Monday, May 7

Good Eating Monday: Grain-Up

Today's "Good Eating" tip: how to "grain-up" ordinary rice!
By "grain-up" I meanupping the whole grain value of a thing. 
I'm also speaking of regular, whole rice. Not Uncle Ben's or instant types.
Brown rice is recommended, but---I don't really like plain brown rice. Do you?
It takes so much longer to cook and lacks "fluffiness."
So, what I do instead is I mix my white rice with brown rice about 50-50. I store my rice in a cannister and what I do is pour it about half full with regular medium rice, then add half a bag of brown rice and mix together.
This combo then cooks normally and retains fluffiness.
To up the whole grain further, I also add 1 Tbsp of Bulgar Wheat to the pan once the rice starts boiling. I use oneTbsp of Bulgar Wheat for every 1/2 cup of rice, which = 2 servings.
Once steamed, you have a pretty whole grain dish ready for whatever use you have planned.
This works on the stove top or in a rice steamer.
I had a Japanese room-mate in college who taught me to make rice on a stove-top the Japanese way:
(Rinse & soak the rice at least 1 hour prior to when you want to cook it.)

Prepping the Rice:
1) First, rinse your rice in the pan you plan on cooking it in to get rid of all the rice dust. Rinse it with cold water 4 or 5 times or until the water is more clear then cloudy.

   2) Cover rice with cold water until it is about 1 inch above the rice level. Cover pan with lid and let your rice soak in water for a minimum of 30 minutes; 1 hour is better.

 Cooking the Rice:
 3) First, bring rice water to a full rolling boil with lid on, then immediately turn heat down to a simmer.
(You might need to lift lid briefly to calm the it down to reduce boiling, so it won't spill over excessively.)
4) Let rice simmer until most, but NOT ALL the water is gone, then turn off heat completely and allow rice to steam until all water is completely gone, about 10 minutes. Rice will be tender & fluffy.
That's how I make my rice to this day and it's perfect every time. I don't care for rice steamers.

A touch of Ginger:
If you're serving plan rice as a side, I recommend grating some fresh ginger root over it and adding a dash of toasted seasame seeds on top.
Kikomen's Lite Soy Sauce on the table, of course. My Japanese room-mate considered Kikoman's best.

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