Monday, August 22, 2011

The best way to cook brown rice

This morning, I have a guest post from my husband, Greg Walker, who makes KILLER brown rice. Thanks, Sweetie!

Cooking Brown Rice

Though I have been struggling with cooking brown rice for years, due, in great part, to my particular aversion to devoting counter space to a rice cooker, it was Alton Brown of the Food Network’s show, Good Eats, who finally taught me an easy and nearly foolproof way to cook brown rice. The basic recipe calls for short grain brown rice, salt, olive oil, and water. Whilst remaining true to be basic formula, I change it up by using different cooking liquids such as chicken broth or stock; different variants of brown rice, such as long grain brown rice, brown basmati rice, or brown jasmine rice; and by adding mushrooms or vegetables or mushrooms to the mix. When adding vegetables or mushrooms, do not change the liquid content – the fluids in the mix are sufficient to steam the veggies while the rice cooks.

The basic recipe is as follows:

The Best Way to Cook Brown Rice


• 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice

• 2 1/2 cups water

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt – if using table salt, use 1/2 teaspoon

• 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.

Place water, salt, and olive oil in a water boiler, a small pot, or a microwave safe container, and bring just to a boil.

Place rice in an 8” x 8” square baking pan. Pour boiling water over the rice and stir. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for one hour. Remove from oven, remove the foil carefully to avoid steam burns. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.


• Short and medium grain brown rice cooks very moist and cohesive without being sticky. Long grains rice, including basmati and jasmine rice, has very individual grains and distinct flavors and aromas. This method also works well for most wild rice mélanges.

• A handful of sliced or quartered white or wild mushrooms are very complimentary to brown rice. Broccoli, diced summer squashes like zucchini or crookneck, finely diced carrots, fresh corn stripped from the cob, and frozen peas also work well. Just stir them together with the dry rice before adding the water. Avoid high moisture adds such as tomatoes.

• Whatever you add, do not overdo it. One cup of extras, total, is pushing the envelope.

• For an easy chicken and rice dinner, make the short-grain rice with low sodium chicken broth or stock and add whatever mushrooms and/or vegetables you want. Season and pan-cook or grill one boneless/skinless chicken breast per person. Cut the chicken into about quarter inch slices. When the rice is done, either stir the chicken into the rice or plate a portion of rice and top with the sliced chicken. This is yummy and easy and it takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time.

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