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Fluffy Brown Rice (any size grain)

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: at least 4 C cooked rice per 1 1/2 C dry


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  • Dry brown rice, short or long grain (see yield for quantity)
  • Water
  • Salt


  1. Fill a medium to large saucepan with at least 5 times more water than you have dry rice. Unlike typical rice cooking methods, the goal here is not to use just as much water as the rice will absorb; it’s to use excess water (similar to boiling pasta). Set the pot over high heat to bring to a boil. Keep the lid nearby, although you won’t need it right away.
  2. Meanwhile, place dry rice in a fine strainer (preferably mesh) and run cold water over it for one to two minutes, until the water coming out the bottom runs almost clear, not cloudy like it did at the beginning.
  3. When the water comes to a boil, use a wooden spoon to scrape the rice in. Do not salt the water. Give the rice a stir–a couple swirls around the pan–then put that spoon down and don’t pick it up again! No more stirring. Adjust the heat to about medium high, so the water boils moderately. Boil for 25 minutes uncovered.
  4. Scoop out a couple grains of rice and try them. If they’re not soft enough, continue boiling about 5 more minutes. When the rice is tender, take it to the sink with a colander set up, and a clean dish towel and the pot lid nearby. Drain the rice through the colander, then immediately empty it back into the pan, even if it’s still a bit wet. The goal is to drain most of the water, so all of the rice may not come out of the pan when you drain it.
  5. Set the pan on a cool burner or towel, cover it with a folded, clean dish towel, then place the lid over the towel for ten minutes, so the rice steams, finishes cooking, and absorbs the remaining water.
  6. Remove the lid (it may be warm) and towel, sprinkle the rice with a couple generous pinches of salt (unless you prefer it plain) then stir it with a fork to fluff. Serve immediately or store rice in the refrigerator (for up to a week) or freezer (for a couple months).


Prep time includes 10 minutes of steaming the rice in its pot after cooking it.

Cooked rice keeps well in the refrigerator, but the texture doesn’t hold up quite as nicely in the freezer. You won’t notice a difference if using your frozen rice in soup, fried rice, or other uses where it’s cooked again.

To reheat rice, I have the best luck steaming it. Place it in a microwave safe dish, a pot, or an oven safe container with a splash of water (about a tablespoon per 2 cups of rice). Microwave at 70 or 80 percent power, loosely covered with plastic wrap, or heat at a low temperature on the stove or in the oven, covered.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins