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healthy way of seasoning/cooking brown rice

  • y

i love brown rice and was wondering if anyone has a great recipe for a more flavorful and tasty but still really healthy way of cooking/steaming brown rice? thanks for your help!

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  1. Cook it in vegetable broth. I love to make leek stock, then cook my rice in it. And my favorite version of this is to take some of the sliced leeks I used to make the stock, saute them in a bit of butter, then add them into the cooked rice. I'll throw in some garlicky mushrooms and sauteed tofu and it's a wonderful meal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: diablita FL

      Related to veggie broth, but a little different: try tossing in one packet of instant dashi while waiting for the water to boil. You can find instant dashi at asian markets; it adds a nice flavor boost, and it comes in several diff types (just kombu, kombu & bonito, etc). The individual long, narrow tubes of granules are packaged in a larger bag. It adds a wonderful savory boost to the rice, almost good enough to eat alone.

    2. I sometimes add sushi vinegar, which adds a touch of sweetness and moisture. I"m going to try the leek trick, though the butter kind of undermines the healthiness. I've also experimented with adding curry powder and other seasonings, but ultimately concluded that I don't mind the taste of plain brown rice that much.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jwsel

        Just a note that you can get away with VERY little butter when sauteeing leeks, both because of their texture and special flavor.

      2. I made organic brown jasmine rice for dinner tonight. I cooked it reguarly with H20. When slightly undercooked, I added a little butter, tiny yellow mung beans (that I buy at the Korean market), and chopped cranberries. Then poured a little chicken broth into the sauce pan and finished cooking. The mung beans took 7 minutes. I kept going....I browned sweet curry powder w/ a little butter in a saute pan and added the cooked rice. After stirring well the curry into the rice, I let the rice just brown for a while. The bottom crusts and crisps. It was really good. I served it w/ Fresh catfish that I threw on the barby. Next time I'll use raisins instead of cranberries and add chopped raw cashews, then saute.

        1. The best recipe for fluffy, not-sticky brown rice (thanks to the San Jose Merc):

          1.5 c. brown rice
          2 c. boiling water
          sea salt

          Put DRY rice in a DRY pot and cook at high heat, stirring frequently until you hear some popping and the rice gives off a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, toss a few pinches of salt according to your taste into the pot and carefully pour the boiling water into the pot. Stir once and cover immediately. Simmer the rice until all the water is absorbed, about 40 min.

          It's FABULOUS.

          And here's a recipe I've been dying to try (from Everyday Food)

          Brown Rice and Edamame
          Coarse salt and ground pepper
          3/4 cup long-grain brown rice
          1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame
          1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
          1 tablespoon rice vinegar
          1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
          1/2 teaspoon sugar
          3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

          1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups lightly salted water to a boil. Add rice, reduce to a simmer; cover and cook, 30 minutes.

          2. Stir in edamame; cover and cook until rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice, vinegar, oil, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

          3. With a fork, stir lime juice mixture and scallions into rice; season with salt and pepper.

          Per serving: 214 calories; 4.6 grams fat; 8 grams protein; 34.6 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber

          1. About the only brown rice I use these days is brown basmati. California's Lundberg Family Farms is the only brand I've seen. Takes less time to cook (about 30 minutes), retains its fluffy texture (never a gloopy mass) and has a more delecate, if still nutty, taste. No need to sauté beforehand, as the grains keep their individual character.

            One tasty variation is to add to the salted cooking water, for each cup of rice, the juice from half a lemon, a good pinch of saffron threads and a handful of currants. Excellent with simply grilled meats and vegetables, not to mention tandoori-style anything.

            1. Has anyone tried making a brown rice risotto? I had this as a restaurant last night and loved the smoothness of risotto contrasted with that slight pop brown rice gives when you bite into it. Of course, cheese-laden risotto isn't the healthiest preparation, but cooking it with chicken and mushroom stock and adding just a little cheese at the end would be pretty healthy. (Pei formerly known as nooodles).

              4 Replies
              1. re: Pei

                i have done it a few times, i just think its important to know that it takes A LOT longer than a white rice risotto.

                if you have the patience though, its delicious!

                1. re: mattstolz

                  You can pre-cook the rice to about half doneness and then proceed with the risotto as if it was uncooked white rice as far as time and technique.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    i was gonna suggest this, but i have been under the impression that doing this will cause some of the essential starch to wash off and make the risotto-ness a little less?

