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Jan 10, 2008 09:16 AM

Fried brown rice

I love fried white rice (especially kimchi rice) and make it often, but I'm trying to get more brown rice (which I also love) into my diet.

I haven't ever tried using brown rice for fried rice. Wondering if anyone has technique tips, or rice variety recommendations.

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  1. Fried brown rice is actually one of my go-to easy, healthy meals. Here's my recipe, adapted from a long-ago Shape magazine one:

    Heat up a small amount of sesame oil, throw in some crushed garlic for a moment, and add cubes of boneless skinless chicken breast. (Optional: saute some onion with the chicken.) Once the chicken is browned, add uncooked brown rice (I use the Uncle Ben 10-min variety for time purposes, and it works just fine), stirring it around for a minute. Stir in soy sauce, then add chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer according to your rice directions. About five minutes before the rice is supposed to be done, lay some broccoli florets and chopped baby carrots on top, and cover to steam up the veggies while the rice finishes cooking. Once it's all done, stir in chopped green onions.

    I've tried sauteing the carrots at the beginning, but leaving them in the rice so long gives the dish a strange flavor. Other than that, though, it's really fool-proof, and you can easily up the veggie content. It also reheats really well for lunch the next day. So good!

    3 Replies
    1. re: porceluna

      doesnt cooking the rice AFTER browning get rid of all the wonderful crispy-ness? I know mom used to "brown" white rice before cooking to make sort of a "rice-a-roni" type dish, but I've never before seen fried rice where the rice was fried raw then cooked. Interesting concept.

      just a note: generally day old refrigerated white rice works better for fried rice, doesn't stick as much, assume the same is true for brown rice.

      1. re: porceluna

        The browning-before-cooking is also how you make Armenian pilaf (which they knocked off when they "invented" Rice-A-Roni), and brown rice works very well for that - in fact, I think I like it much better. You cook about a cup of crushed angel-hair pasta (the nests are the best) in butter or oil until it's golden brown, then put in a cup of rice and cook it, stirring, until the grains turn chalky. Pour in two cups water or chicken broth (all at once or it'll boil over!), bring it to the boil again covered, then reduce heat and simmer half an hour or so. I was taught to add salt and cayenne pepper at the beginning, and have never seen a good reason not to...

        1. re: Will Owen

          yep, thats what mom did... I could never understand why people paid so much for that little box of rice a roni when it was so easy to make at home.

          thanks will

      2. Works wonderfully. Good spices are cumin/coriander, garlic (as above), ginger, maybe some chili flakes or chili paste. With those spices tarragon is great. I'll saute in toasted seesame oil and maybe some butter, adding seasoning at the end. Caramelize some onions or shallots, add peas, roasted corn, etc. Toss with a little soy. Top with toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions.

        1. When my brother came back from duty in Vietnam, he started making us fried rice for breakfast. He'd lived in a house, and he watched the housekeeper cook. Don't know whether she taught him anything, but the rice sure hit the spot.

          He'd saute chopped green onion and mushrooms in an electric skillet (anyone remember those?) till soft, then add a few more T oil, when it was hot he'd add rice cooked al dente, and stir stir stir. When the rice was well crisped, he'd add some cocktail shrimp and season with soy and fish sauce.

          I changed the recipe to use brown rice, which is even tastier. I find when cooking the rice beforehand, adding the rice a few tsp at a time to boiling water (so it never comes off the boil) keeps the outside of the grain from bursting and the rice from getting all gooey. Makes a nicer rice for eating or cooking with. Cover, lower heat to very low and steam for 40 minutes, fluff, and let sit covered off heat for 5 more minutes.

          1. I have used brown rice as a substitute for white in my fried rice recipe for years to rave reviews from family. They still say my rice is better then take out. Just follow your fried rice recipe using brown rice.

            1. I've made it often, using brown rice instead of white. Of course, the results are not the same, but still wonderful. I've also used a combination or cooked-and-cooled-overnight brown rice and barley.... with the usual: a little soy sauce, sesame oil and hot seasonings, onion, maybe celery, maybe garlic, definitely ginger, some leftover meat, a small omelet, chopped, and a few times, some softened bean thread, cut to about 2 inch lengths....