Though in essence there aren’t many differences between the brown rice and white rice, truth is that when cooking brown rice you will need to use a little more water than you do with the white one. A rice cooker is awesome because it allows you to play with the recipes, and you can make, for example, brown rice medleys or brown rice porridge. There are countless rice cooker models available on the market, but honestly, any of them would do as long as you use it correctly. Here you have some simple and healthy recipes:
Simple Brown Rice
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
- 2 cups brown rice;
- 3 cups water (or broth);
- Butter (optional);
- ½ tsp salt (also optional);
- Soy sauce (optional).
Use cold water to rinse the rice. Strain it and rinse it quickly for 30 seconds. Choose a very fine mesh so as not to lose rice. Keep in mind that you only need to rinse it if you want to clean it thoroughly. Then transfer it to the cooker and add the water. Let it soak for 45 minutes. Chicken or vegetable broth instead of water are going to give it extra flavor. Add salt if you feel the need. Stir the contents in the rice cooker with a wooden spoon to spread the salt evenly, then simply turn the rice cooker on and set the timer. Use the brown rice setting if there is any, or set it to 30 minutes. When it’s done, leave it 5-10 more minute there to soak more water.
Brown Rice Medley
Ingredients for 6 servings:
- 580 ml water;
- 160 ml red quinoa;
- 330 ml brown rice;
- 1 tsp salt.
Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer for 30 seconds under cold water. Soak the rice in the rice cooker for 45 minutes in 580 ml warm water. Soaking is good for the rice because it makes it less sticky. While you let the rice soak, rinse the quinoa through the mesh strainer. Add quinoa and salt to the rice cooker. Stir the ingredients for the flavors to be equally spread. Check if the quinoa and rice grains are submerged in water in the rice cooker.
Turn on the device and set the timer. Use the special brown rice setting if there is one, if not just set it to 30 minutes. After this period, check if the quinoa and rice are done. You could leave them for an extra 10 minutes in there. Serve it hot!
Brown Rice Porridge
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 180 ml brown rice;
- 1250 – 1750 ml water (or broth);
- 250 ml sliced shiitake mushrooms (1 cup, optional);
- 1 medium carrot sliced (optional);
- 10 ml vegetable oil (optional);
- 15 ml soy sauce (optional);
- 2 hard-boiled eggs (optional);
- 1 Tbsp. chopped green onions (optional).
Rinse the rice. Place it in a fine mesh strainer and keep it 30 seconds under the cold water. Put the rice and water in the rice cooker. Place them directly there and make sure that all the rice grains are found under water. You don’t need to soak the brown ricethis time. The cooking time is already kind of lengthy, so it doesn’t really matter if you soak it or not. Moreover, you want your porridge to hold together, and as such it wouldn’t be a good idea to remove the starches that make it sticky.
Replacing the water with chicken or vegetable broth is going to bring more flavor to the dish. You can even combine the two of them in equal amounts for extra taste. The broth is recommended for this recipe, but if you want to add other garnishes, such as raisins or dried apricots, it would be better to stick with water.
Set the timer. If you have a special porridge setting, use that one, otherwise you can simply set the timer to 6 – 8 hours. Keep the rice cooker covered throughout the entire process. If you want to eat brown rice porridge for breakfast, put the ingredients in the rice cooker before you go to bed and let it cook overnight.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a big skillet. Heat it to medium-high heat and cook the garlic, mushrooms and the carrot. Stir continually with a wooden spoon. When the porridge is ready, mix the vegetables together with it. Stir well until they are evenly distributed. You can even add optional toppings, such as soy sauce, the chopped green onions or the boiled eggs.