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October 30, 2008 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Can I successfully cook brown and white rice together? The plan is to use a steamer with a 50/50 mix of the 2 varieties. If so, could you suggest a methodology? I prefer the brown, but I have a partial bag of white that I don't want to throw away.
posted by Exchequer to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Brown takes longer to cook than white, so add the white after the brown's partly cooked.
posted by mendel at 12:24 PM on October 30, 2008

I often mix the two. Just add a little more water (tablespoon-ish) per cup of brown rice.
posted by jamaro at 12:26 PM on October 30, 2008

We've been cooking half and half for a few years already. Cook like normal, putting both rice in at the same time (Wash first!). We do have one of those fantastic 'fuzzy logic' Zorishi Rice Cookiers though, not sure if that makes a difference.
posted by edman at 12:39 PM on October 30, 2008

I have a very standard Korean rice cooker that only has an "on" button and a fifty fifty mix turns out fine. I add a tiny bit more water, and let the rice sit in the pot for several minutes after cooking to steam a bit more.

If you have problems with the rice cooking evenly, you could try soaking the brown rice for 15 minutes or so before cooking.
posted by defreckled at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2008

OK, sounds what's the water / rice recipe for a white-brown mix, assuming I am making 3 - 4 servings? And how long to cook?
posted by Exchequer at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2008

I don't know what kind of brown rice these people above have been cooking, but it takes roughly twice as long to cook as white rice where I'm from. Maybe they don't care if the white rice is way overcooked? Maybe they have some kind of brown rice I've never heard of?

Anyways, brown rice takes about 40 - 45 - 50 minutes, depending on the variety I get. I would suggest steaming your brown rice for 25 minutes, then adding the white rice and steaming for 20 minutes more. Check the directions on the bag for more precise information on your particular rice's cooking times.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 1:43 PM on October 30, 2008

Also, if you're steaming the rice as you say you are, it doesn't really matter how much water you add, as long as you add enough. If you put in 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, and then add an extra cup so it doesn't run out of water you'll be fine.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 1:44 PM on October 30, 2008

I have one of those generic rice cookers that just pop when they're done. I've cooked not only both kinds of rice mixed, but other grains too, like barley, kasha, et cetera. Just go for it. Let the grains sit for 5-10 minutes after the pop to soak up the condensation, and giving a once over scrape of the bottom of the pot after the pop also helps distribute the starch so you don't get a big glue mess later.
posted by Listener at 2:02 PM on October 30, 2008

I don't know what kind of brown rice these people above have been cooking

For the sake of completeness, I'm talking about medium grain brown rice + medium grain white rice. Like defreckled and Listener, I use a minimalist single button rice cooker and being Asian, I care deeply about how my rice is cooked.
posted by jamaro at 2:07 PM on October 30, 2008

I find pre-soaking for 20 minutes helps.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:08 PM on October 30, 2008

If I try to cook only brown rice in my primitive rice cooker, it comes our hard and undercooked; but with the fifty fifty mix the rice cooker is able to transcend the rules of space and time and both are perfect.
posted by defreckled at 8:28 PM on October 30, 2008

I use the absorption method on a gas stove that thankfully can burn at very low heat. When I cook white rice I use less water than brown. It depends on the rice but usually between 1 and 1.5 cups or water per 1 cup of white rice and between 1.5 and 2 cups of water per 1 cup of brown rice.

It's important to wash white rice first (to remove the starch left after milling). Brown rice, not so important.

Brown and white is a nice combination. The white goes more mushy than usual but mixes through the brown and serves as a nice contrast to the brown nutty flavour. With the absorption method it is important to not disturb the cooking rice (by letting out the steam) so I would strongly recommend against adding the white rice at a later point. Using this method I would let the two cook together for about an hour. I go by smell and instinct to know when rice is cooked, however on low heat it doesn't really overcook unless you let it go a long time.

Soaking the brown rice up to 12 hours before adding the washed white rice and cooking will make results even better.

And as Listener said, you can add other grains too. When I was living in Taiwan you could buy a mix of about five different grains (I forget which) to cook like this. And the Japanese like to cook azuki beans and rice together.
posted by Sitegeist at 10:44 PM on October 30, 2008

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