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Brown Rice

I don't like brown rice. It has the texture of little crunchy bugs and absolutely no taste. Unfortunately, I seem to have acquired quite a bit of it. We have a newborn baby, and very, very nice people have been bringing us food so that we don't have to cook. It's been great, but unfortunately, at least 3 of those meals have included a large container of (cooked) brown rice. What am I going to do with it all? My partner can eat only so much of it. I hate to waste food, but I just don't like the stuff very much, although maybe if it were made into something else it would be more palatable? Can you make congee out of it? Rice pudding? Compost?

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  1. If you make a rice pudding out of it, it'll soften it and give it some taste. I've never tried it but maybe fried rice would work since it'll be older rice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      i make fried rice all the time with brown rice...we love it!

    2. It can be a component in a soup, therefore making it softer. Another idea would be to freeze it & deal with it later. : )

      1. Drown it in gravy or sauce. We eat brown basmati rice as a change from jasmine or regular basmati when we have something with a lot of liquid - a braise, stew, curry etc.

        1. I just mixed some brown rice with ground turkey to make cabbage rolls. I also use it in soup.

          1. Do you have homeless people near your place. Seriously, I would give it to them to eat. I happen to like brown rice (despite your lovely description of the texture), but if you don't like it, rather than throw it out or force yourself to eat something you dislike, give it to people that can use it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pescatarian

              That was a great recommendation pescatarian!! :)

            2. Mix it with ground meat (beef, turkey, bison, veal, pork), spices, onion, etc. and stuff peppers. These bake for at least 45 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers, so the rice should soften and have great flavor with the meat juices.

              I know you don't want to hear this, but probably the rice you have is low quality. Brown basmati or jasmine or koshi hikari is fragrant and tasty, not crunchy. Your friends sound kind but perhaps they don't know how to choose or cook rice.

              1. I'll put it in an electric skillet, add a few ounces of water with a packet of taco seasoning already dissolved. Then stir it around til the water evaporates. Can also add cooked meat or veggies. Makes a nice mexican dish.

                1. Sorry your first experience with brown rice is negative. It shouldn't have the texture of "crunchy bugs." I've had some of that too - badly cooked. And you're right that it doesn't have any flavor when it's badly prepared. Yuck. It's not what brown rice can and should taste like.
                  Brown and white rice well cooked are delicious, fragrant and toothsome. Just realize that the US hasn't traditionally been much of a rice-eating culture. Lots of people still can't cook rice very well, I'm sorry to say. Really sorry because we all end up having to eat more badly cooked rice than we're happy about.

                  Fortunately, rice is not expensive, so do yourself and your partner a favor and pitch the stuff you have. Don't foist it off on poor homeless people or waste time you don't have with a new baby in the house trying to save it out of guilt.
                  Get some fresh brown rice from the store and learn to cook it yourself. Use the recipe that calls for a little more water so that it's softer - less crunchy-bug - so you can cook it a little longer. The flavor will develop a bit more. Give it a fair shot. It really is delicious and versatile and something your baby will love when he's older.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MakingSense

                    I've found short grain and medium grain rice much more palatable, and actually enjoyable, than the long-grain brown rice. So pitch what tastes terrible, but don't give up yet on all brown rice. Try the short grain and reassess.

                    1. re: NYchowcook

                      ITA! We love Nishiki's New Crop Medium grain rice. I am tempted to try WF's short grain bulk once we work through our bag...


                    2. re: MakingSense

                      Make sure you season the water before you cook it. That right there will give it a lot more flavour.


                    3. have you ever tried sticky/sweet brown rice? I know that doesn't answer your post...but I was just wondering. My mother loves the stuff because its a nice alternative to white rice for koreans or japanese.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: bitsubeats

                        very good recommendation. i have long been a brown rice-eater but i DID start out with the sticky kind since it just seemed to be more palatable. loved it. good texture. ive since branched out and pretty much like them all but its a wonderful gateway food:)

                        1. re: ben61820

                          is it sticky like korean or japanese rice? my mom cooks with it once in a while for my dad - he needs to watch his health. I told her recently I wanted to cook with brown rice, but I hate the texture and the fact that it doesn't stick and clump up when you pick it up with chopsticks. She suggested the sticky brown rice. I see it at the korean grocery store all the time under the brand name "han guk mi". Do you know how much it is compared to a 10 lb or 20lb bag of white rice?

