Kitchen Tips: How to cook brown rice

By | October 12, 2012

How many pots of brown rice have you cooked? How many times did you have to try it before it came out perfectly?

Maybe you have a better track record than me, but even with all the tips available online, cooking rice involved a lot of trial and error over here.

At first, I felt pretty stupid about it. Anyone can cook rice, right? Why was this so hard? But then I started talking to people about it, and I realized something funny — a lot of people struggled with rice. They just didn’t advertise it.

Seems you just need a good set of directions. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Start by heating oil in your saucepan. Dump in the rice and saute it for one minute. Don’t skip this step!

Add boiling water (the proper ratio is 2 cups water for every cup of uncooked rice), and wait for the contents of the pot to come to a boil. This only takes a minute if you added super hot water.

Reduce the heat and let it simmer for exactly 25 minutes. Not 23, not 27, and definitely not 30. Just 25.

And don’t lift that lid while your rice is cooking. Just follow the directions in the recipe below, and you’ll have it — a successful pot of brown rice. See how it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pot?

At this point, the stage is yours. Spices, fresh herbs, fresh/sauteed/roasted vegetables, soy sauce, and cheese are all good ideas. Not necessarily all at the same time, though.

Today I felt like some teeny-tiny cubes of feta and a sprinkling of zaatar, but just about anything would work.

And after all those yom tov meals, a brown rice dish hits just the right note.

…Happy Friday.

Want some ideas for things to do with your brown rice?

One year ago: Upside-down vegetable towers


malka on October 12, 2012 at 10:45 am.

Another easy way to cook brown rice is to cook it in the oven. Pour all ingredients in a large pan, add water, mix, cover, and stick in the oven. You’re allowed to peek to check if its ready. Brown rice takes a while in the oven though, but its no-fail that way!


Tali Simon on October 12, 2012 at 11:42 am.

Sounds like a good method for when the oven is on for a long time anyway.


Dena on February 10, 2014 at 8:41 am.

Truth be told I never had a problem making rice till I made Aliyah. I read directions in Hebrew then in English and yet it still didn’t come out. Finally I asked an Israeli friend what I was doing wrong she told me she makes it in the Microwave! I now have perfect rice every time!!!

Re: Brown rice recipie -why can’t we add seasoning when we add the water?
Does this effect cooking time or how it cooks?


Tali Simon on February 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm.

I’ve added seasoning to the oil, actually, so that the rice is sauted in both. I suppose you could add it with the water, I’ve just never done that.


Gitty on March 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm.

Malka, how much time do you give it in the oven?


N on October 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm.

Thanks for your recipe. I have always read that you are supposed to rinse the rice thoroughly, to get rid of starch. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.


Tali Simon on October 27, 2014 at 4:25 am.

All I can say is that I’ve never once done that, and I’ve still had dozens and dozens of pots of rice turn out well. I wonder if it applies to certain locations?


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