Hi everyone. So the truth is, I'm not bad at cooking, but for some reason, I just can't cook rice properly!!!! I'm starting to get a little annoyed. I mean, i'll cook this wonderful tasting dish, but then when I make the rice to compliment it, it just dooesn't come out right!It always comes out really chewy in texture (which i personally really like, but the people i serve it to want it more soft and fluffy)....and i know that it's possible to get it soft because i've eaten it that way at restaurants. So i add more water when i see that it's still too chewy or hard...but what ends up happening is that i get this consistently kind of like oatmeal, and the rice is kind of stuck together...i don't understand, what am I doing wrong??? lol help!!
I'm having the same problem. I was using Uncle Ben's brown rice, but I bought it a while back, and that batch turned out perfect every time, with this new/different batch I can't get it right to save my life; it requires a different cook time and method, so now mine comes out sticky and pasty....not happy because I like brown rice, so I'm hoping someone can help us out with this. At this point I'm just adding it to soup and beans in order to enjoy it, but there are times I would like to eat it alone.
I recently discovered barley...i've never had it whole (hulled), but i had the pearl barley....it tastes juts like white rice! same texture, color, non-sticky! which is nice, coz i was starting to miss that unhealthy stuff....:)
If you are able or so inclined to use a little oil in your cooking, here's how I make all long grain rice (I am still using up a big old sack o' white rice, alternating with brown until it's done). It is basically cooking the rice pilaf style. Most brown rice isn't really a problem for me, so sometimes, it's just in the pot with the water and forget about it. But if I try a new type or brand, I do it this way because I am so familiar with it:
Get a 1.5 or 2 quart nonstick sauce pan with lid, preferably a lid with a small vent hole in it. I get mine from Meijer, which is pretty much the best reason for living in the Midwest, lol.
Put a small bit of your preferred cooking oil in the bottom. I use about 2 Tblsp because I make a lot of rice at once. Heat the oil over high heat but do not ignore it! When it's hot but not smoking, add your rice. Stir the rice to coat it with the oil and cook, stirring, until a noticeable amount of the rice has become white. Some pilafs make you cook until it's all white and no longer translucent, but I don't do that anymore bec. it takes too long.
Meanwhile, heat up your water or broth. I have a pretty hot tap and a filter, so I use that. For white rice, use 1.5 c water to 1 c rice, and for brown, 2c water to 1 c rice the first time you cook that brand, or if you buy in bulk like I do, the first time you cook from that batch. Give it a good stir, too. If you're adding veggies or TVP or something, do it now.
Then, heat the liquid until it's boiling like mad, and immediately lower the heat to the lowest you can. If you have an electric stove, use two burners and heat up the second burner while you're doing the other cooking. Cover and cook for 20 mins. for white, or however long it says on the package for brown. Some brown rice will say cook for 20, sit for 10 and this seems to work best for me.
It sounds a little labor intensive, but you get the hang of it after a while. HTH!
OK, ran out of space on the last post, but had another thought: If you don't use or don't want to use oil, you can still pre-heat the rice in the pan, stirring the whole time, before adding hot liquid to it. Even with brown rice, you should see some change in the kernels as you heat it.
If you want to go for softer brown rice, start out cooking for 25 and sitting for 10 or 15. If you think you don't have enough water, start with a little more than 2-1 ratio. But whatever you do, DON'T add water at the end and try to recook. That's probably why it's turning to mush. Good luck!
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