I’m not going to convince many of you, I’m sure, about the savoriness of brown rice, but I thought I’d give it a try. I first became enamored of its nutty goodness while researching varieties of rice for my column, Ask TaMara. Now I use it almost exclusively.
The flavor is nutty and a bit sweet. It’s a great compliment with any fish, beef, poultry or pork. The only addition it needs is a touch of butter and salt. I also mix it with scrambled eggs for a healthy and satisfying breakfast.
Besides being full of flavor, brown rice is packed with nutrients. Per cup it has 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and niacin, as well as other vitamins and minerals. It’s a great side that adds flavor to many dishes.
You’ll still want to use a variety of white rice for several types of dishes, though. White rices absorb flavors and are necessary for many Asian dishes, as well as Risotto, where you want the rice to take on the flavor of the sauces. Brown rice’s rich flavor would overpower the balance of flavors in these dishes.
Brown rice cooks like regular rice in a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. But it takes longer to cook. About 45 minutes at a low simmer. I use my pressure cooker and it reduces the cooking time to 20 minutes. Brown rice, like white varieties, can be cooked in a large batch and stored for a week in the refrigerator. I reheat mine in a touch of water and butter in a saucepan. Microwaving rice can make it a bit mushy. Never freeze leftover rice, it destroys the texture and makes it rubbery.
So go ahead, try some brown rice as a side for your next grilled chicken or steak dinner.