How to Toast Brown Rice

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Brown rice naturally has a nutty, wholesome taste, but you can up the flavor by toasting it before you cook it. The process adds an extra five minutes to the total cooking time, but improves the flavor even more. Use toasted brown rice just as you would cooked rice -- in stir-fries, casseroles, or even for breakfast with milk and honey.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon butter, canola oil or cooking oil spray
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Measuring cup
  • 3 to 6 cups water, chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • Melt a pat or two of butter in a saucepan. You can also use an equivalent amount of olive or canola oil, or a few sprays of cooking oil spray. Choose a saucepan that is large enough to hold both the rice and the liquid, so you can toast the rice and cook it in the same pan.

  • Toss in brown rice and cook it for three to five minutes over medium heat, or until it has a nutty, toasted odor. Stir it occasionally so it doesn't burn. Add a little more fat if the pan seems dry and watch the rice carefully. If you cook it too long, it may take on a burnt, bitter flavor.

  • Pour water, chicken broth or vegetable stock over the toasted rice. Bring the liquid to a simmer and place a lid on the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

  • Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to sit covered for five minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add diced onions, carrots, celery, onions, bacon or pecans to the butter as you toast the brown rice, along with an extra tablespoon or two of fat.These ingredients will become tender and add flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Use brown rice instead of white rice whenever possible. Brown rice is a whole grain, while white rice has been processed to remove the nutritious bran covering. A 2010 study from Harvard University found that adult men and women who consumed two servings of brown rice per week reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 10 percent, compared to people who eat brown rice less than once per month. Study participants who ate white rice five times per week or more were almost 20 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate white rice less than once per month.
  • Brown rice can be tricky to cook. Most instructions call for 1 part brown rice to 2 parts liquid. If you've had unsatisfactory results with brown rice, try cooking it with more liquid. After you toast the rice, for 1 part rice add to up to 6 parts water -- similar to the ratios you'd use for cooking pasta. Simmer for 30 minutes or so until the rice is tender. Drain the rice and return it to the pot with a bit of water in it. Allow it to steam for a few minutes and then fluff it.

References

  • Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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