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Basics of Cooking Brown Rice

Rice is a staple for sixty percent of the world’s people. There are countless varieties that grow in various climates. 120,000 kinds just in the U.S. Most are a buff color when they remain unrefined; they are called brown rice. Other varieties are red, amber, or black. When the skin and bran are removed the result is nutrient depleted white rice that cooks quickly. While whole grain brown rice takes longer to cook, it yields a far more delicious, nutritious, strengthening, and satisfying food, and is a bit more chewy. Available in 2, 5, and 50 lb. bags online. edenfoods.com

The four main kinds of rice are: short grain, medium grain, long grain, and glutinous or sweet rice. Size, shape of the grain, and starch ratios of amylose and amylopectin, are the differences amongst these four varieties. All rice is gluten free.

Short grain Rice – is American football shaped and stickier than medium grain. It holds much more moisture than long grain. Short grain rice is a more substantial, heartier, strengthening dish. It is much preferred in temperate climates. It has the sweetest taste of these four rice varieties.

Medium grain Rice – is up to three times longer than it is wide. It is a bit stickier than long grain rice, but not as light and fluffy.

Long grain Rice – is about five times longer than it is wide. It cooks up light and fluffy because it contains the least amylopectin. Due to drier, firmer yet fluffier nature, it is most suitable for warmer, humid climates. It is less sweet than short or medium grain rice.

Glutinous Rice – is also called sweet rice or sticky rice. It contains the most amylopectin. It’s shape is much like that of short grain rice. Sweet rice is opaque, glutinous, and cooks into a dense sticky mass. Sweet rice is used to make the Japanese dishes mochi, rice cakes, and the sweet rice beverage amazake. As with all rice, glutinous or sticky rice does not contain gluten. Unrefined sweet brown rice is far more nutritious than sweet white rice versions.

Storage: Store in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry in a tightly covered container. If in a hot and humid climate, you may prefer to store in the refrigerator or freezer. Leftover cooked rice can be store for about 1 week refrigerated.

Sorting: The occasional hard, inedible husk may be found in brown rice. Normally they are removed in the washing-before-cooking step.

Washing: Cold water washing is always recommended for rice to remove dust that was picked up during processing, travel, and storage. Do this just prior to soaking and/or cooking. Place the rice in a bowl, cover with cold water, swish around with your hands, pour off the water. Repeat once or twice more until the water becomes clear. Place the washed rice in a strainer, rinse under cold water and drain. The rice is then ready to soak and/or cook.

Soaking: Brown rice does not require soaking, but many people do. It is said to improve texture and aroma (especially long grain basmati and jasmine rice), shorten cooking time slightly, and improve digestion. After washing, simply place the rice in a bowl or the pot in which it will be cooked. Add the amount of water required for cooking and soak. Soaking for 30 minutes is usually sufficient, but short grain or glutinous rice can be soaked 6 to 8 hours, or some people recommend 12 hours or overnght.

Boiled Brown Rice

Yields about 2½ cups Cooking Time is 1 hour

  • 1 cup EDEN Short or Medium Grain Brown Rice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 pinch EDEN Sea Salt

Place the rice in a medium saucepan with water and sea salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. Higher altitude requires longer cook time. Some recommend a shorter cooking time, a full hour yields a superior taste and texture. Remove from the heat and allow the rice to sit and steam with the lid on for 7 to 10 minutes. At this point, it always good to mix or fluff the rice.

Pressure Cooker, Instant Pot, and Slow Cookers

Follow the directions for rice and water measurement, as well as cooking time. Cooker directions all vary. Pressure cooked rice will be a little more wet and dense than boiled rice or rice cookers, but the taste is sweeter.

Roasting/Toasting

Gives the rice a nice nutty, toasted taste. After washing the rice, place in a heated skillet, with or without oil, and stir constantly until the rice releases a fragrant, nutty aroma and the color of the grain is slightly golden.

Baked Brown Rice

Yields about 2½ cups Cooking Time is 1 hour

  • 1 cups EDEN Short or Medium Grain Brown Rice
  • 1¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 pinch EDEN Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the roasted rice and sea salt in a small baking dish. Carefully pour the boiling water over the rice, stir and tightly cover the dish. Bake for 1 hour. Remove and mix / fluff.

Variation Add diced mushrooms or a combination of vegetables, blanched almonds, seasonings, or use a favorite stock/broth in place of water.


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