How to cook brown rice in cast iron pot
- Why cast-iron pot
I like cast-iron cooking and have cast-iron casserole and skillet in different sizes and brands. For cooking rice, I use the Staub 22cm round cast iron cocotte which is the smallest casserole I have. It’s not only for steaming rice, but for stew, braise and soup. It’s one of my most used cooking utensils. This size of pot is suitable for 2 to 8 serving of steamed rice. I suggest 18cm to 22cm diameter cast iron pots are proper for most families.
There are advantages of cooking rice with cast iron,
- It’s particularly designed for slow-cooking and retains rice flavour as much as possible;
- It produces soft and evenly cooked rice;
- The rice is cooked perfectly with golden brown crust at the bottom;
- It sometimes cooks faster than electric rice cooker.
Friends and readers gave me feedbacks on my previous post ‘How to cook steamed rice with cast iron pot’, telling me how they use their cast iron pot to steam rice or difficulties they had. Some of them made soft and fluffy steamed white rice successfully whereas others said their rice was far too dry or not cooked thoroughly. Thus I reckoned post for specific rice is needed because white rice might not be everyone’s first choice.
- Why brown rice
As a matter of fact, I have had long-grain brown rice or mixed long-grain rice this year due to my health problem. Brown rice is healthier than white rice since in order to produce white rice, the layer underneath the husk of brown rice is removed for a better taste, and the removal would due to the loss of vitamins and minerals. What’s more, by comparison with white rice, brown rice has less carb and a lower glycemic index, thus it’s less likely to lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Ingredients – for 2 serving, about 2-3 bowls of steamed rice in rice bowl of regular size
Brown rice, 200g
- How to do –
- Rice washed, rinsed and drained. This is for removing excess starch;
- Wipe a thin layer of cooking oil at the pot bottom;
3. Place rice in the pot, flat evenly; pour in 350ml of water in room temperature; lid on and bring to boil in high heat, it may take about 2 minutes, you could hear the boiling sound of water or, don’t hesitate to check, it’s okay to open the lid to check once or twice; once it’s boiling, turn down to low heat and let it cook for 20-30 minutes; again, check if you are uncertain; if you want a golden rice crust at the bottom, turn up to medium heat and let it cook for 1 or 2 more minutes. But be careful, get closer and once you smell charcoal flavour from the pot, turn off the heat.
Brown rice needs longer time cooking than regular white rice; it might need longer time if you use a smaller pot or cook a bigger portion of rice; check after steaming for 20 minutes.
The absorption of water differs due to different types of rice. For brown rice or red rice, generally speaking, such type of long-grain rice requires more water than white rice. If you don’t eat rice regularly or you are not familiar with rice, you should try for a few times to acquire the right amout of water and the cooking time.
4. Don’t serve right away. Let the rice rest for at least 10 minutes with lid on so that the moist and flavour could retain into the rice and it’s easier to remove the rice crust from the pot bottom.
- Steaming or boiling?
I watched a video that rice was boiled with a large quantity of water then drained. Well yes, there’s ONE, very famous one that you might have watched. It might be the cooking method in some other cooking culture that I don’t want to judge. As a Chinese, I have never tried cooking rice in this way and don’t know anyone I know have ever done so, so it’s hard to tell how the rice tastes like. But I think it’s a waste because some of the nutrition from the rice are lost in the discarded water. The Chinese way of boiling rice is rice congee – to simmer rice for a long time with a large quantity of water till the rice melt and become silky.