Thursday, August 8, 2013

Short Grain Brown Rice

Up until recently, I always fell back on quick, instant brown rice whenever I needed rice as a side dish for a meal.  But I noticed the bulk bins have great deals on regular long grain and short grain rice, so I decided to give the short grain brown rice a try.  I do believe that the quicker cooking rice has it's place when you are trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry (and the nutrition in instant rice is comparable to the slower variety according to this article). I just happen to think the slower cooking rice has excellent flavor and texture...and it can be a little easier on the wallet, too.

Why I choose brown rice:
Brown rice is a whole grain that has only had the husk removed (unlike white rice that has had the bran and the germ removed in addition to the husk).  Brown rice still has vitamins, minerals, and fiber that have been removed in white rice.  I prefer brown rice for the nutritional aspects, but I have also come to prefer the more complex taste and heartier texture as well.

When I first brought short grain brown rice home from the bulk bin, I wasn't even sure how to cook it.  Obviously, I have been buying instant rice for a long time.  After a quick search on the Internet, I found this recipe from Real Simple.  I still use this basic recipe whenever I cook short grain brown rice.

short grain brown rice
Cooked short grain brown rice

Here's how I make short grain brown rice:

Short Grain Brown Rice (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients
1 cup short grain brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water

In a medium pot, combine rice, salt and water, and bring to a boil.  Stir, cover, and lower the heat so the rice simmers.  Allow the rice to simmer for 50 minutes without lifting the lid (don't stir it, I know it's hard not to!).  After 50 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Then uncover, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.  This recipe makes about 4 large servings or 6 smaller (side dish-sized) servings.

black beans with short grain brown rice
Black beans over short grain brown rice

This definitely takes more time than instant rice, but I promise it is that easy.  The texture and flavor are worth the extra time.  The rice is chewy and sticky, and I think it is much heartier than the instant variety.  It's perfect on its own as a side dish or used as a bed to serve a main dish (like black beans or chicken with sauce).