Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 27, 2012 07:20 AM

Fooled me twice, got crunchy brown rice

I used to like to make brown rice risotto but ran into a constant frustration: the recipe called for briefly stirring the raw rice in the sautéed onion to coat it with oil before adding liquid, as you do with Arborio, and it invariably led to crunchy rice that no amount of added water could soften. I should have caught myself before recently trying a similar recipe (Spanish rice with soy chorizo), because it called for the same procedure and yielded the same results. (No particular variety of brown rice was specified, so I used generic supermarket long-grain, but I would think that if this were a factor it should be pointed out.) This recipe was clearly adapted from another I’d seen using long-grain white but was adjusted for brown by calling for more liquid and longer cooking time, so fooled me into thinking it was otherwise doable. Not! I’ll refrain from sautéing brown rice in the future because I now assume that it inhibits liquid absorption. True? If that’s the case, why does this instruction keep cropping up? (I read the older thread about b.r. risotto and saw the same instructions in linked recipes.) Or is there something I’m overlooking?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. do you wash, rinse, briefly soak and drain the rice before adding it to the oil? i do that for simple brown rice pilafs and spanish rice (not a risotto fan, so no idea there), and i like the results better than adding dry brown rice. also my preferred brown rice is a genjimai, which is a japonica, so it's probably a bit softer and stickier than what you were using.

    1. I don't have a good answer for you, but I do note that you are making risotto with long grain brown rice. If I were doing this, I'd use a short grain or stickier rice. Long grain rice is bred to remain fluffy, which isn't a good characteristic for making risotto.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sueatmo

        I only wish it DID come out fluffy, but no matter how much more liquid I add, it won't absorb it and so I have to assume it's the result of having been sauteed. I don't dispute the fact that a different rice might work better - I'm just annoyed at multiple recipes that call for long grain brown and it clearly doesn't work!

      2. How long are you sauteing it? I do so only briefly. I don't wash, soak, or otherwise do anything extra with the rice (package does not say to rinse, Lundberg).
        My guess is that you are sauteeing too long, frying the exterior of the rice.
        I spend a little more for the Lundberg and get good results.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wyogal

          No more than a minute, but it seems enough to inhibit the rice's ability to absorb liquid.