Monday, November 18, 2013

Recipe: Basic Brown Rice

It may seem boring and unnecessary to post a recipe for brown rice, but in reflecting back on our years practicing macrobiotics, we've learned a lot, and our preparation of rice has evolved quite a bit.  Plus, with whole grains being at the center of a macrobiotic meal, it's definitely worth it to get it right.   Your rice should be delicious and inspiring if you want to get the most nourishment out of eating it.

Choosing Rice:  Get the best quality rice you can, choosing a short or medium grain variety for regular use.  Sometimes long grain or basmati is good in the warmer months.  Our favorite rice is Organic Kokuho Rose Medium Grain Brown Rice from Koda Farms.  We order it directly from the farm.  The quality and flavor is out of this world.  Most health food stores around the country carry Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice, which is also good. 

We've gone through many phases in our rice preparation.  Formerly, we always pressure cooked it directly in the pressure cooker.  Then we discovered Ohsawa pots, and always pressure cooked it in the Ohsawa pot, which we still do quite often, especially if we cook the rice with beans.  But lately we've enjoyed the lighter texture of boiled rice.  If you pressure cook, check out a recipe in any of the macrobiotic cookbooks, rather than following the recipe in the manual that came with the pressure cooker.  

The recipe:
Basic Brown Rice 

Servings: 4
Cooking Time: 65 minutes 

1.) Before bed, the night before you want to eat the rice, wash 1.5 cups or rice by placing the rice in a pot, adding water, swirling with your hand, and draining it.  Repeat at least twice.  Drain it completely, then soak the washed rice in 3 cups of filtered water in a pot.  It's best to use a heavy cast iron pot if you have one.  A regular pot can work too.  Soaking the rice overnight makes for softer, stickier rice and actually starts the germination process, which unlocks nutrients and makes the rice easier to digest.  

2.) The next day, about an hour and ten minutes before mealtime, put the pot with the soaked rice on the burner and turn it on  medium / high.  

3.) When the rice is just beginning to bubble, probably after about 5 minutes, add a pinch of sea salt.  

4.) Put a flame deflector under the pot.  After the flame deflector heats through, probably just 30 seconds or so, turn the burner to low.  

5.) Set a timer for 60 minutes.  Do not open the lid while cooking.  You might think nothing is happening, but your rice is getting delicious.  All you might see is a little steam escaping from the pot from time to time.  

6.) When the timer goes off, turn off the burner, and dish up the rice.  Garnish with some toasted sesame seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.  

For variety, replace a half cup of the rice with another grain such as hulled or pearled barley, farro, wheat-berries, rye-berries, bulgur or millet.  Prepare in the same way.  

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