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Bulgur (cracked wheat) soak? Cook?


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 I am trying out some new ingredients including some grains.   Currently I am attempting to determine how to deal with bulgur. Another poster said he does not cook it but just soaks it and his way is upheld on various sites. But the company that produces my particular bulgur suggests that it be cooked for one and a half hours link.  Various sites suggest pressure cooking it from 5 to 10 minutes.   From "don't cook it,just soak it" to "cook it for one and a half hours" is a humungous spread.  So I'm turning to the experts. Please. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I'd ask what is your end product? I most-often see it in tabuli and other salads and everyone I know just soaks it. 

 

But if you're using it in another application, that might not be enough. It also depends upon whether the bulgur is fine, medium or large grind. If it's large grind, cooking is recommended. 

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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@Anna N First, you should determine how coarse is your bulgur chopped. It can range from very fine, which is slightly larger then couscous, to coarse, which is about half of the wheat berry.

8491621847_febdbe60b4.jpg

Remember that bulgur is already cooked, so you only need to hydrate it. But cooking can speed thing up.
Fine couscous should not be cooked, only soaked in hot or cold liquid (try carrot juice!). The large one is better boiled, as it will take long time to soak.

The larger types are very forgiving to any cooking method, you can boil it like pasta, steam it like rice or just soak overnight. 

Anyway, remember to wash it first, or you risk unpleasant papery flavor.

 

My favorite bulgur dish is majadera, medium or large bulgur (or rice), with lentils, baharat spice mix, and caramelized onions. Served with yogurt.

Also taboole salad.

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~ Shai N.

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28 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Decades of taboulleh salad here.  Soaked only.  (Tons of mint and no tomatoes to continue an old argument from elsewhere on eGullet.)

 

Well, I'm 'liking' this post, D, but not the bit about the "no tomatoes" - just so's you know. :D

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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This is one of the recipes using bulgur that appeals to me. 

 

image.jpeg

 

The package.  There are no cooking directions on the package only a link to a website that I gave above. 

 

image.jpeg

 

 My attempt to demonstrate the size of the cracked wheat. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Just to complicate things further, there is a difference between bulgur and cracked wheat. Bulgur is partially cooked, as Shain mentioned; but cracked wheat is not, it is simply the cracked whole wheat berry. So bulgur (of any size, I think) is okay with just a soak since it is already partly cooked, but cracked wheat is a different story. I usually buy the very fine cracked wheat (or bulgur, depending on what is available), so I just soak in boiling water, I don't cook it. The fine cracked wheat is okay that way, but the more coarse cracked wheat is not. That needs to be cooked. But I'm surprised at the instructions to cook bulgur for 1 1/2 hours. That seems way too much, no matter what you're using. (Unless its the whole wheat berries. Uncracked.)

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13 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

Just to complicate things further, there is a difference between bulgur and cracked wheat. Bulgur is partially cooked, as Shain mentioned; but cracked wheat is not, it is simply the cracked whole wheat berry. So bulgur (of any size, I think) is okay with just a soak since it is already partly cooked, but cracked wheat is a different story. I usually buy the very fine cracked wheat (or bulgur, depending on what is available), so I just soak in boiling water, I don't cook it. The fine cracked wheat is okay that way, but the more coarse cracked wheat is not. That needs to be cooked. But I'm surprised at the instructions to cook bulgur for 1 1/2 hours. That seems way too much, no matter what you're using. (Unless its the whole wheat berries. Uncracked.)

Interesting since many packages use both names. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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It might matter where you get your bulgur

 

Im lucky as there are a few middle eastern stores near me

 

it has not label, just packed Im guessing from Bulk in plastic bags 

 

the coarseness is based on number  # 1 - 5

 

standard  'pre-cooked-steamed'\

 

you only need to re-hydrate.  its  a bit quicker w hotter water, but ends up the same.

 

for room temp stuff :  tabouleh etc.  and other things.

 

Next time the Lunch Ladies get out and about, find a middle easter area in the GTA

 

keeps for ever, sealed and kept dry,

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

 

image.jpeg

 

 My attempt to demonstrate the size of the cracked wheat. 

 

I can't imagine cooking that for an hour and a half and getting anything but paste.  If you think it needs cooking, try 5 or 10 minutes.  Not 90!

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

This is one of the recipes using bulgur that appeals to me. 

 

image.jpeg

 

The package.  There are no cooking directions on the package only a link to a website that I gave above. 

 

image.jpeg

 

 My attempt to demonstrate the size of the cracked wheat. 

 

I agree with @pastrygirl: 1-1/2 hours sounds like much too long a cooking time for the product you show.  My own assessment is that this looks like the bulgur I get and only soak.  I'd try soaking it first, probably only for 1/2 hour, and see how it does. The stuff I get often has vermicelli bits mixed in, and even then I only soak the mix for 20 - 30 minutes.

 

This topic sent me on a search for my bulgur packages, only to realize that I seem to have left them in the trailer.  The trailer is in the shop.  I want tabbouli NOW and can't have it! :scowl: 

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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58 minutes ago, rotuts said:

It might matter where you get your bulgur

 

Im lucky as there are a few middle eastern stores near me

 

it has not label, just packed Im guessing from Bulk in plastic bags 

 

the coarseness is based on number  # 1 - 5

 

standard  'pre-cooked-steamed'\

 

you only need to re-hydrate.  its  a bit quicker w hotter water, but ends up the same.

 

for room temp stuff :  tabouleh etc.  and other things.

