People trying brown rice are often surprised by how chewy it is compared with the more familiar white rice. To ease the transition, try this recipe for a lighter, fluffier brown rice.
The rice is toasted in hot oil first, then the cooking liquid is added. When the hot liquid hits the rice, the rice cracks. You won't notice this as the rice is cooking, but when it's done, most of the grains will have burst open. That's what makes rice cooked with this method lighter.
Of the thousands of varieties of rice in the world, I use brown basmati, as it has the most wonderful, popcornlike aroma. Basmati is a long-grain rice, which cooks up fluffier and drier. Short rice cooks up stickier.
Use this recipe as a base for most any savory dish calling for rice. At its simplest, sprinkle the rice with gomasio, a delicate Japanese condiment (see method) of sesame seeds and salt.
Kay Stepkin is a vegetarian cooking instructor and former owner of a vegetarian restaurant/whole-grain bakery. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fluffy brown rice
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Makes: 7 cups, about 7 servings
2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups each: vegetable broth, water
1 teaspoon salt
1Measure rice into a large bowl. Fill with water to cover. Stir several times with your hands, spilling out excess water until water is clear. Strain.
2Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When warm, drop in a few grains of rice. When they sizzle, pour in remaining rice. Cook, stirring, until rice starts to turn brown and to smell nutty, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat broth and water to a boil in a separate pot. When the rice is toasted, add the boiling liquid with an extended arm to avoid any splatters. Stir in the salt; turn heat to lowest possible setting. Cover; cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 224 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 44 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 603 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Measure a single layer of brown sesame seeds into a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until seeds smell toasty, about 8 minutes. Place into small food processor. For each tablespoon of seeds, add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Pulse until seeds are crushed. Do not turn into a paste. Sprinkle over most any savory dish to boost its flavor. Store in a jar with a lid. Do not refrigerate, as the moisture would cause it to spoil quickly.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun