Brown rice is a terrific side dish or component for Mexican and Asian cuisine. We like to mix up our grains, but brown rice definitely shows up once a week or so. I used to hate to spend an hour cooking it on the stove top just to have it stick to the pan or come out mushy. Until I found this method . . . and if I could remember where I found it, I would let you know – but I’ve been doing it this way for so many years I just don’t remember. I do know there were more steps originally, but I’ve managed to streamline it quite a bit!
It’s simple and practically foolproof. It also makes a double batch so you can freeze half for another day – just take it out the night before you want to serve it. It does take some time (but completely hands off time), so plan accordingly.
3 cups short grain brown rice
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
9 x 13 glass ovenproof pan
Step one: Cover your rice with water and add vinegar. Cover and soak overnight (or at least a few hours).
Step two: An hour and fifteen minutes before you plan to serve, pre-heat the oven to 350. Then rinse the vinegar out of the rice. Pour the wet rice in the 9×13 pan and pour 3-4 cups boiling water on top. (Basically you are making sure the rice is covered with water – but just barely – see below picture).
Step three: Cover the rice with two layers of aluminum foil (seems like a waste, but you’ll be able to re-use at least one layer), and put it in the oven for an hour. Don’t peek or check on it – you’ll want to, but you really need to leave it alone.
Step four: Remove from oven after an hour, fluff with a fork and place the foil back on top. Let it sit stovetop for 5 to 10 minutes.
In case you are wondering, you don’t technically have to soak the rice in the vinegar – this method will still work but you will have to use more boiling water. However, soaking your grains is a good practice to get into to. Whole grains typically contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. By soaking the grains with vinegar overnight, these phytates and enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and, in a sense – predigested. Not only does this make the nutrients in the grains more available to us, it also makes it easier for us to digest them. Now brown rice is relatively low in phytic acid compared to other grains, but the soaking is still beneficial.
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