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Brown rice is a staple food which is rich in soluble fiber and can be combined with nutrient rich beans to create a complete protein. When money is tight and every calorie counts, knowing how to cook brown rice helps make sure you get enough nutrients to maintain your health.

Brown rice is less expensive when purchased in bulk. In addition to a lower price, you’ll also find that the overall quality of the rice is better. Bulk grains are often fresher. You will notice the difference in the intensity of the sweet smell when a large bag is opened. For storage, food grade buckets with tight lids are fine. My preference is to store it in a chest freezer. The cold keeps bugs away. A few bay leaves tossed into your grain bucket will help repel insects also.

For years, I had cooked brown rice using the absorption method. This involves placing rice into a pot of salted boiling water and cooking it for 45 to 50 minutes. Twice as much water as brown rice is used. This works well enough, but it is a bit of an art to get rice that isn’t too mushy because (as mentioned above) the moisture content of the grains can vary. Many people use rice cookers to automate this process, but the result is the same. Another drawback is that this process has the potential to create burnt rice if you lose track of the time or miscalculate the water to rice ratio.

There is a simpler way!

Because it is a grain, I soak brown rice. This isn’t as important with rice as with other grains, but I like the texture that soaking produces. To soak brown rice, measure double the amount of water as grain into a stainless steel or glass container. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every cup of grain you use. Let this sit overnight or 24 hours. In a pinch, this time can be reduced without hurting the final product.

Once I’m ready to cook the rice, I strain it using a large strainer set inside a larger bowl. I repeatedly rinse the grain until the water runs relatively clear. You may notice little flecks and bits floating to the surface. Throw those away. You may not want to examine them too closely.

Here is a demonstration on how to rinse rice.
The cloudy water that you pour off of it can be used to water your plants.
I would skip using the rice cooker!

Re-fill your pot with clean filtered water, using twice as much as the measurement of soaked rice. Season the water with sea salt and any other flavorings you prefer. I like to use chicken broth. Bring this to a rolling boil and then add the soaked rice to the pot, giving it a single stir. Boil this uncovered for about 20 minutes if the grains have been soaked, 30 minutes if they are dry. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the rice from the hot water. Let the rice drain for ten to fifteen seconds. Return the rice to your empty pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the rice sit, absorbing the water that remains on the grains for ten or 15 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and serve. The rice will be fully cooked without mushiness.


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