I’m always trying to improve the way my family eats. I strive to serve meals using as many healthy ingredients as I can fit into a recipe. I’ve attempted making brown rice in the past, but I have always had unappetizing results. It would either be too mushy or crunchy–sometimes even a mixture of both. I gave up and went back to cooking to more forgiving white rice.
I recently came across a recipe that called for baking the rice in the oven. It was a technique I never considered, but I was willing to give it a shot. It required a short list of ingredients and was a cinch to assemble. I was pleasantly surprised when the rice was cooked thoroughly but still had a nice bite to it. The texture was exactly as it should have been. In one attempt, I was convinced that it was possible to make brown rice successfully. The great part is that my family enjoyed it. Yay for fiber!
Foolproof Baked Brown Rice via Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain, medium-grain, or short-grain brown rice
- 2 1/3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch square baking dish.
- Bring water and butter to a boil, covered, in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, immediately stir in salt and pour water over rice in baking dish. Cover baking dish tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Transfer baking dish to oven and bake rice until tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with fork, then cover with kitchen towel and let rice stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and let rice stand 5 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Variation: Curried Baked Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas
- Increase amount of butter to 2 tablespoons and melt in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add 1 minced small onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add one 14.5 ounce can drained diced tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Substitute vegetable broth for water and reduce amount of salt to 1/8 teaspoon. After pouring broth over rice, stir tomato mixture into even layer.
- Bake as directed, increasing baking time to 70 minutes. Before covering baking dish with kitchen towel, stir in 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas.
Note: I doubled this recipe and used a 9×13 baking dish.
Have you ever tried cooking brown rice? How did it turn out?