Saturday, June 16, 2012

How To Cook Brown Rice

Without a rice cooker, rice steamer, or pressure cooker. Just a pot, water, and brown rice. After years of meticulously measuring I discovered that cooking it like pasta worked the best, at least for me.

Basic instructions:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Clean rice.
  3. Boil on high.
  4. Strain when done.
  5. Rest 10 minutes.
To clean, I swish uncooked rice in water then strain.

Add it carefully to boiling water. This is a 1.5 quart saucepan that I use for a little over 1/4 cup dry rice. I'll use a 3 quart saucepan for 1/2 cup dry rice. You need that much water.

Boil on high, uncovered, as you would pasta. I don't add anything to the water.

When done,* strain (save rice water). Return rice to pot. Cover. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

I save the rice water to cook leftover rice, or to add to soups and stews. You can also sweeten it, add vanilla and spices, and use as rice milk. It's weak though. (I no longer do this, to lessen the amount of arsenic in my diet.)

After 10 minutes (below), fluff and serve. You can let it rest for a lot longer than 10 minutes. I've left it for hours and it still fluffed up beautifully, even if it's no longer hot.

* The amount of time it takes depends on the type of rice and how you like it - chewy or mushy (for a porridge). This is a medium grain rice (Lundberg Organic Golden Rose Brown Rice) that I boil for 37 minutes. I have a Lundberg Basmati brown rice that cooks in 31 minutes (even though the instructions on the package say 50 minutes). The first time I cook a new rice I taste it until it's a consistency I like then strain it. The next time I know how long to cook it and will set a timer.

Brown rice is done when the center of a grain is no longer whiteish and opaque, and when the bran breaks and the starchy middle squeezes out either end. It's still chewy like that and will separate into individual grains. If you cook it longer it will get sticky.

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