Brown medium grained rice gets its characteristic nutty flavour and harder texture because the nutritious bran layer is not removed at milling. This is why it takes longer to cook than white rice and also why it retains all the goodness of mother nature. Its flavour and slightly clingy grains are great as a side dish but also in soups, casseroles or stuffings. Brown rice is often heat-treated to slow rancidity of the bran.
Heres the most efficient way I found to cook brown rice on a stove. It takes about 35 minutes from when you start to when youre eating. This method works for both short grain and long grain brown rice.
Put brown rice and water together in a pot with a lid. Use the ratio of 1½ cups water to 1 cup rice.
Set the heat to maximum, and bring the rice/water to a boil uncovered. Then put the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low/simmer. If your lid has a steam valve, keep it closed. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes. Its OK if you let the rice sit longer than 10 minutes (20 or 30 minutes is fine too), but dont let it go any less.
Be careful when you remove the lid, since a lot of steam may escape when you do.
Brown rice contains a large variety of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of manganese (88% of the recommended daily allowance in one cup) and a good source of selenium (27.3% of the RDA) and magnesium (21%). It also contains some phosphorus along with vitamins niacin, vitamin B6 and even a little vitamin E. Although rice is best known for its carbohydrates and has only a small amount of protein, the protein in brown rice is of a good quality thanks to the relatively high level of the amino acid lysine found in it. It also supplies nearly 20% of the recommended daily allowance of tryptophan. It is low in sodium and saturated fat and high in fibre, with zero cholesterol.
General Hints and Cautions
Because brown rice and rice bran contain natural oils, both can turn rancid on the shelf. Check for Sell by and Use by dates on packages. When buying in bulk, buy from a store that has a high turnover – you dont want to buy a product that has been standing on a shelf for months.
Oil-rich brown rice will turn rancid at room temperature. If stored in a properly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, it will stay fresh for up to a year.
Packaged rice is generally clean and needs no rinsing before cooking. However, rice sold in bulk should be rinsed to rid it of dust or dirt. (A brief rinsing will not affect the nutrients in brown rice.)
Brown rice should be cooked in an amount of liquid small enough to be completely absorbed during the cooking time. If it is cooked in excess liquid and then drained, valuable nutrients are lost with the cooking water.
Soaking brown rice overnight cuts the cooking time dramatically. Soak the rice in the measured amount of water youll need to cook it, and cook it in the same water, adding more if necessary. If you drain the rice after soaking and cook it in fresh water, nutrients will be lost.
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