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Bye Bye Bland Bowls: 5 Easy Tips for Better Brown Rice!

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We’re super excited about having brown rice in Imperfect boxes so it’s about time to talk about how to cook it better! Sadly, brown rice has an unfortunate reputation for being tough, boring, and bland. It’s the kind of thing we’ve all eaten to feel healthy without actually enjoying it, the food equivalent of half-heartedly running on the treadmill for 15 minutes while counting down the time until dinner. If you follow these tips, your rice will be anything but boring!

  1. Rinse your rice. Rinsing your rice until the water runs clear washes off the surface starch, resulting in less mushy and sticky rice. An important exception is if you’re making risotto when you want the extra starch to build your creamy texture.
  2. Build flavors early on! While plain rice is fine, it’s better to build some flavors early on. We love sauteeing some onions or leeks in butter with some thyme before adding rice to the pot, but you should use what you have around! Ginger and garlic both make for exceptional brown rice. If you’re going the spice route we love turmeric, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika with brown rice. Try adding some of these spices to the pot as you cook your aromatic vegetables.
  3. Cook in a flavorful liquid. While rice cooked in water is great, rice cooked in stock or broth is phenomenal. If you’ve been making veggie stock with your Imperfect veggie scraps, this is a great time to use it. If you’re not, this is a great reason to start. Stock makes rice tastes so much better! For truly decadent rice, try cooking your rice in ½ water and ½ coconut milk!
  4.  Don’t rush the cooking. Brown rice is a terrible thing to make for dinner when you’re hangry because it takes a while. The same whole grain goodness that makes brown rice healthier than white rice also make it take way longer than white rice to cook fully. We’re talking 40-50 minutes of simmering, folks. This makes it a great candidate for making a big batch as part of your weekend meal prep.
  5. Rice is only as good as the toppings. Rice is a great canvas to add your favorite toppings. We love roasted veggies like bell peppers, squash, or beets or fermented cabbage like sauerkraut or kimchi. This is also a great place to nestle a tiny avocado, if you’ve got one around. When in doubt, a little bit of soy sauce or furikake seasoning goes a long way!


  • Poonam Abbi
    January 21, 2018 at 2:39 am

    for those whose diet consists of almost NO flesh, & 80-90% is fruits, veggies, whole grains, pulses, beans, & cooked from the scratch by shopping for staples as opposed to precooked/quock cooking/canned things, the wite rice does not make a big dent. The hype about that ie way out of scale. More over, no one is telling you that the type of fiber in the brown rice binds many micronutrients & many medications, making them unavailable to your body for the curing/healing/fic=xing they are supposed to be doing. So white rice is OK, it is the quick cooking variety of almost ALL grains/foods that are depleted of all their nutrients. Moreover, ost people don’t know how to cookthe rice correctly, & how to combine foods for the best results for both taste, flavor & health.

  • Reilly Brock
    January 22, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Hey Poonam,
    Thanks so much for sharing this perspective on white rice! We really appreciate it.


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