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Seeking Brown Rice Advice Please

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Old 07-28-2008, 07:52 PM   #1
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Default Seeking Brown Rice Advice Please

All right knowledgeable foodies...

What kind of brown rice do you buy?

Is there a more nutritious kind of brown rice?

How do you cook it?

Any sure-cook tips for a rice newbie?

I have just never made rice a big a part of my diet but I'm trying to incorporate more brown rice that I prepare myself without resorting to buying it from the local Thai food joint.

I have tried Trader Joe's brown Basmati rice (which turned out like a big gooey porridge) and Trader Joe's brown Jasmine rice (ditto on the gooey porridge consistency) Therefore I KNOW it is user error. I have read a few tips online, but I trust the wisdom of the 3FC nutritionistas....

So...what am I doing wrong?

I am using a copper core bottom steel pan with a tight fitting lid and putting about an inch of water over the level of the rice (one thumb knuckle) which is what several websites instructed. I bring it to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes and then turn the stove off and set it to the side for 5 minutes. I have also tried measuring 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Same result. Too much water? Should I try a new cooking method?

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:27 PM   #3
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Buy a box of Uncle Ben's Brown rice and follow the directions on the box -- that's all I've ever done and it comes out perfectly fine every time. Good Luck.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.
Oh those Lundberg Farms mixes are FABULOUS. Simply FABULOUS.

If you're looking for a great plain brown rice, Lundberg Farms Short Grain Brown Rice is my favorite. I cook it according to the package, adding a chicken boullion cube.

In fact, both of these items are so good, I can't be trusted with it. So, I haven't made em' in ages.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.
Love the Lundberg's. Takes more like 45 min to cook. Most rice has directions for the amount of water to cook with rather than having an inch above the rice level. Maybe that's the problem.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Buy a box of Uncle Ben's Brown rice and follow the directions on the box -- that's all I've ever done and it comes out perfectly fine every time. Good Luck.
I even go a step further - I get the boil-in-a-bag instant. Not sure about the nutritional difference, but it comes out great!
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:39 PM   #7
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My favorite brown rice is actually black rice Forbidden rice, by Lotus Foods. It's really delicious, and high in fiber and other nutrients. I once made a pot full plain, without even salt, and brought it to a dinner with the intention of serving it with another dish on top. But everyone that tried it loved it as it was, and ate it plain.

I also just discovered Lotus Foods Jade rice. It's really a white rice, but it's infused with a special type of bamboo extract. A quarter cup of the organic dry rice contains 10 grams of fiber! Plus it's loaded with antioxidants. It tastes delicious, too

Both the Forbidden Rice and the Jade rice can be purchased at www.freshapproachdietstore.com or direct from Lotus Foods.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:57 AM   #8
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My number one tip would be to stop bothering with cooking it yourself and buy Trader Joe's pre-cooked brown rice. Just pop it in the microwave and it comes out perfect every time. They sell it frozen and in shelf-stable vacuum sealed containers. I like the sprouted brown rice with seaweed (it's shelf-stable, so it's usually in the same section as the dried pasta and rice), but they also sell plain brown rice. With the shelf-stable rice, the package says the entire bowl is one serving and I guess maybe if that's all you were eating it would be, but as a side dish, I find that 1/2 or 1/3 package is plenty.

If you are going to cook it yourself, I recommend cooking it in the oven. The stovetop method never works for me. The rice comes out undercooked and there's always a layer that sticks to the bottom of the plan. Cooked in the oven it comes out perfect every time and never sticks to the pan. I start it on the stovetop, bring it to a boil, dump it into a casserole dish, cover it, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 min or so, until it is the right consistency. If all the liquid is absorbed before the rice is done, just stir in some more. You just put it in the oven and forget about until it is almost done (check on it once or twice towards the end of the cooking time).

A couple of other tips:
  • For more flavor, use chicken broth instead of water. (BTW--I always measure my liquid and use the amount the package calls for, maybe a little more because I like my rice soft. I've never tried that one-inch about the rice suggestion.)
  • Try to stir it as little as possible. Stirring causes it to release starch, which is what makes it come out like gooey porridge. Whether you are cooking it in the oven or on the stovetop, set the heat appropriately and forget about it until it is almost done.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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I bake mine. Super easy and I can make a batch at the beginning of the week that I can eat hot with dinner the first night and then use for lunches cold the rest of the week.

It's actually an Alton Brown recipe - I just leave out the butter:

1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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This is a great thread! I was just wondering if I should post my rice questions!

I usually buy Lundberg long grain brown because it seems to have the most fiber, and mix a little of Voyageur wild rice (black). I fill a 3/4cp with the rice(s), add the same amount of water plus about 1tbl. And steam in my steamer for exactly 1 hour. Perfect every time. I think I will try it with my homemade beef stock!
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:40 PM   #11
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I picked up a rice cooker in Japan that does a kick-a** job on brown rice! It's so easy, and the rice comes out perfectly every time. Any of the Micom or "fuzzy logic" cookers will handle brown rice well.

I mostly use brown basmati rice, because I prefer long-grain rice. OMG, it smells SO good when it's cooking. Like others have mentioned, it's really nutty and delicious on it's own, I don't add anything to it (no butter, salt, etc.).
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #12
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Wow, some of these rices sound delicious. Neither of the 2 grocery stores here carries anything as exotic! But I have in the past gotten a Lunenberg product - one called red rice (I think) and another that was called a Christmas blend? I'll have to look again when I go to the "big city" (Anchorage, pop ~30,000, about 50 miles from here). There's a large independent/Asian market there, plus one called Natural Pantry that has a lot of organic foods.

And curious re: the recipe that Photochick posted. Why use unsalted butter plus salt, rather than just salted butter???
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:05 PM   #13
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The salt in butter is different from Kosher salt .. which provides more salt flavor than salted butter. You can use less salt with the Kosher - getting more bang for your buck so to speak.

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Old 07-31-2008, 08:30 AM   #14
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I have a rice cooker which I think is money well spent. I can put in rice, water and honestly, I've never had a bad batch of rice. It even has a feature which you can put something in the morning into it and set a timer for it to start. I've cooked rice/bean mixtures in it and they've come out wonderfully and I've also cooked other grains like steel cut oats in it.

My current favorite rice is raw red rice which I got from an indian market but my other favorite is brown basmati rice.

I generally cook extra rice and store in the fridge or even the freezer.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:08 AM   #15
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We use a rice cooker and get perfect rice everytime. Easy and well worth it. We love Basmati rice!
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