Bulgur wheat is a delicious, high-fiber whole grain, traditionally used in Middle Eastern recipes such as tabbouleh and pilaf. You also can use bulgur wheat in soups, salads, side dishes, vegetarian main courses and even desserts. Bulgur wheat is made from whole wheat that has been steamed, dried and cracked. This precooking process makes it quick to prepare. Bulgur wheat comes in different grinds: coarse, medium and fine. Each is used in different dishes–coarse for stuffings, medium for salads and fine for desserts and breads. Both fine- and medium-grind bulgur wheat can be cooked in the microwave.
Things You'll Need
- Microwave oven
- Fine- or medium-grind bulgur wheat
- Water or stock
- Microwave-safe bowl with high sides
- Cover, or plate to cover the bowl
If using fine-grind bulgur wheat, combine one part wheat with 1-3/4 parts water or stock in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a pinch of salt and stir. If using medium-grind bulgur wheat, the proportions will be one part wheat to three parts water or stock. Increase the salt to taste if you are making larger quantities of bulgur wheat. When calculating how much wheat to use, keep in mind that bulgur wheat, similar to rice, will expand to twice its original volume with cooking. In other words, 1/2 cup of uncooked bulgur wheat will become 1 cup cooked.
Cook the fine-grind wheat in the microwave on high heat for two minutes and 15 seconds. For medium-grind, the cooking time is longer and will vary according to how much bulgur wheat you are using. Cook 1/4 cup of bulgur wheat on high heat for 8-10 minutes; 1/2 cup for 12-14 minutes; and 1-1/2 cups for 17 to 19 minutes. Keep in mind that each microwave is different and you may have to experiment a bit with these cooking times.
For both the fine- and medium-grind bulgur wheat, remove the bowl from the microwave when the cooking time is complete. Stir. Cover the bowl and let stand for about seven minutes. Stir once again.
Use the cooked bulgur wheat immediately in a recipe, or store it covered in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked bulgur wheat for later use by spreading it out in a thin layer on a cooking sheet and placing the cookie sheet in the freezer. When the bulgur wheat is almost frozen, it can be transferred to plastic bags or containers.