Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brown Rice Blues

So you hear a lot about brown rice being so much healthier than white rice. And I don’t dispute that. However, if you can’t cook a healthier food so it is palatable, what good is it? That was my dilemma with brown rice. My family didn’t like how it turned out and neither did I.

So I decided to investigate a better way. The first solution I came across was to sauté the uncooked rice with an egg until dry before cooking. This turned out well enough to try again. But I also wanted to keep looking to see if there was an easier way than having to include the egg.

One method said that to improve the brown rice texture you should presoak the rice for 7 hours in an acid base. Another method I came across was “Perfect Brown Rice” posted on the Saveur website. Since I didn’t have time to soak my rice for that evening’s meal, I went ahead and just used Saveur’s recipe. Based on what I had read on this blog, I cut the water down from 12 cups to 6 or 8 cups. (I figured I would go in between the two sets of instructions.) It turned out with a decent texture.

Tonight, since I actually planned ahead, I soaked 1 cup brown rice in 2-1/4 cups water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice for 7 hours. I then drained and cooked it using the Saveur method. I will have to experiment with the boiling time after soaking because I think the rice was a little bit soggier than my first attempt in which the rice was not soaked. But it still turned out very useable. Next time, in addition to experimenting with the boiling time, I want to use chicken stock instead of water.

I am encouraged that with these new soaking and cooking methods I can come up with brown rice that my family pronounces edible.

PS. I read somewhere that you should never use brown rice in stir fry. Well, I have made at least 3 batches with brown rice and they have all tasted just fine.

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