                          1. re: bitsubeats

                            I normally mix rice, to have some of the health (and taste) of brown rice, but the texture of regular (california) medium-grain rice. Different people have different preferences, but my own optimal mix is 1/3 brown to 2/3 white (I use tamaki gold), sometimes with a small handful of mochi rice (white) thrown in. (This helps the texture, not just of the brown rice, but also of suboptimal white rices, such as when I was recently persuaded by my neighborhood mom and pop korean market to buy a big bag of kagayaki rice, which I turned out to hate... I learned the mochi rice trick from a Japanese friend whose parents are rice growers, actually!) The mix uses the same rice cooker amount and setting as regular white rice.

                            However, none of this helps with the original request, I guess, which is what to do with already cooked brown rice. I have occasionally seen breads made with brown rice, but they probably retain the same attributes that were found objectionable in the rice to begin with...

                            1. re: another_adam

                              another adam, in the Philippines I added a handful of sticky malagkit to the "normal" long grained (IR72 or IR64) rices to get a more Japanese texture.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Oh, good point! Now that you mention this, I don't know why I've never thought about trying this at my (filipino) in-laws' house when we need just need one batch of more Japanese-style rice, instead of always running out to find a bag of actual japanese-style rice!

                      2. is there any chance that one of the 3 containers holds 'tasty' brown rice?

                        I love brown rice because of the flavour so the absolutely no taste thing surprises me.

                        Fried Rice done with brown rice is good. if it's a bit too crunchy still, you can toss it in a bowl with some water, covered with a paper towel and nuke it a bit first. that'll cook it some more and soften it up. It also freezes well if you want to prolong the agony and cook something with it later.

                        1. JoyM, your own suggestion of congee is a good one. Brown rice makes a nice hearty congee. Unlike congee with white rice, it doesn't release a lot of starch, so I usually give it a bit of a thrashing with a potato masher after it's been simmering a while. That tends to help with the texture, though you may still get the occasional husk.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Pantz

                            Ooooh, that sounds even better than the other suggestions, since I love congee. I was afraid you had to have white rice for congee. I think I'm going to try this. Thanks.

                            1. re: JoyM

                              Might be too late by now, but if you have a bit of mochi (sweet) rice around, you might throw in a handful too-- or even just a little bit of mochiko (the flour made from it) at the end. That will add the needed starch, if your brown rice disintegrates but doesn't release enough starch to make a rice congee texture. (Otherwise, you might just have a watery mix of disintegrated brown rice?)

                          2. Use bulgur instead. It's better for you (more fiber per unit of volume) and as easy to cook as white rice (because it's wheat that is cracked and steamed, then dried, in advance). Delightful flavor.

                            1. if the brown rice is indeed badly cooked (crunchy bugs) i would compost it, it's beyond redemption. if some of it is cooked okay but you don't prefer the brown riciness of it, the stuff works really well as part of a salad with a vinaigrette dressing (try with black or white cooked beans, celery, peppers, other veggies, or sub chicken. stuff a tortilla with it and eat it as a wrap or serve on top of greens as a whole-foods salad. it is good for you and you might appreciate it more in this way. eat the salad out of a bowl with toasted nuts or feta, or leftover roasted meats, take it to work-- the vinaigrette dressing will cut the extra starchiness of the brown rice that many people find objectionable.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: soupkitten

                                Oh, this rec reminded me of the Moosewood Recipe for Sri Wasano's infamous indonesian salad--that has enough liquid ingredients to seep into the rice and flavor it with citrus and spice, and has a bunch of veggies. I think it has been posted in various places on the net, and can be found by googling.

                              2. I like to stir fry veggies, then add the cooked brown rice and some soy sauce and or/teriaki sauce...very good

                                1. Absolutely good for rice pudding, as already said. Fried rice also a great option. You could freeze it and eventually use it in a muffin/bread recipe. You can also use it as filler in meatballs for beef/turkey and cabbage, or in meatloaf.

