Thinking of switching from white to brown rice? We'll tell you everything you need to know about taste, texture, how to cook it perfectly and some additional tricks to making it scrumptious.
Let's take a look...
What Does Brown Rice Taste Like?
Whereas white rice typically has a gentle, slightly flowery taste, brown rice is nutty, a bit bready (like whole wheat bread) and quite earthy.
Different varieties of brown rice will come with their own nuances in flavor. Short-grain brown rice, for instance, is a little sweet while long-grain brown rice is woody with a more pronounced grainy taste.
Brown Rice Texture
Brown rice is heavier and chewier than white rice, which tends to be fluffy and soft. If you enjoy those qualities in white rice, try short-grain brown rice. It's moist, silky and slightly sticky, though it's still a little fibrous.
Long-grain brown rice is drier, even when cooked. It's lighter than short-grain brown rice, so it tends to be more adaptable in almost any rice dish than the short-grain variety, which is ideal for vegan sushi and risottos.
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What’s the Best Tasting Brown Rice?
The best tasting brown rice is generally a matter of opinion, but some people prefer brown rices that come from certain regions of the world over others for their distinctive flavors.
Basmati brown rices from India or Pakistan, which are long-grain, are renowned for their fragrance and floral to herbal qualities. Still others prefer short-grain brown rices for their sweetness.
What Can I Add to Brown Rice for Flavor?
Just like any recipe, your standard brown rice recipe can be modified to your taste. If you're looking to make it as tasty as can be, cooking it with vegetable stock instead of water will make it savory and very flavorful.
Spices, herbs and flavoring oils will do the same. You can simmer brown rice with bay leaf, oregano and thyme for stuffed squash. The next time you make burritos, chop up fresh cilantro to add in along with a squeeze of lime.
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How Do I Make Perfect Brown Rice?
Good brown rice is something of a science. The great thing about this is that if you follow the steps, you'll end up with a perfect result every time. Just don't deviate from the steps!
Here's what you'll want to do:
- Toast up one cup of rice with a little oil in a smallish pot on low to medium heat for a few minutes. This will make it more fragrant.
- Add two and a half cups of water to the pot along with a dash of salt and any seasonings you'd like to use.
- Turn the heat up to bring it to a boil.
- As soon as the water comes to a full boil, give the rice a swirl with a spoon to ensure that it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then cover the pot with a fitted lid and bring it down to a simmer.
- Set the timer for forty minutes.
- Don't remove the lid until the forty minutes are up!
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Brown Rice Serving Tips
Did you know you can eat brown rice for breakfast? Below are some videos to help you get a feel for all the different kinds of vegan meals you can prepare with brown rice.
This video will guide you through making three different kinds of brown rice dishes from breakfast right through dinner. You'll see how to make a delicious "apple pie" hot breakfast cereal, a black bean and avocado lunch bowl, and a vegetable fried rice bowl with toasted sesame oil and ginger.
Since short-grain brown rice is excellent for sushi, we thought we'd show you what it would look like. All you need are the following ingredients:
- Cooked brown rice
- Nori seaweed sheets
- Veggies like carrots, avocado and cucumber cut into matchstick pieces
Hearty brown rice is denser, chewier and earthier than white rice. Making it tasty is as easy as adding some vegan bouillon or herbs and salt while it's cooking. Get creative with this—see what flavor combinations you can come up with for rice casseroles, stir-fries, burritos and even breakfast bowls.