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Old 01-29-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,610 posts, read 4,301,978 times
Reputation: 1458

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In my new eating plan (based on the Mediterranean Plan) I am trying to stay away from refined grain products. One of the things I am trying to "like" is brown rice but so far it is not happening. Every time I cook it, it comes out tough and chewy instead of light and fluffy like white rice. Can someone suggest a cooking method that produces better results? I am NOT looking for recipes that call for adding lots of supplemental ingredients but rather one that is basically just rice, water (or stock?) and maybe a flavoring or two. Any ideas out there?
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Sunny Arizona
622 posts, read 1,494,427 times
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I was in your boat. One trick I have found to make brown rice delicious is to vary your grains. Don't just cook one variety of brown rice- it's just not the same as plain white rice and trying to use it that way just doesn't work imo. Use a few different types...throw in some black rice or black barley, red millet, maybe even some kamut, you get the idea. Things that add a nice contrast.

Also, I LOVE brown sweet rice. It's so good! The flavor is great and I love the texture- sort of crunchy on the outside and squishy on the inside. If you've never tried it, go find some in an asian store. It is excellent!

Last thing- find a great cooking method. I found my rice cooker and stovetop method for cooking white rice just wasn't working. This is the best way I've found to cook brown rice.

Cover grain with plenty of water.
Bring to a boil and simmer. You will have to keep an eye on it and taste the grains every now and again. What you are looking for is almost done..but not quite. And since people have different ideas of what "done" should be, and different rice has different cooking times, this is a great method like that. Anyway, when you reach that "not-quite" stage, dump out the water and put the rice back in the pot and put the lid on it. Don't touch for 10 minutes. This will steam the last of your rice to perfection.

I made some rice last night- sweet brown, long grain brown, black barley and radish seeds and then I had these spicy thai spiced peanuts that I chopped up and sprinkled some on top. Served with the thai coconut chicken soup- tom kha gai, it was a tasty dinner!
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Near Devil's Pond, Georgia
424 posts, read 1,483,095 times
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Brown rice takes a good deal longer to cook on stovetop than white rice...40 to 45 minutes or so compared to 15 minutes for white rice, Becasue of the bran, it will have a slight crunch to it that white rice does not have. Because of the extra cooking time involved you need more liquid than for cooking white rice. Depending on the source of rice, you might want to rinse the rice first to remove dust, etc. The old deal about rinsing white rice was not necessary unless the rice was coated or polished with talc, but brown rice often does have some residue that should be removed. Domestic rice is not as much of a problem.

I just vary my rice by cooking in broth or stock. Chicken, vegetable, pork, and beef broth/stock work nicely. They add a lot of flavor. You said you were not interested much in add-ins, well, there are a few basic ones that will contribute to savory rice: garlic, onion, herbs (thyme, summer savory, parsley, etc. You can also toast the rice in a skillet a bit before adding liquid and herbs to alter the flavor.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,610 posts, read 4,301,978 times
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Thanks for the tips. I also read somewhere today that it is critical to use enough liquid (water) when cooking it. That a 2:1 ratio of water to rice is very important and I think that has been part of my problem, not enough liquid. This article also said to avoid adding salt (or salty broths) during cooking as it hardens the bran coating and increases the cooking time. So I will try all of your suggestions and keep after it until something works. A guy here in my office that eats "healthy" said that he uses a Success Rice "boil-in-bag" brown rice product. It is already partially cooked and makes for a much shorter cooking time as well as convenience. I need to see if it has the same nutrients and then maybe try a small box.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,704 posts, read 9,094,038 times
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Since you're in Texas, try the Texmati brown rice. I had the same issues trying to convert from white and Texmati is the only one I've found so far that is flavorful and doesn't cook up chewy.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:11 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 32,635,770 times
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For extra flavor when I make brown rice, I add a handful of basmati, and/or a little chicken or beef bullion powder, oftentimes I'll add tomato powder and a small can of Herdez salsa. Anything to break up the monotony.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: (WNY)
5,384 posts, read 9,585,891 times
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Just a question.... are you stirring your rice while it cooks? It might sound silly or ridiulous and I don't mean to imply you don't know what you are doing.... but some people do come on looking for information.... but if you do stir the rice while it is cooking it will stick or become mushy....depending on how much you stir.

Personally I hate cooking rice.... I don't have the patience for it.... I do as another poster suggested and use the boil in the bag... and have no complaints.... once boiled I add a bit of chicken broth and it is quite tasty....
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,690 posts, read 21,741,083 times
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This what I do. It doesn't matter if you're using long grain, medium grain, stuff you just bought or been laying around for a while and might need to cook a little longer. You never run out of water before the rice is cooked.

I never payed much attention to the salt issue. If you do cook the rice in extra water and will be draining it, you could always try adding the salt toward the end of cooking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minathebrat View Post
Last thing- find a great cooking method. I found my rice cooker and stovetop method for cooking white rice just wasn't working. This is the best way I've found to cook brown rice.

Cover grain with plenty of water.
Bring to a boil and simmer. You will have to keep an eye on it and taste the grains every now and again. What you are looking for is almost done..but not quite. And since people have different ideas of what "done" should be, and different rice has different cooking times, this is a great method like that. Anyway, when you reach that "not-quite" stage, dump out the water and put the rice back in the pot and put the lid on it. Don't touch for 10 minutes. This will steam the last of your rice to perfection.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Sunny Arizona
622 posts, read 1,494,427 times
Reputation: 515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
This what I do. It doesn't matter if you're using long grain, medium grain, stuff you just bought or been laying around for a while and might need to cook a little longer. You never run out of water before the rice is cooked.
Exactly! And since you let it steam at the end, it never has a soggy, waterlogged texture either. It really is great, and works with many types of grains as well. Love it! Wish I could take credit for thinking it up, but can't.lol
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,690 posts, read 21,741,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minathebrat View Post
Wish I could take credit for thinking it up, but can't.lol
Same here, but, alas, I read that in a cookbook.
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