Jan 30, 2014

back to basics - fast and easy brown rice

Brown rice is something we all know we should include in our diet in lieu of white rice. This is more challenging to do in the sense that when brown rice is traditionally cooked, in the proper ratio of water to rice, the rice takes almost an hour to cook and at times is not cooked properly. I've had brown rice that was overcooked, undercooked, mushy, hard as a rock, etc. 

Here is the perfect way to cook long grain brown rice every single time. It turns out fluffy, each grain separate, tender and, best of all, is ready in around 20 minutes.  

Long Grain Brown Rice - Fast and Easy

The Process:

Step 1. Bring a pot of water to boil, about 1.5 quarts of water per cup of rice. Season the water with salt and add the long grain brown rice. Continue to lightly boil the rice until it is tender. Start checking if the rice is tender after 15 minutes of cooking.  

Step 2. When the rice is tender drain it.

Step 3. Return the rice to the hot pot it was cooked in and cover with a kitchen towel and then with a lid.

Step 4. Allow the rice to steam (using its own residual heat) for 5 minutes. This step absorbs excess moisture and leaves each grain fluffy.

The Result. Perfectly cooked brown rice in about 20 minutes.


  1. Even though the method sounds great, I'm somewhat reluctant to use it. With the drought here in California reaching historic proportions, I'm reluctant just to pour the water not absorbed by the rice down the drain. Any suggestions? Would watering house plants work or would be starch in the water make that a problem?

    1. Great question! I've always wondered what people do with the water that is used to rinse white rice - especially when so much of it goes down the drain just to remove the starch from white rice. You will notice that unlike the typical directions for cooking white rice (which involve washing the rice until it is free of starch) this method requires no rinsing (unless you like to rinse your rice).

      However, I completely see your concern. I typically use the water to make vegetable broth (notice in the picture that the rice is drained through a strainer but into a bowl not down the drain). Using rice cooking water leaves the stock a tad thickened, but not too much. This broth is great to use in making soups that need a little body in the first place.

      Doing a quick search, indeed, watering your house plants with the starchy water is not only safe but beneficial to the plants:


      There is more data to support that plants thrive on starchy water.

      Thanks for the question, Nonna!

  2. This is just brilliant! Thank you so much for this tip- no more mushy rice!

  3. Jasmine rice has been the only type of rice that I've ended up with mushy or undercooked rice. I cooked brown jasmine rice with your method and it worked beautifully.

  4. So great to know about this. I have just got the nice result with your tips.


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