How To Cook Brown Rice

Before we tell you how to cook brown rice, we need to understand the meaning of brown rice. Also called unpolished rice, brown rice is similar to the conventional white rice that we all know about. However brown rice has the bran layer still present on the seed. This is a very thin layer under the husk that clings to the rice seed. It is this feature that makes the cooking of brown rice somewhat different than the way in which white rice is cooked. In general rice that is harvested is polished to make it white. This involves taking off the stiff upper layer which is known as husk. Just below this layer is the layer called bran, white rice is produced by polishing off this bran layer too. Ultimately you are left with the white rice seed. Now below is the actual ramble about cooking brown rice.

The process used to cook brown rice is really not very different from that used to cook white rice. And ofcourse most people know how to cook white rice. And yet, many people who have tried cooking unpolished rice (another name for brown rice) complain that cooked brown rice is too stiff to be eaten.

This is true and we will explain why. Remember that brown rice retains the bran layer, this is a bit tough and needs to be considered when cooking brown rice. If you tried to just increase the cooking time, it would be too long and much of the nutrition in the rice would be lost.

So here is the ideal way to cook unpolished brown rice. For the proportion of water to rice, use two parts of water for one part of rice. If you would prefer to rinse the brown rice before starting the cooking process, give it just one rapid rinse and drain the water. Now add the two parts of water into the brown rice. Leave the water and rice together for around 20 to 30 minutes. This is essential as it will help soften the bran layer on the seeds. You can then cook the rice as you would cook white rice. Brown rice even after being cooked, maintains a good texture and the individual seeds appear separated from each other. The rice has a wholesome 'nutty' flavor and is hard to resist once you get used to eating it.

For those of you who wish to try eating brown rice for the first time, we have some neat suggestions in the following paragraphs. The trend to eat unpolished rice is on the rise and doctors are giving a nod to this healthy habit.

For those of you who are about to eat brown rice for the first time, we have an interesting suggestion Try mixing half brown rice and half white rice for the first few times. You can then gradually reduce the white rice proportion and finally, leave just the unpolished brown rice. This will allow you to adjust yourself to the new flavor of brown rice in a gradual way. You are more likely to start liking unpolished rice in this way.

Once you plan to mix white rice and brown rice, you need to improvise the cooking process a bit. You would have read in this article that brown rice needs to be soaked before being cooked. If you mix brown and white rice and then do the soaking, the white rice would become too soft after the cooking process. You should therefore soak the brown rice separately, and then combine it with the white rice. This mixture of both rice types can now be cooked in the conventional way. If you do not do this, the white rice will cook well but the brown rice will appear as if it has not been cooked at all.

The above process can be used to cook unpolished rice. There are some interesting variations for using brown rice in various dishes. We have come across a famous bakery in Thailand where, brown rice is used as an ingredient in making a special type of bread. When mixing the dough, 70% conventional bread flower is added to 30% of brown rice flour. Boiled rice soup is another popular dish in Thailand. A little rice is cooked with plenty of water. The rice settles at the bottom of the vessel, the portion above that is a slightly thick mixture. This soup is eaten with meat balls or fish. If you are recovering from a stomach upset and lack apetite, try a little boiled rice with a pinch of salt it is mild and easy to digest.

You might wonder why people eat brown rice at all. With extra steps like soaking required to cook brown rice, it seems easier to eat white rice instead. The point is that it has been medically proven that unpolished rice brings many health benefits. This has seen an increase in the number of people who eat brown rice. We have a report on that here.

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