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Brown Rice: Perfect Every time

Do you like brown rice? Do you hesitate to make it because it’s time consuming, and half the time it comes out wrong? Too mushy or too hard, too runny or too sticky? And then you don’t do it again, because you’re unsure of the final product?

Well let me ease your pain.

This brown-rice recipe isn’t much fussier or time consuming than regular rice, as easy to make, and healthier, tastier, and fluffier–all the reasons you want brown rice instead of white.

I make a lot of brown rice; Liza wants it with almost every meal. So I needed to find a simple, foolproof recipe that was consistent. I tried a dozen different recipe sources, and wouldn’t you know, I settled on Martha Stewart? I’ve honed it to, ahem, perfection. Martha’s recipe is three ingredients: rice, water, and salt. The amounts are different from what you think you need for rice, but it works.

For my recipe I’ve replaced the salt with bouillon cubes (vegetable, chicken, or beef), because I just like it better; it adds a note that just picks up the flavor of whatever you serve it with. But if you don’t want the extra flavor, replace the bouillon cube with 1/4 teaspoon of Morton’s or 1/2 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt. And trust me on the amounts and timing. It won’t seem right, but I guarantee success if you follow the recipe. And by the way, stock works too, if you have that on hand.

Here then, is perfect-every-time brown rice…


1 1/4 cup water (or stock)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice

* OPTIONAL: 2 bouillon cubes (chicken, vegetable, or beef–omit if you’re using stock) or kosher salt — 1/4 tsp per cup dry rice


1. Rinse the rice in cold water, stirring and changing the water until it runs clear.

2. Add the water to an enamel-coated cast-iron pan, turn the heat on to medium, and crush the bouillon cubes (or the kosher salt) into the water. Stir to mix, add the rice and stir once quickly.

3. Cover and bring the pot to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to a low setting that keeps the pot at a slow simmer. Give the rice one quick stir and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes (no more!). Remove from the heat.

4. Allow the rice to steam, off the heat, for 10 minutes, then fluff with a rubber spatula and serve immediately, or move the rice to a refrigerator-safe storage container and allow to cool to room temperature. Store for 3-4 days in the fridge or freeze in airtight zipper-close freezer bags (yup! It freezes, too, but defrost slowly, not in a microwave oven).

Perfect every time.

* NOTE: If doubling the recipe, use 2 1/4 cups stock or water.

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