Sunday, April 1, 2007

Mysteries of brown rice

I've been cooking since I was about 8 years old, and it's something that comes as second nature now. However, I constantly struggle with making brown rice on the stovetop. In the past month, I have thrown away two batches of brown rice made in my new rice cooker. Both batches came out with way too much water left. The proportions of water to rice I used were 2:1 (what the manual said) and then 1.5:1. I turned to microwave brown rice on the first occasion since friends were coming over. Microwave brown rice is great (it's pre-cooked and you're just reheating it), but they don't have it at my usual supermarket and it's much more expensive than buying the dry stuff.

Tonight I used the stovetop and did what the package recommended: 2:1 ratio, dab of margarine, bring to a boil, simmer on low for 50 minutes, and let rest for 10 minutes before eating. It was edible, but a little wet and overcooked. Perhaps I'll use a 1.75:1 ratio next time.

If I haven't bored my two or three readers by now, please let me know if you have any secrets to cooking brown rice. I need help!


ceri said...

the last time i made stovetop brown rice, it turned out fine. i used mahatma brown rice, 1 cup rice with 3 cups water. i simmered until the water was absorbed, which took about 40-45 minutes. hope this helps. i often use uncle ben's instant brown rice (10 minutes on the stove) for convenience.

Amy said...

Thanks, Ceri. Maybe it's just the brand I'm using that's causing the problem.

Fin De Fichier said...

Well...good lawd, I hope your margerine doesn't have trans fats in it (which remarkably, some "health" food stores still sell) because that is awful for you.
I recently have used Texmati brown, it's not my fav. but it's all I can get up here in the middle of nowhere. Anyhow, they say 2.25:1 but that's crazy. I think for some reason, people have a taste preference for brown rice to be "porridgey" and that is reflected in those instructions. I use 2:1 and it's fine, so maybe you could try splitting the difference w/your brand at 1.75:1?

Here's a tip: let the rice cooker start, until the water is bathtub warm - around 90F or so. Unplug it for 25 minutes. Enzymes in the brown part of the rice will start digesting the starches, giving a sweeter taste to the final product. Plug it back in and keep cooking!

The too-die-for brown rice is Lundberg Wehani. It is insanely delicious.