Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to cook brown rice

We've had a couple requests for basic cooking instructions, and really, I should have posted them here long ago. I'll cover several methods, and you can choose which one you like.

1. Directions on package: Rinse rice and drain. Combine 2 parts water with one part rice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and cover. Cook approximately 45 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Let stand for a few minutes, then fluff with fork and serve. **This method works best with small amounts of rice (a cup or two). For larger amounts of rice, you might like to drop the water down to 1 3/4 parts water to 1 part rice. In our rice cooker, we use less water than 2:1.

2. The finger method: Rinse rice and drain. Place desired amount of rice in saucepan and add water. The correct amount of water is reached when you touch the rice with the tip of your index finger, and the water level rises to your first knuckle. I'm told this is the method people in Japan use. *This method seems accurate for almost any quantity of rice, at least for my fingers! Also works well in our rice cooker.

3. The Saveur Magazine method: When Saveur featured our rice in the May 2008 issue, they kindly included this unique method, which many of our customers have described as an epiphany in cooking brown rice. Here it is, adapted from the Saveur website:

1 cup Massa Organics brown rice
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.

2. Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, off the heat. Cover the pot and set it aside to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt.

This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #111


Theo said...

My preferred method uses less water --- 1.5 cup liquid per cup of rice --- and simmers only 20-30 minutes until water has cooked off or been absorbed. Then the heat is removed, and rice is left to steam itself at least another 20 minutes. What's important is that the pan needs to have a well-fitting lid placed on it for the entire process: don't remove the lid at any stage. (I'm glad I have glass lids.)

The other rice-cooking comment: dried grains should always be cooked in lightly salted water. (As opposed to dried beans, which should never be boiled in salt water, as the salt will toughen the bean skins.)

Greg said...

Thanks for the great tips Theo!

Renee said...

I've been soaking my brown rice for 6 hours to overnight before cooking it. I use 1 cup rice to 1.5 cup water. cook 50 minutes and let it sit with the lid on for 10-20 min. It's better tasting than any other method I've used for cooking brown rice!

MiguelD said...

Another alternative when you want something "more" than steamed rice. Put the rice into a dry pan and turn on the heat. Keep an eye on it and stir it frequently until it starts to turn golden and a nutty aroma begins waft up.

Turn off the heat and continue to stir until it cools down. Instead of water, use chicken broth (same amount as usual) and check for doneness before you turn it off. It may take just a little longer than usual.

This method is of course a base for a lot of good things - we used it for a summer squash gratin the other night. Yum!

Deb A. said...

My favorite way to cook brown rice is the Alton Brown method which is to bake it. The ratio of liquid to rice is 2.5 to 1.5. Heat the liquid (I like broth or stock but water is fine), add the rice, salt or oil (butter or olive oil) if you like, put in an ovenproof cookware (I use a pyrex dish), cover tightly with foil or a tight fitting lid to seal (so it steams) and bake at 375 degrees for an hour. No burned rice, evenly cooked. I make more than I need and use leftovers to make fried rice, salad (used like tabouleh) or add to scrambled eggs. I can't believe someone didn't think of this method before. It is so easy.

duane marcus Facebook me! said...

I use a steamer. 1 cup rice. 1 cup liquid, water or stock. Steam for 45 minutes. Comes out perfect every time.

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