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AshlynM's avatar

Is cooked brown rice supposed to be chewy?

Asked by AshlynM (6475 points ) February 12th, 2013

I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with brown rice, I usually make white rice. I followed the directions on the package to the letter but when I tasted it, it was chewy, not soft at all. I used 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice and cooked until the water was gone. I was just wondering if this is how brown rice is supposed to be, all chewy? I thought maybe it will taste better the next day heated in the microwave so I will see.

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20 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

It is supposed to be a little tougher than white rice, but it also takes much longer to cook, the cooking directions don’t sound right to me. You should be boiling it for a good 40 minutes at least.

The way I cook it, I put rice in a bowl, and then cover it in water, and boil it until the water is half gone, then add more water until it is covered again, boil it until half the water is gone, then put it on a very low heat and cover it, after 10 minutes turn the heat off, but leave it covered and steaming until the water is all gone.

bookish1's avatar

It will have more texture than white rice because it is not husked or processed. It’s much better for you, even though white rice traditionally has more prestige as rich folks’ food.

I use a ratio of water to brown rice of 2.5:1, instead of 2:1 for white rice, and yes, it does need a longer cook time as @poisonedantidote says, at least half an hour.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I agree with @bookish1 more water and more time. I use 3:1 water to rice and 40 minutes.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, a little. It is toothsome.

Shippy's avatar

It is a less refined processed food so should be a bit more grainy and chewy.

Brian1946's avatar

The last time I cooked brown rice, its package had cooking directions that specified 4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, with a cooking time of 45 minutes.

gailcalled's avatar

At least 50 minutes, and props. to @marinelife for “toothsome, ” but it’s not the same as chewy.

muhammajelly's avatar

Are you cooking long-grain white rice and short or medium-grain brown rice? Shorter grained rice is often more chewy so you need to be sure grain length is also taken into account when you compare the two.

Sunny2's avatar

I think it’s chewy. It certainly has a texture unlike most white rice but the white rices have different textures and flavors too. Black and red rices are other variations to explore. If you want to combine two or more different kinds, cook them separately and then combine them. Makes a more colorful starch side dish.

zensky's avatar

2:1 water to rice and about 40 minutes cooking time – but it depends on your pot/stove.

wundayatta's avatar

I cook it in a pressure cooker which cooks it in half the time. You only need two to one water to rice. It is a little more chewy, but it should still be soft. If you feel a bit of a popcorn crackliness to it, they you didn’t cook enough water into it.

The pressure cooker makes it more flavorful, too. I can’t tell you how many people (many vegetarians, no less) told me it was the best brown rice they’d ever had.

AshlynM's avatar

Thanks everyone. I will try both the rice cooker and longer cooking time on the stove for next time.

Brian1946's avatar

If you get the rice in a pre-prepackaged bag, it might have the cooking instructions printed on it.

Earthgirl's avatar

The directions I am familiar with call for just slightly more water than white rice. 21/4 cups of water to each cup of rice and 45 minutes cooking time. I have to admit that I never really had much fondness for brown rice in the past so I don’t have much experience cooking it. It’s funny that there are so many different ways of doing it.

I love brown basmati rice! It has a really nice nutty flavor and the kernels are a little more fine and less plump. I make it the long cooking way but I also buy packages of this rice. It takes 90 seconds to cook in the microwave and it comes out perfectly every time. It makes only 2 servings per pkg but for me that is perfect. I love it! No waste, no fuss,delicious rice.

lifeflame's avatar

Another trick: soak brown rice for a bit (30–60mins) before cooking.

rooeytoo's avatar

Also remember it is an excellent laxative!

wundayatta's avatar

So is coffee!

muhammajelly's avatar

@wundayatta In China, everything the street vendors sell is an excellent laxative.

wundayatta's avatar

@muhammajelly Not just street vendors, either. But you could say the same of every town in Mexico south of Guanauato.

muhammajelly's avatar

@wundayatta It is true. Even where there is a lady standing behind you the entire time to make sure your glass is always full they may have washed your fruit in tap water. There may be some stray cats which the girls think are cute. The goose-necks may be kept until they are sold instead of some specific date.

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