Did you know there's more than one way to make boiled brown rice? We'll teach you all you need to know, including water-to-rice ratios and seasoning ideas.
Firstly, your brown rice needs to be pre-soaked. Do you know how to do that? Soak in 3 times the amount of water for 8-12 hours (or overnight), drain, rinse, then drain again. (Refer to our Brown Rice Guide to learn how to select, clean, & prep your brown rice for cooking.)
I think boiling brown rice was the way most people used to do it in the olden days. That's because, let's face it, most people had a pot and a stovetop. That's really all you need to make perfect rice every time.
But interestingly, there are three ways to accomplish this easy cooking technique. Let's explore them now...
The ratio of rice to water for all three methods is 1 cup pre-soaked rice to every 1 1/2 cups water.
If you're a perfectionist you can measure.
Or you can try the upside-down thumb trick. Simply turn your hand so you thumb is upside down and the tip is just touching the rice in the pot. Then add water until it comes up to the knuckle. Works like a charm and is quite...hand-y. (teeeeee-heeeeee)
See chart below for ratios of unsoaked rice to water.
Option 1: Begin by mixing your drained pre-soaked brown rice and fresh water together in a pot with a lid.
Over high heat, bring the grain and water, uncovered, to a boil. When the water starts boiling, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 20-40 minutes.
(Why the great time difference? The water content of your rice is dependent upon the age, which is nearly impossible to know. Once you purchase your grain from one particular source, chances are the cooking time will be the same for all successive batches you buy.)
Next, turn off the heat -- your brown rice is almost done! But first you must let the rice sit in the covered pot for about 10 minutes more.
If you get busy and realize your rice has been sitting for a half hour (eek!), no worries! It's okay to let it sit longer, but just don't let it sit for LESS THAN that 10 minutes.
Just keep in mind that the longer you let it sit, the less chewy it will be. I, for one, like my rice to have a bite, not to be soft and sticky, so experiment with your times -- 10 minutes is usually perfect.
Option 2: Otherwise known as the "Pasta Method". Some cooks swear by this method. Just boil a big pot of water. Toss in the rice. Let boil for 30-45 minutes until tender. Then drain in a colander. Give this method a try -- it might work perfectly for you!
Option 3: Pilaf Method. This is the same as Option 1; however, the FIRST thing you'll add to the pot is some non-dairy butter, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil. If making a "true pilaf", add onions and garlic to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Otherwise, when hot add the rice and sauté for a few minutes. This brings out a delicious nutty flavor. Next, add the water and follow instructions from Option 1.
Your boiled brown rice is now ready to be used in any way you'd like. Use the
Brown Rice Flavor Matches
to create your very own recipe!
We recommend pre-soaking your rice. But if you forgot, you can still boil your rice. Just adjust the amounts.
Remember, it's generally 1 cup of pre-soaked rice to every 1 1/2 cups of water.
So the following are based on non-pre-soaked brown rice...