                                  1. SHORT GRAIN UNPOLISHED BROWN RICE is the healthiest with fiber, minerals, and protein % equal to meats! You can live on it in an Emergency and add some green vegetables, etc. If it is to tough, I suspect it was not cooked long enough or had enough liquid added to it.
                                    ! cup of Brown Unpolished rice (rinsed) with almost 2 cups of water simmered for 55-60 minutes should come out just right. You can add a bit of salt, if desired. A little butter or coconut nut oil added to the water cooks down into the rice for a nice taste. A double boiler works just great for this! Organic Brown Rice is a bargain, especially from BULK displays. This is one item, that is not so much more expensive then the commercial white rice varieties. Even the frugal or budget minded should find it a bargain!
                                    If there is a question of how Short Grain Brown Unpolished should be served, order it at PFChang's, which is consistent and properly cooked very time. I always marvel at how many people order the white rice, which has all the Nutrition value removed in the outer layer and given to the hogs! White rice is simply starch and calories with no nutritional value! Then the excess calories are deposited as fat

                                    A little chicken, beef or vegetarian stock can be added to left over Brown rice for reheating. The rice can be added to soups for additional FIBER, etc. I have recommend a Brown Rice and vegetable diet for weight loss for many years.
                                    Why it is not replaced the lowly potatoe, I will never understand.


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: nutrition

                                      I'm with you on the short grain rice craze. I bought it once when it was on sale at my food coop, having been a long grain person since, oh, forever. It's better than long grain! Don't like dry hard rice . .. try short grain! It is terrific. Tender and tasty.

                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                        I too have never had any luck with cooking brown rice on the stovetop, then I purchased a small rice cooker from my local Asian market. I comes out perfect every time and is not at all crunchy. As a matter of fact the texture is soo good I find it difficult to go back to white rice. It reminds me of the first time I tasted real oatmeal such as Silver Pallate brand versus Quaker or some of those other mealy tasking oatmeals. What a difference! Can't eat anything but the rough cut oatmeal now, and talk about the best oatmeal cookies, they can't be beat.

                                    2. Use it to make fried rice.

                                      1. You can make a great "salad" out it. Blanche some asparagus. Cut some grape tomatoes in half. Slice a shallot or two. Crumble up some good feta cheese. Saute a few mushrooms. Then make a light dressing: 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar; 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil; salt and pepper to taste; the juice of one lemon. Toss together as a salad and top with fresh parsley. It's really good.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: egreene2003

                                          i second this idea! i also make rice (or barley) salads like this, and they are fabulous, especially now that the summer is approaching. i like mine with basil, cilantro, lemon, chickpeas, grape tomoatoes and roasted corn. seriously just throw anything you like in it. mmm.

                                          1. re: taryn

                                            I do something like this too with cold rice except I just throw it on a traditional salad nothing fancy.

                                          2. re: egreene2003

                                            Sounds really good. Or try a salad like I make w/wild rice - add dried fruits (apricot, cranberry, golden raisions, etc.) and nuts (spicy almonds).

                                          3. To add to the replies re: taste and texture, not sure why you say it has no taste, I could not disagree more. We cook brown (sometimes mixed with wild rice) for an avg of 45 minutes with basically the same proportion water->rice as white rice. We then typically add a good dose of good EVOO, chopped fresh flat parsley and plenty of salt/fresh cracked pepper. After getting more used to it I find I prefer it much more than white now.
                                            And it makes a much better pilaf than white.
                                            I'd recommend taking a couple of more tries with it before giving up on it.

                                            1. Heat it with some milk,sugar,raisens and cinnamon for breakfast.

                                              1. Brown Basmati rice is awesome. I'm not too keen on "regular" long-grain brown rice - it's pretty tasteless.

                                                As mentioned previously, it makes great fried rice and great pilafs.

                                                I also have brown risotto rice. Not too bad, but it takes forever to make.

                                                1. I love brown rice and it is so much healthier than white rice. My favorite is Trader Joe's. It should not be crunchy. It should be fairly fluffy just like white rice. Wild rice has a chewy texture (love it too). Suggest you make a curry dish and serve it over the rice. Mussamun curry with chicken and potatoes and a few peanuts on top might be perfect. Yum!