Purchasing Brown Rice
Purchase beautiful whole-grain rice with as little waste (straw, broken, and damaged grains) as possible, so cleaning will be easy. Choose a rise with slightly rounded grains. Such rice when cooked will be soft and crispy at the same time, while the grains with a more oblong shape could taste a bit dry.
Put the grains in the pressure cooker and wash under running water to discard all the husks and soil debris. Inspect the contents in the cooker when filled with water to make sure you have removed all yellow-hued grains with remaining husks. These grains tend to appear on the top or even float in the water where you can easily spot and discard them. This is important as unclean grains can affect the beautiful consistency of the rice and lessen the enjoyment of your delicious healthy meal.
Cooking Brown Rice
I have always preferred using a pressure cooker for cooking brown rice. The pressure cooker saves on cooking time and produces more crispy boiled grains compared to cooking in a pot.
After you have finished cleaning the rice, pour water in the pressure cooker until the level of the water is 50% above the rice. Once you become more experienced, it will be easy for you to adjust the amount of water, depending on your personal preference. You can reduce the amount of water if you prefer harder cooked rice or add more water if you prefer mushier cooked rice. Drizzle some sea salt and add a few tablespoons of roasted (not burnt) sesame seeds. The amount of sesame seed can be customized to meet your preferences as well. You can also use unroasted seeds if you don’t have enough time, but it will slightly affect the aroma. Don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy this special meal.
Close the lid and turn the temperature to high for a few minutes until the cooker starts to whistle. Then, turn the temperature to low and allow your meal to cook for another 50 minutes. Over time, you will learn which exact low-temperature level will ensure that your brown rice is well cooked, but not burnt, as burnt brown rice will have an unpleasant smell.
Cooling for Oiling
Switch off the temperature and wait for a few more minutes to allow the pressure to decrease to a normal level. Open and remove the lid and leave the boiled rice uncovered to cool for another half an hour.
Add a few tablespoons of pumpkin oil or some other cold-pressed oil, or even a mixture of cold-pressed oils, depending on your preferences, and mix the content in the cooker thoroughly. Added oils will coat the boiled grains and prevent the rice from becoming too mushy while preserving crispiness.
Leave the rice in the uncovered pressure cooker to evaporate until it cools to room temperature. Then, store it in the refrigerator in a covered bowl or pot, or you can even put the cooker with its content in the fridge. You can cover the cooker with a regular pot lid to make serving more convenient.
During storage, the grains will become harder and crispier, and also retain shape they had before cooking, especially if you didn’t use too much water. If you like harder and crispier boiled rice grains, don’t use the original pressure cooker lid during storage because the sealed lid will completely stop air circulation. Minimal circulation is desirable for improved crispiness.
Leaving the cooked brown rice uncovered or covered with a very loose lid is also not advisable. Too much exposure to air can lead forming of the crust on the surface of the dish that may affect the homogeneous consistency of this wonderful meal. The rice can be refrigerated for three days. The taste of the refrigerated meal improves over time.
The rice does not need to be warmed up before serving, as it is tastier when cool. It will not be too cool in your mouth since the chewing takes time ensuring that the food is naturally warmed up before swallowing. But warming the cooked rice slowly on low heat is completely fine if your throat is sensitive to the intake of cold foods and beverages.
The mushier version of cooked brown rice tastes its best when consumed soon after cooking, while the meal is still warm or when it has been left at the room temperature for a while. Refrigerating makes mushy texture rice less tasty. Refrigerated mushier rice also leaves a cooler feeling in your mouth when consumed without warming up.
Seeds and Salad
To improve the taste and texture, it can be sprinkled with a mixture of roasted peanut and sunflower seeds. It can be served with a finely chopped cabbage salad (with lemon and olive oil) or a lettuce salad.
Endless Learning Curve
Over time you will learn what type of oils and seeds and what amount of water work best to fit your preferences. You can add various seeds, kernels, and spices. It can be consumed between meals or as the main meal. It can be improved continuously to get better and better each time.
Written after decades of cooking brown rice