How to Cook Brown Rice. Do Not Cook It Like White Rice.

Rule #1: Do not cook brown rice the same as white rice.  If you do, you’ll get one of the most unpleasant textures imaginable.   Instead, treat brown rice like pasta–boil the grains in lots of water, then drain it, and you’ll get a dish you may enjoy eating.

  • 9 or 10 cups of water
  • 1 cup of brown rice (rinsed, if you wish)

1.  Bring the water to boil in a 3 quart or larger pot.  Turn off heat, pour rice in. Stir.

2.  Turn heat back on, return to a boil, with no lid. Boil at medium-high heat for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn off heat.

3.  Drain with a sieve, or strainer, return rice to warm pot to steam for 10 more minutes.

4.  Salt to taste.

For more taste, boil 6 cups of water, add 1 can of Swanson’s chicken broth, return to a boil, and turn off the heat before adding the rice (otherwise it may boil over).  Follow the same times and draining technique above.

For even more taste, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium heat, sauté 1 clove of garlic (minced or crushed) and 1 scallion (sliced) for 2 minutes, add cooked brown rice, and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and stir it in. If necessary, add more soy sauce (1 teaspoon at a time) until it tastes the way you like it.

This will taste like pretty good fried rice. For a flavor spike, add very small amounts of Sriracha sauce.


Asian Rice Without a Rice Cooker


If you follow the directions on a bag of Nishiki short-grain rice, you’ll get an odd mix of gummy and hard rice.  That’s why many rice-loving families have rice cookers, either simple models, or expensive with fancy fuzzy-logic controls.  Both work well, but you’ll give up a desirable chunk of counter space.

However, with one little trick, Japanese rice can be made to satisfaction–on a consistent basis–in a stovetop saucepan.

  • 1½ cups of Japanese short-grain rice
  • 2½ cups of water
  • 4 dashes of salt from a shaker (optional)

1.  Measure out the rice into a bowl, and shake in a little salt, if you want it.

2.  Boil the water on high heat in a 3-quart or larger saucepan, covered.  After 4 or 5 minutes the water will boil, so turn down heat to medium heat.

3.  Lift the cover, quickly dump in the rice, and stir it.  Put the lid back on, and cook 1 minute.  Turn heat to low, lift the lid and thoroughly stir the grains.  Put the lid back on, and continue cooking on low heat for 24 minutes.

4.  Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pan for 10 more minutes.  The rice will be done.

The trick, of course, is when you stir the rice after it cooks for 1 minute.  The initial release of starches glues all of the rice into hard clump that resists proper cooking, but when you stir the clump after a minute, the individual grains can cook again.

Thoroughly stir out the clumps

Cooked rice can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours.

If you refrigerate short-grain rice, it becomes hard (unlike long-grain rice).  When you reheat it on the stove, or preferably, in the microwave, the rice will become soft again.

Note: Long-grain rice has a different starch than short-grain rice.  Go ahead and follow package directions when cooking long-grain rice. It will remain soft in the refrigerator.