                    1. re: mattstolz

                      Well it is certainly a different dish in both texture and flavor, but I found starting it from scratch in the standard risotto manner doesn't create a more risottolike dish. If you can make "orzo" risotto I figure brown rice risotto should get a pass. For me, homemade chicken stock is the key regardless of the starch used.

              2. I like to toast sesame seeds or finely chopped nuts and mix into the brown rice when ready to serve (to keep them crunchy). Also I have used a mixture of half orange juice, half water along with a shot each of soy and sesame oil when cooking to give a subtle flavor.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BeeZee

                  I've been enjoying short gran brown rice with toasted nuts, chopped dried fruit, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup as a hearty warm breakfast.

                2. With brown rice, I like cooking it in the oven. Cook's Illustrated recently did a smart rice and grain cooking guide. They suggest 1 cup of b rice to 1.5 cups of boiling water, with some salt, if you like.

                  Put everything into a shallow bake dish and cover, very tightly, with two layers of foil. One hour in the oven at 250-275 degrees. Let it sit for a while when it comes out the of the oven.

                  Fantastic results, separate grains, nutty flavour, chewy, light and delicious.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: stonesoup

                    Yes, this is how I do it too - when they originally posted this method in Cook's Illustrated, they suggested a few alternatives:

                    adding sauteed garlic and shallots to the rice and boiling water (you can also use fat free chicken broth) and then after it comes out of the oven, add parmesan and lemon zest. Great taste.

                    I've also made it in the oven with basil and lowfat coconut milk.

                    I believe the oven method is the best way to make consistently great brown rice.

                  2. We also season with non sweetened rice vinegar.... but I also find I perfer the Nishiki Brown Rice to anything I've ever tasted... They are sold at Japanese and Chinese Markets... Great stuff!



                    1. I like to cook my brown rice with chicken stock and then a dash of vinegar and top it off with chopped green onions.

                      1. If you're going to the trouble of making a batch by the oven method or any other way that takes a lot of time, make a giant batch and freeze in portions. Masaharu Morimoto once touted this trick, and it works quite well. The brown rice especially holds up very well to freezing and re-heating in the microwave. I figure if it's good enough for Iron Chef Japanese, it's good enough for me...

                        1. Ok, I am literally sitting here eating brown rice after trying the dry pre-cook method, and I am amazed. The first time I have managed to cook brown rice properly. Thank you so much for the post!!

                          1. Having lived in Japan for a number of years, I never cook rice with anything other than my rice cooker and prefer it sticky unless I am not topping it with any sauce. If you are looking for a way to cook brown rice in a rice cooker and fluffy is what you prefer, I make tasty, fluffier brown rice by utilizing this method:

                            1 cup brown rice
                            3 cups water
                            2 packets sodium free chicken boullion

                            Cook until rice cooker clicks over to "warm" and then I mix in a sprinkle of garlic powder and low sodium soy sauce to taste. I, occasionally also like to add a bit of Sriracha hot chili sauce or a bit of curry powder just to switch it up so that I don't get bored with it.

                            If you prefer your rice a little crunchier, subtract 1/2 a cup of water if you want it softer just add a 1/2 - 1 cup more water. I also make a larger batch and refridgerate/freeze the extra in small single portion bowls. I find that this helps me to keep from over indulging as I have a bit of a problem wanting to "clean up my plate". Hahaha Good luck and I hope this helps some of you.

                            1. Cook it with some chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, onions, corn, etc.) and sweet potatoes incorporated right into the water with the rice.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Add seaweed and sesame seeds and tamari.

                              2. my favorite thing to do lately is to blitz either a few good dried chilis (especially chipotles and guajillos) or a good handful of dried mushrooms in my spice grinder, then throw those in at the beginning of the cooking process with a splash of oil, some salt, and the rice. then cook normally. the grinded chilis or mushrooms add some awesome flavor without adding a ton of sodium or sugar or fat (aka keeping it really healthy!)

                                1. start with olive oil, garlic and onions in pan.... add brown rice after onions are transparent, cook for a few minutes, use low sodium stock or broth instead of water.. for spanish style you can use salsa instead of some of the water/stock.