long-grain brown rice

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voj
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long-grain brown rice

Postby voj » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:27 pm UTC

I'm trying to have a healthier diet, and I decided to stop eating white bread and white rice. So I went to the store and bought a bag of long-grain brown rice and prepared it last night using chicken broth instead of water. I followed the instructions on the back of the bag - basically, simmering the rice until all the liquid had soaked into it. Then I added peas to it.
The peas and the chicken broth probably saved it from tasting terrible, but the texture made it unpleasant to eat.

So my question is: What can I do to change the texture?
Can I fry it first or prepare it in a different way? I know next to nothing about cooking.
I was also thinking of spreading it over toast as a sandwich or adding chunks of chicken to it.

Also, what do you add to your rice for flavour?
RiceSides comes in a bag with a package of flavoring and vegetables already included. A bag of plain rice does not, and I have no idea what I'm doing.

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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby Zohar » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:01 pm UTC

I usually heat some oil, fry anything I want to add to the rice first (onion, garlic, shredded carrots, peppers etc.), add the rice, fry it for a minute or two, add 2.25 cups boiling water for every cup of rice, roughly a teaspoon of salt per cup of rice and other necessary condiments (it's supposed to taste like soup), bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and let cook for about 30-40 minutes. I don't mind the texture myself...

You can also try slowly adding brown rice and reducing white rice until you're used to the texture - start with a quarter brown rice and three quarters plain white rice, then got half-and-half etc.
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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:20 am UTC

Was the rice too hard or too soft? Not sticky enough? Brown rice has a tendency to explode its grains if ti's cooked too long. Many people have better luck by putting the rice and water into a pot and baking it at 350 for about 35 minutes.
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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:54 am UTC

It could just be that you're having a hard time adjusting to brown rice after being used to white. Brown rice is quite a bit more hearty.

Basmati with wild rice mixed in is a nice, healthy combination. There are brown and white basmatis, but even the white basmati has been shown to have a lesser effect on blood sugar than other kinds of white rice. They grow basmati in the US now, but in my opinion, it's really worth looking for the big bags of imported basmati as the quality is superior. Something about the difference in climate, most likely. (Though this is if you want white basmati; I haven't seen brown basmati in any Indian groceries, though I admit I wasn't looking specifically for it.)
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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby Telchar » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:03 am UTC

You could also try cooking cajun or SE Asian that put less emphasis on the rice and more emphasis on the other ingredients to try and ease in.
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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:It could just be that you're having a hard time adjusting to brown rice after being used to white. Brown rice is quite a bit more hearty. (Though this is if you want white basmati; I haven't seen brown basmati in any Indian groceries, though I admit I wasn't looking specifically for it.)

I have found big bags of the brown basmati- and it's quite tasty. I suspect that the growers think we're all crazy Americans who don't want our rice polished, but who cares? It takes longer to finish in my rice cooker (no fuzzy logic programming for me) and I add extra water.
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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby Enuja » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:24 pm UTC

voj, what are your previous experiences with brown rice? Have you had it cooked by someone else, with people familiar with brown rice saying that this was very well cooked brown rice? I'm guessing that you aren't particularly familiar with brown rice and the problem is not that you don't like brown rice but that you didn't get this first batch cooked correctly. Brown rice does taste different from white rice, but the texture of rice has more to do with other variables (short vs. long, sticky vs. not) than how much it's been milled. The directions on the bag are usually seriously inadequate: you'll need more water (and maybe more time) if the rice is dry, or the air is dry, or whatever. What you need to do is cook the rice until it is done, not until all of the water is gone. Sure, if you've got the right amount of water, cooking it until the water is gone is the easiest way to do it, but if you don't have enough water, that won't work. You can always drain the water at the end if you add to much, and you can add more water if you don't have enough. Therefore, the easiest way to cook brown rice (and any grain) in a pot is to put the grain in a lot of water (so that the rice is covered by at least an inch of water), bring it to boil, and then turn down the heat until it bubbles gently, and cook until it's done. Make sure you've got enough water that it's moist until it's done, and if it's dry when done, that's great. But when I throw a handful of rice into a soup bowl, the rice is always excellent, even though it doesn't absorb all of the soup liquid.

Brown rice, just like white rice, can be cooked in butter or oil first: this is called a pilaf, especially with seasonings and vegetables. There are innumerable combinations of vegetables and seasonings you use: Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" (my go-to cookbook) has 14 pilafs, and encourages readers to make their own up as well.

What types of flavors are you looking for? Do you want Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean or something else? I rarely eat rice all by itself: what my rice is going to be seasoned with is usually decided by what I'm eating it with, whether it's going with a stir fry or an Indian curry or whatever.

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Re: long-grain brown rice

Postby Pansori » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:12 pm UTC

I just throw it in the rice cooker. It takes longer to steam, and thus is a little messier on the cooker, but to me it tastes better than if I made it in a pot. I usually just add garlic and olive oil for seasoning.


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