When I first started eating plant-based, brown rice was my staple carbohydrate. But, like most people, I found conflicting recipes on how to cook brown rice just right. Of course, I failed miserably, threw out batches of chewy, hard, and mushy rice. Then, after a lot of trial and error, I finally mastered brown rice.
Did you know there are different types of brown rice? And, of course, there is a multitude of recipes and ways to cook brown rice. Yet, I quickly learned the best way to cook brown rice with a variety of different kitchen appliances to meet my cooking needs.
KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF BROWN RICE
Short Grain Brown Rice
Short grain brown rice, for example, is smaller than other brown rice and is stickier when cooked. Typically, short grain brown rice is for risotto dishes as well as fried rice.
Medium Grain Brown Rice
Medium grain brown rice is large and plump, but not as large as the long grain. When cooked, it becomes moist and tender, making it perfect to add to soup, or warm in a salad.
Long Grain Brown Rice
Long grain rice, for example, is the most common brown rice. Because this variety is so easy to cook, and versatile in use, most people choose long-grain brown rice for stir-fries, as wells as grain bowls.
Light Brown Rice
Brown rice basically is quick-cooking rice. Half the grain, however, is removed to make it cook quickly. Although light brown rice is convenient, it is not as healthy as other forms of brown rice.
DO YOU NEED TO SOAK OR RINSE RICE BEFORE COOKING?
Believe it or not, the answer is no. Rinsing and soaking grains, in the past, was to remove excess debris and dirt. Today’s rice, however, is already rinsed.
Soaking, on the other hand, is credited for reducing cooking time and making rice easier to digest. Similar to light brown rice, soaking long-grain rice, for instance, removes a layer of grain.
So, in my opinion, if you want to cook your rice quicker, buy light brown rice for faster cooking. Otherwise, soaking is a waste of time.
HOW MUCH UNCOOKED BROWN RICE YIELDS COOKED BROWN RICE? SERVING SIZE?
Regardless of the type of brown rice you cook, 1 cup uncooked rice yields two cups of cooked brown rice.
Another one of the biggest misconceptions about brown rice is how much a serving size actually is. For instance, 1 serving of brown rice is equivalent to 1/2 to 1/3 cup cooked brown rice.
The nutritional breakdown for a ½ cup serving of cooked medium-grain brown rice, according to the USDA:
STORING AND FREEZING BROWN RICE
Storing and freezing brown rice is easy, so that is why I generally batch cook brown rice in advance. As long as the brown rice is stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, it should last 5 days. In order to freeze brown rice, I suggest storing in small batches for easy reheating.
And, the best way to reheat frozen brown rice is to microwave it covered for 1-3 minutes.
As a result, cooking, storing and reheating brown rice is easy regardless of what cooking method you choose.