Brown rice or whole rice makes for a satisfying and nutritious dish, which is even pretty easy to make. The first time when you make something is always a challenge. But once you find out how to cook brown rice to perfection, you will make it again and again. It’s that easy!
Fluffy, delicious and hearty brown rice is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to incorporating in other dishes. It goes great in soups, salads, stir-fries, or even as a simple side dish next to a wonderful cut of meat. It’s easy to spice things up by adding some veggies or mushrooms in the mix.
But why brown rice? Because simply put, it’s healthier than regular white rice. The former has a way higher nutritional value. That happens because the latter is produced by stripping the grain (bran layer and cereal germ).
Rice is also great because, after you cook it, you can keep it for about a week in the fridge, in a sealed container. It’s rich in selenium, manganese, healthy fats which help balance your cholesterol level and naturally occurring oils. It helps promote weight loss because it’s satisfying and you won’t be hungry very soon after eating it. It has a high number of antioxidants, fiber, and slow-releasing sugar, which doesn’t send you into the destructive cycle of rising and dropping blood sugar levels.
There are many varieties of rice: long grain, short grain, basmati, and jasmine. And you can cook them all using this technique.
I first did this while having my mother on the phone and I guess that moment stuck with me, because I follow the process step by step, exactly like I did then. Cooking rice should take about 50-55 minutes.
How to cook brown rice in 9 simple steps
1. Be careful how much you make
When cooked, brown rice expands to three times the dry size. A cup of uncooked brown rice becomes three cups of cooked brown rice because it absorbs a lot of water when cooked! Also, when counting calories, remember that one cup of cooked brown rice has about 215 calories.
2. Gather your ingredients
You will need 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water or the stock of your choosing (Here’s how to make some nice chicken stock), 1 tabelspoon of oil, preferably olive oil, and a pinch of salt. You can do this with a measuring cup or a simple cup, a medium to large pot with a lid, and a strainer.
The water or stock should have about two times and a half the volume of rice.
3. Rinse the rice
Place the rice in a strainer and let cool water from the tap flow over it for a few minutes. At the first the water will look milky, so let the tap run until the water is clear. I like to run my fingers through the rice, and see if there are still some husked grains or foreign elements. I also love the sensation of the grains on my skin – a true “Amelie Poulain” moment.
4. Transfer to pot
After the water is strained, transfer the clean rice to the pot. Wet rice is a bit messy, so make sure you get all the grains in there.
5. Combine rice with other ingredients
Add the water or stock, olive oil, and stock to the rice in the pot.
6. Bring to a boil
Turn the stovetop on to a medium-high flame. Bring it to a boil.
7. Let it simmer
Once the water boils, cover the pot with an appropriate lid and reduce the temperature, so that the rice simmers. Cook it for about 40 minutes.
The rice is best cooked undisturbed, but if you’re doing this for the first times, it’s best to check and see if the water isn’t evaporating completely.
After the rice has absorbed the water completely, remove it from the heat and fluff it with a fork. Then cover the pot again and leave it like that until you serve it.