 

Next time the Lunch Ladies get out and about, find a middle easter area in the GTA

 

keeps for ever, sealed and kept dry,

But I already have 750g. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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 So I am going to accept that the one and a half hour cooking time on the product website is an error. Soaking or very brief cooking  seems to be the route to go.  Thank you for your input everyone.  Now the question becomes what sort of texture am I looking for that will tell me I have soaked/cooked them long enough?  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I make tabbouli frequently in the summer. I have never cooked bulgar - I soak it. I like it better when, instead of just hot water, it is soaked in chicken stock with a little olive oil, some crushed garlic and sliced onion.   And although I know it is not authentic, i include tomatoes. Sorry Darienne. 

Edited by ElainaA (log)
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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

 So I am going to accept that the one and a half hour cooking time on the product website is an error. Soaking or very brief cooking  seems to be the route to go.  Thank you for your input everyone.  Now the question becomes what sort of texture am I looking for that will tell me I have soaked/cooked them long enough?  

 

I'd go with al dente, if I understand that term properly*.  Without a soak it's crunchy all the way through, correct?  It may even be crunchy enough to break a tooth, but at any rate it is too hard to give off flavor: just a very loud CRUNCH. You don't want it like that.  You want it somewhere in the 'resists without crunching, but doesn't seem mushy' stage. It will visibly expand...I can't think how much offhand...maybe to twice its volume?

 

* I confess: my idea of al dente pasta is strictly through reading.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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8 hours ago, ElainaA said:

I make tabbouli frequently in the summer. I have never cooked bulgar - I soak it. I like it better when, instead of just hot water, it is soaked in chicken stock with a little olive oil, some crushed garlic and sliced onion.   And although I know it is not authentic, i include tomatoes. Sorry Darienne. 

 

 

Actually, I'm pretty sure tomatoes are "authentic."

 

http://www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com/salads/authentic-lebanese-tabbouleh-salad-recipe/#sthash.cNwFhdVG.dpbs

 

(Although I'm absolutely not suggesting that Darienne, or anyone else for that matter, add them if they don't like them. If I didn't like them, I wouldn't. But I love them so I do.)

Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Here is the recipe from the back of my Turkish package of extra course Duru brand bulgur.

 

2 c (320 g) Duru extra coarse bulgur

8 T olive oil (optional, or cut downable)

3 c hot stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)

2 t (12 g) salt

 

Place olive oil in a saucepan, add bulgur and saute for several minutes. Stir in stock and salt. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.

 

This results in a firm, but chewy texture. I cut the oil down, and often saute minced onion or other veggies with the bulgur.

 

Anna N's bulgar looks like coarse grade, or even extra course.

 

I serve mine with grilled meats as a side dish with a salad.

 

@Anna Nmay either have cracked wheat berries, which need a presoak and/or longer cooking, or the instructions on the website may be incorrect. Either way, what I would do is try soaking it. If that produced the desired texture, I'd run with that. If not, I'd cook it, testing it along the way until it got where I wanted it.

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On May 29, 2016 at 2:12 PM, Anna N said:

 I am trying out some new ingredients including some grains.   Currently I am attempting to determine how to deal with bulgur. Another poster said he does not cook it but just soaks it and his way is upheld on various sites. But the company that produces my particular bulgur suggests that it be cooked for one and a half hours link.  Various sites suggest pressure cooking it from 5 to 10 minutes.   From "don't cook it,just soak it" to "cook it for one and a half hours" is a humungous spread.  So I'm turning to the experts. Please. 

Anna, depends on what you're doing with it.   In most applications I just soak, but I make a dish of bulgur and cheese where the bulgur is cooked like you would rice and the cheese added near the end and then stirred to combine 

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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Hi Anna, I soak bulgur when making tabouli or when adding a bit of grain to a meat loaf (no one would ever guess it was in there). But most other times I treat bulgur much the way I do rice, and precook it like so: toast in saucepan with a little butter and salt. When it smells toasty good (really only a few minutes) I add the water, let it come to a boil, turn it way down to a low simmer and cover for about 15 minutes or until it just starts sticking to the bottom. Then I let it sit for five minutes covered to de-stick itself. If I plan to use it room temp or baked in the oven with other ingredients then I take the cover off, let it cool a bit, fluff it with a fork and maybe put it on a larger surface to cool faster.

 

When cooking, I use 1 cup of bulgur to 2 cups of water, or a bit less water if I want a lot of bite or if I am going to bake it in a casserole. Although I've never noticed that a casserole cooked with minimal liquid softens the texture of the bulgur. Whichever I do I try not to use any more water than necessary. Trying to drain bulgur or other grain is a pain, and using soggy wet bulgur doesn't do it justice.

 

I can't imagine what an hour and a half do to bulgur. That just seems bizarre. My two current favorite recipes for bulgur are a room temp salad with wilted chard, green olives and pine nuts, and a casserole that is baked with roasted or sautéed cauliflower and sautéed chard, a little tomato  and optional modest amount of cheese, as desired. I like less cheese, my husband likes more, so usually it's with....less. Super low tech, super comforting and just as good the next day reheated. Always part of the plan. Hope this helps some!  

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  • 4 years later...
On 5/30/2016 at 12:46 AM, Jaymes said:

 

Actually, I'm pretty sure tomatoes are "authentic."

 

http://www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com/salads/authentic-lebanese-tabbouleh-salad-recipe/#sthash.cNwFhdVG.dpbs

 

(Although I'm absolutely not suggesting that Darienne, or anyone else for that matter, add them if they don't like them. If I didn't like them, I wouldn't. But I love them so I do.)

One man's authentic is not another man's authentic.  :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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