Brown rice is whole grain rice, with its outer layers of bran and germ intact. It has an earthy nutty flavor and is rich in nutrients and fiber. White rice is the same grain but with all these outer layers polished off leaving just the starchy insides with all the nutritional benefits literally cleaned away.
You can substitute brown rice for white in almost any rice dish, but take into account that it takes twice as long to cook as white rice – 40-45 minutes instead of 20. Soaking the brown rice overnight can reduce cooking time by 10-15 minutes. Dishes that rely on the starchiness of white rice to make them creamy, like risottos, will have a cleaner texture and a nuttier flavor when made with brown. For others, like the puddings, congees and rice porridges in the recipes we’ve selected, brown rice is interchangeable with white since they are cooked until the grains of rice are super soft and breaking up, releasing their starches. Brown rice just adds its nuttiness to the flavor.
In season: Brown rice is available year-round.
How to buy: Brown rice comes in many different varieties: long-grain and basmati, short grain, or medium-grain. Long grain is better for savory dishes, with aromatic Basmati being the absolute best choice, while short grain is best for puddings and risottos. Try to buy rice from a store with a lot of foot traffic, as older grains will take longer to cook.
Storage: Keep in an airtight container in a cool spot in your kitchen out direct sunlight.
Read about the health benefits of brown rice <a href=”http://www.cookforyourlife.org/brown-rice/” style=”color:blue;” target=”_blank”>in this article</a>.