What's your go-to brown rice recipe?
- shanagain Jan 10, 2010 02:23 PM
Add me to the millions of people trying to make healthy changes to our diet. But, I'm a failure so far at brown rice.
I haven't tried the Alton Brown method yet (boil water, pour over rice, cook in oven for an hour or so) but that'll be next...
Is that your go-to? Is that the best way?
this *just* came up in another thread today. if nothing else, it's a place to start!
ETA: and other threads that may help:
For me, Alton's IS the best way...I LOVE the baked brown rice...also use it for barley. HOWEVER...ahem!...in the summer when it is 99 degrees and 99% humidity here in SWFL, I'll be damned if I'm going to turn on that oven...it does very bad things to my electric bill! So, I use the "just put 3/4 cup of brown rice in a ton of water on the stove, let it cook uncovered til the brown rice is al dente and strain it method." No measuring this to that...and, after I strain it, I leave it in colander over boiling water just to steam it up a bit and get it fluffy. Works fine for us. It is in NO WAY how you or anyone *should* cook rice but I like both methods because they work just fine for us. And I think I saw Sara Moulton use the second method once on the cooking show she had on Food Network long ago. All of my other stove-top brown rice recipes used to come out gummy...neither of these do and that's why I like them.
Use a rice cooker and figure out what proportion of rice to water works for you. After that, it's a total no-brainer. I'm not going to give you a recipe because different types of brown rice will require different amounts of water. In a rice cooker, the cooking time depends entirely on how much water you use and how it gets absorbed into the rice. For most white rices I'll use 1 part rice to 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 parts water. For brown it's usually around 1 part rice to 2 parts water.
I vote for the rice cooker also. Yes, it's a single use appliance but it's earned it's keep quickly imo. We've pretty much switched completely to brown rice in our house w/ the exception of fried rice which is rare. It's to the point I don't really even remember what white rice taste like.
And my favorite rice recipe is my husbands version of spanish rice. Yummy. Pretty simple, just some chopped up cilantro, onion and jalapeno and diced canned tomatoes.
We like Lundberg brown rice. They have several mixed varieties that are tasty because of the different kinds of rice used. I just follow the directions on the package. The 'bad' thing about brown rice is the amount of cooking time ... 45 minutes so I have to pre-cook ours for weeknight meals. If there's not much rice left (just the two of us), leftover rice gets sauteed with diced onion and maybe a handful of frozen peas thrown in.
For brown rice, the ratio is about 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Short grain rice needs less water than long grain, but 2-1 is a good place to start. Put brown rice and water together in a saucepan, bring to a boil. You can add some salt and/or butter to the water if you like. When it gets to a boil, cover and turn down the heat to lowest possible, cook on lowest possible heat for about 45 minutes. Do not lift the lid while cooking. After 45 minutes check to see if it's done (mine usually is).
If it's done but too watery, raise the temp and boil off extra water, add less water next time. If it's watery and not done, put the cover back on and cook another 10-15 min. If it's dry and not done add a little more water, cover, and cook a little longer. Remember the adjustments for next time.
You also might want to experiment to find out what kind of brown rice you like best. For basic brown rice, I prefer short grain (lundberg organic) but brown basmati is also good. Wehani rice is very good but takes longer to cook (at least an hour).
Once you have made the brown rice, if you have leftover you can keep it and make fried rice, and okayu (or rice porridge). Also, try cooking white rice and adding a little bit of brown rice. It is a good way to add fiber and nutrients to the diet.
We didn't love the AB recipe...it was a bit inconsistent (either chewy or mushy). DH saw another technique on a cooking show that we use now, with 100% good results. For one cup of dry rice, use one gallon of water, bring to the boil, add the rice, boil for 35 minutes uncovered, drain, then salt, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. For 2 cups of rice, use 1.5 gallons of water. We usually make a double batch (2 cups of rice), then freeze half of the cooked rice by laying it on parchment on a cookie sheet, then transferring to a container once frozen. That comes in handy for quick meals after work.