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Soaking Rice


mcohen
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so, i have a rice cooker which i use to cook brown rice. and, one of the things the instuction booklet recommended was to presoak the rice before you begin cooking the rice. does this mean that the longer you soak the rice, the better? is there ever a point where soaking the rice too long would be detrimental?

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so, i have a rice cooker which i use to cook brown rice. and, one of the things the instuction booklet recommended was to presoak the rice before you begin cooking the rice. does this mean that the longer you soak the rice, the better? is there ever a point where soaking the rice too long would be detrimental?

I just reread an excerpt from "Fifth Chinese Daughter" in Molly O'Neill's amazing compendium of American Food writing.

In that article, she said it was traditional to wash the rice until the water ran clear.

I also learned that from a Chinese friend of mine a long time ago.

Now brown rice might be different, but I think an old traditional way would be worth the try.

Edited by rconnelly (log)
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I don't claim expertise and I hope you get more replies. Baking bread with whole grain wheat, it is useful to soak the whole wheat flour in some of the water called for in the recipe because the bran slows the hydration. I can't quote a scientific reference but I imagine thats why brown rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice.

As for how long is too long, assuming you don't want to ferment the grain, more than two hours probably ought go into the icebox.

I will follow the thread for more more knowledgeable posts.

No expert; just a guy livin' off his own cookin'.

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so, i have a rice cooker which i use to cook brown rice. and, one of the things the instuction booklet recommended was to presoak the rice before you begin cooking the rice. does this mean that the longer you soak the rice, the better? is there ever a point where soaking the rice too long would be detrimental?

Soaking rice tends to shorten the cooking time. I would not soak it for more than 30 minutes to 1 hour, though.

Some people say that soaking also makes the rice fluffier and less likely to break during cooking, but I have not noticed these effects.

I suspect that your rice cooker's instruction manual suggests soaking the brown rice in order for it to cook in an amount of time similar to that required by white rice.

Some people suggest soaking all kinds of rice, however, I don't believe this is a hugely common practice. And the rice should definitely be washed before it is soaked.

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Soaking is standard practice in Japan. It's also typical to soak overnight and use the timer setting in order to wake up to hot, freshly cooked rice. You could also do the same for your evening meals. Before you leave for work/errands, wash your rice until clear, add water and set the timer so your rice is ready around the time your get home.

One tip I gleaned from a Japanese cooking show is to use the fastest setting on your rice cooker if you are pre-soaking. (This assumes that you like a rice with bite, rather than soft, mushy rice.) Your manual will tell you which timer settings have a pre-soak time built into the program.

However, there are so many types of rice and different preferences for softness that it's hard to generalize. The above is my experience with Japanese short grain rice.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I have a Sanyo micom/fuzzy rice cooker, and find that I prefer to do brown rices (Thai brown jasmine, short grain brown) on the "brown rice" - imagine that! - setting. I don't use the timer function to delay the cooking, and suspect that if I did the rice might be a bit overdone for my taste.

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my korean mother soaks her rice from the time she wakes up till she comes home from work - 7 hours or even overnight and the rice is still fine. I soak mine for at least 30 mins or sometimes I will leave it out overnight. I wouldn't soak longer than 12 hours or it might get a little funky.

if you are cooking brown rice you need to add more water than you would if you are cooking white rice..unfortunately I don't know how much more.

If you are cooking brown rice and want a texture similar to that of short grain korean or japanese rice I would suggest using sweet/sticky brown rice. Unlike regular brown rice this kind is sticky and clumps together much like the kind of rice you would eat in a japanese or korean household.

also you should rinse rice until the water runs clear...rinsing it like you are panning for gold or you could even just use a fine mesh colander. You rinse the rice to get off some of the rice "dust" from the milling process...I am unsure if the "dust" includes starch or not

Edited by SheenaGreena (log)
BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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