Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice

Joined Jun 12, 2009
Hello All!

I need to troubleshoot what went wrong with my rice last night. I have a Knife and Cook Tech coming up which involves doing 14 various cuts and cooking Black Eyed Peas for a salad and fluffy long grain Brown rice.

I presoaked 1 cup of long grain brown rice the night before, rinsed it off and began dry roasting it in a pot. Meanwhile, I had 1 3/4 cups of water with a pinch of salt coming to a boil. As I was still dry roasting my rice, I turned the heat of the water back. I didn't want to lose a lot to evaporation.

Once I felt the rice was roasted enough, it didn't seem dry and it was beginning to smell aromatic, I turned the heat up on the water and added to the rice a full boil.

I turned the heat back to simmer and let it go for 45 minutes. I took it off the heat and let it stand 15 minutes covered. When I took the cover off, I noticed there was still moisture at the bottom of the pot. I put it back on the heat for 10 minutes and let it stand another 15 minutes.

It was so gummy! I've never made brown rice that gummy before. NORMALLY, pre-cooking school, I would saute some onion and garlic, saute the rice for about 5 minutes or so and then add the liquid. I would boil this liquid until it was at the level or slightly below the level of the rice and then cook the rice on a very low heat. This method has always produced much fluffier rice but I'm not sure if I will be allowed to do this during the class test since we didn't cook it like that during the class practicum.

I did stir the rice slighly when I noticed it still had water but other than that I didn't stir it. We were taught that adding hot liquid creates a fluffier rice.

Can anyone tell me where I went wrong??? I will be practicing again on Sunday.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I adapted this technique from the one used by the folks at Moosewood, and it's served me in good stead through the years.

First, cut your water down to 1 1/2 cups per cup of raw rice. And there's no need to presoak it.

Start by pan roasting the rice in very little oil---just enough so that when you're done each grain is barely coated. Roast until fragrant (I actually let some of the grains start to pop) over relatively high heat, stirring. Add the water all at once, cover, and let come to a steady boil. Turn off the heat and let sit 5 minutes.

Turn heat back on, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 25 minutes.

Cautionary note: Do not, repeat not, lift the cover during the entire cooking process. The temptation is hard to resist, but don't do it.
Joined Apr 17, 2006
K.Y. is giving you good advice. I never gave my rice the 5 minute rest, but it can't hurt. Having cooked the sticky Asian rice for boarding school kids and the type of rice that
is expected in American restaurants, the most important thing I have learned is that the oven is your best friend. I never cook rice on top of the stove. I would parch it in oil the way K.Y. reccommends, add the amount of water suggested and then cover it and throw it in the oven. Time in the oven will vary according to the amount of rice, but it is worry free. No scorching and cooks more evenly.
Joined Jun 12, 2009
I checked with one of the instructors at school about varying the method used for cooking but she wasn't certain if we would get penalized for using a different method of cooking. When we practiced grains we did it in the oven. This is something I've done in the past too so I am really leaning towards this method for the test.

I mentioned to her what I experienced and the only thing she could come up with, having not seen me personally was that I somehow stirred the rice. She suggested I cut back my cooking time. I am going to try to roast the grains longer this time.

I presoaked the rice because in school, our rice is always given to us presoaked. It has something to do with the enzymes in the grain and making it more digestible. I want to come as close as I can to what I will experience during the test.

On a different note I've been practicing my knife skills. I don't know if I'm being too particular but I AM DRIVING MYSELF INSANE with trying to perfectly cut the following:

Small Dice
Medium Dice

What I've discovered is that I have a tendency to ever so slightly tilt my blade in an effort to see what I'm cutting. This is very evident when I've practiced the bias cuts on carrots. I know the only thing that will help is practice, practice and MORE practice. Even though my cuts were not perfect, they had improved and I'm off by only 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch most times. I plan to practice daily until the new year, then I'm going to start timing my practices. I will have two hours to do 14 various cuts, the most challenging for me right now are the ones listed above. I want them all to be perfect.

It's frustrating to me at times. Initially I tried to incorporate practice into my personal cooking time but it is very time consuming for me. I have to make separate time to practice. On a bright note, the time is actually somewhat therapeautic until I start going OCD about the cuts. I guess I'm being a bit impatient and a tad nervous about the upcoming test.
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