Rice is an inexpensive staple that is often found in almost every household, so cooking a pot of white rice is considered a simple and easy task. However, cooking brown rice to perfection can be challenging because of the nutritious layers that are left on during its milling. Here’s how to cook brown rice to perfection:
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
Brown rice, which is also known as wholegrain rice, is often associated with healthy eating. It is less processed than white rice which has its hull (a hard protective covering), bran, and germ layer removed. Brown rice only has the hull removed, the bran and germ layers are still intact. The bran and germ layer are nutrient-packed and make brown rice highly nutritious and healthy. Moreover, this causes cooking brown rice to take twice as long as white rice, and it tends to have a stronger, nuttier taste and a chewy consistency.
Generally, the steps for cooking white rice are boiling water in a pot, putting a bowl or cup of rice to it, adding salt, covering it with a lid, and letting it cook on a low flame for 15 to 20 minutes. However, following the same method to cook brown rice will result in either mushy and soggy or cooked surfaces with uncooked insides.
Brown Rice to Water Ratio
The key to cooking perfect brown rice is to use the correct rice to water ratio, which is double the amount of water to rice — two cups of water to one cup of rice.
Here are some easy ways to cook perfect and tender brown rice every time.
How to Cook Brown Rice on the Stove
This guideline will help you achieve perfectly cooked brown rice that is neither undercooked nor overcooked.
No matter what method you use to cook your rice or the variety of rice you have, it is important to first rinse the rice. Wash a cup of brown rice in a fine sieve with cold water for 30 seconds and then drain it.
The Classic Method
- In a pot, combine the (washed) rice, two cups of water, and salt.
- Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Cover it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Finally, fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
The Pasta Method
This method is for long-grain rice that cooks up fluffy and separated instead of clumping together. A similar method is used to cook pasta, hence the name.
- Fill the pot with water (no need to measure), add salt, and bring it to a boil.
- Carefully add your desired amount of (washed) rice to the boiling water.
- Boil the rice uncovered and unstirred until it is soft but not completely cooked.
- Drain the rice in a colander and then return it to the pot.
- Leave it covered for 10 minutes. This will help the grains to absorb excess water and fluff up.
- If your cooked rice is crunchy, make sure the lid covers the pot tightly next time. The lid must be sealed properly; otherwise, it allows the steam to escape, which results in crunchy rice.
- If your rice turns out to be mushy or hard, double-check your water to rice ratio next time.
- Turn off the heat and let your cooked rice rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows for the redistribution of heat in the pot, which leads to more evenly cooked rice.