size). These rice cookers are made in Japan, so the construction quality is excellent, but the price is expensive.

The NS-YAC micom rice cooker offers the following menu settings:

  • Brown
  • GABA Brown
  • Mixed
  • Porridge
  • Quick Cooking
  • Rinse-Free
  • Slow Cook
  • Sushi
  • Sweet
  • Umami
  • White

You might notice that the Zojirushi NS-YAC micom rice cooker does not have a steam setting for steaming vegetables or meat. If you want a rice cooker for steaming vegetables, then the NS-YAC is not for you.

The biggest selling points of the NS-YAC rice cooker are probably its GABA brown and Umami settings.

The setting for brown rice prepares edible results and might make you eat brown rice more often. The GABA brown setting makes the best brown rice ever, but unfortunately it also takes forever to finish (more than three hours).

The automatic keep warm function is good at keeping the cooked rice at the right temperature for serving. It also has an extended keep warm function which keeps the rice warm for many hours without drying it out. The reheat function is good for reheating the rice.

A number of people use the NS-YAC micom rice cooker to cook steel cut oat porridge for breakfast. The ability to cook steel cut oats is one of the reasons why they like this fuzzy logic rice cooker.

Umami Setting

The Umami function is a great way to prepare delicious white rice. The process involves preheating, soaking, cooking and steaming to produce a sweet, soft and fluffy rice. Of course, it takes more than an hour to achieve these sweet results.

We thought that the Zojirushi NS-YAC was the only rice cooker with an umami setting for savory white rice. We were mistaken, because there is another Zojirushi model which has an umami setting. It is the NP-NVC IH pressure rice cooker. Nevertheless, we do not know of any other rice cookers with an umami function.


The Zojirushi NS-YAC micom rice cooker has been on the market for many years, so our review is probably much too late to have any impact. Nevertheless, the NS-YAC is a carefully constructed micom rice cooker that is made in Japan (it says so on the control panel).

In conclusion, only you can decide if you are willing to pay the price to enjoy the savory flavor of umami rice (view price on Amazon).