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Why is my rice taking forever?

jnstarla Mar 18, 2008 05:14 PM

I am cooking some black rice on the stovetop. It's been an hour and 15 minutes, and it still hasn't absorbed the water. I'm hungry! Am I doing something wrong, or did the package that said it would cook in 45 minutes just lie to me?

This may just be the straw that sends me to Amazon to buy a rice cooker...

  1. paulj Mar 18, 2008 05:21 PM

    Is the black sticky rice that is used in Thailand for sweet dishes?

    Did you soak it first?

    1. m
      Maximilien Mar 18, 2008 05:22 PM

      Me think that most rice like that need to be soaked for "some" time before cooking. A quick google tells me that in some instances, one must soak the rice over night.

      Having a rice cooker might not solve that problem.

      1. jnstarla Mar 18, 2008 06:04 PM

        I didn't soak it first; the package doesn't call for it, and I never soak red, brown, or white rice so I didn't think it was necessary.

        This is the exact stuff I have: http://www.lundberg.com/products/rice...

        3 Replies
        1. re: jnstarla
          a
          Alice Letseat Mar 18, 2008 06:09 PM

          Hey, have you tried TASTING this rice? Not all rice will absorb all the water you use!

          1. re: Alice Letseat
            jnstarla Mar 18, 2008 06:16 PM

            Well, at t-minus 1 hour and 50 minutes the water was *mostly* though not fully absorbed and we decided to just eat. The rice is still crunchy in the center - it is definitely not cooked all the way.

            This is the second bag we've gone through and I really love the flavor, but I've always cooked it in the middle of a weekend marathon cooking session and apparently never realized just how long it was taking before. That's what weeknight dinner will do to you, eh?

          2. re: jnstarla
            paulj Mar 19, 2008 01:35 PM

            Does Lundberg have a 'contact us' page? Since it is their own blend, they may be the best source of information.

            paulj

          3. Sam Fujisaka Mar 18, 2008 06:18 PM

            You're cooking a Japonica brown rice--brown in the sense of less milling and greater cooking time. Do what you do when cooking brown rice.

            I stay away from brown rice in the days of depleting enegy resources (given the greater times and amounts of fuel needed for cooking) and climate change (given the greater emissions from cooking brown rice).

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              Richard 16 Mar 19, 2008 12:11 PM

              I use a pressure cooker for brown rice. (Mt. Fuji method for water.) Much faster but not as light - but I prefer the texture. (Try adding part another grain - brown basmati, amaranth [more water], millet - whatever you like.)

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                p
                Pistou Mar 19, 2008 01:19 PM

                Sam, have you done the math on energy used to cook brown rice vs. white,
                versus energy expended to process white rice? I am honestly just curious. I also try to make small changes in my habits that benefit the environment, but this one never occurred to me. (And I'm not sure it's a change I'm ready to make, given that I prefer brown rice to white and it's better for me, but still, I'd like to know the answer). Do you avoid all foods with long cooking times?

                1. re: Pistou
                  Sam Fujisaka Mar 19, 2008 02:20 PM

                  Good question. The energy difference between polished (white) and unpolished (brown) is minimal, with most of the milling energy going into dehusking. We've measured actual fuel use for cooking for people using wood from forests in Asia--big difference.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    p
                    Pistou Mar 19, 2008 03:03 PM

                    And what about people using natural gas or electricity in Northern California, for example?

              2. ipsedixit Mar 19, 2008 09:44 AM

                Turn up the heat.

                1. sarah galvin Mar 19, 2008 12:18 PM

                  Where do you live? higher altitudes like where I live (at 5000 ft above sea level) water boils at a lower temp and it takes longer to cook.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sarah galvin
                    jnstarla Mar 19, 2008 01:00 PM

                    Nebraska - it's not an altitude problem for sure. :)

                  2. p
                    Pistou Mar 19, 2008 01:21 PM

                    The recipe in The Splendid Grain says that black rice should be steamed. I did this once, with cheese cloth in my bamboo steamer, and the rice did turn out beautifully. I'm not sure the difference in texture was worth the hassle of fussing with the steamer, though. There were other steps, though I don't remember them now and the book is at home. In any event, I do recall that it seemed to cook faster with the steaming method.

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