We’ve all heard that brown rice is better for you than white rice. But have you ever tried cooking brown rice? How did it go? If you’re like me, you were probably disappointed in how chewy it was. I missed having fluffy, soft, tender white rice!
Since I am all about making healthy food more fun to eat, I set out to learn all I could about how to improve the flavor and texture of brown rice. I’m going to share my tips, tricks, and products I have found that make brown rice soft and tender – and really delicious!
HOW TO COOK PERFECT BROWN RICE
1. Use a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part rice. Brown rice triples in bulk. This is a little different than white rice – with white rice, you need 2 parts water to 1 part rice. When you use the correct water to rice ratio, your rice will have a softer texture.
2. Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking it. This really helps it get a fluffy (not gummy) texture when it’s cooked. I rinse my rice by putting it in a large mesh strainer and immersing it in s bowl of water. I lift it up and down, and get my hands in there to make sure all the extra starch ( and let’s face it, probably dirt) get rinsed off.
3. Measure out some fresh water and bring it to a boil before adding the rinsed rice. I typically use these amounts:
- 3 cups water, 1 cup (dry) rice – serves 4 people
- 1 and 1/2 cups water, 2/3 cup(dry) rice – serves 2 people
- 9 cups water, 3 cups (dry) rice – serves 12 people
Bring it back to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the water is all absorbed. It will look like this:
4. Keep the lid on the rice for 15 minutes after it’s finished cooking. When the rice is soft and the water is absorbed, remove it from the heat. Keep the lid on and let it rest for 15 minutes before you take the lid off again. The steam left in the pot helps the rice to have a nice, fluffy texture and a milder flavor.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Sometimes it takes a little longer than 35 minutes to cook the rice. I don’t know if it’s the humidity in the air or what, but it happens sometimes. Just taste it, and if it doesn’t seem soft enough add a little bit more water ( like maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on the amount you are cooking) and let it cook for another 2-5 minutes. When you are satisfied with the texture, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, as described above.
- Brown rice can be cooked in bulk and frozen. I like to do this by spreading the rice out in a gallon sized zip top freezer bag, and pressing it flat before storing it in the freezer. It thaws out more quickly that way, and re-heats beautifully in the microwave. This has been such a big time saver for me!
PRODUCTS I USED
Here are a few products that can make cooking rice a little easier:
Some of my recipes that work well with brown rice:
20 Minute Chicken Soup (I often replace the noodles with cooked brown rice)