Germinated Brown Rice

So because this is the first week that I’m blogging, I’m starting with the basics of Korean food.  And I begin with the most basics of Korean food – rice – but with a twist.

I started cooking a few years ago to eat healthier. Since then, I’ve cut back on fried foods, sugar, and “white” foods. White rice was the first – and the easiest – thing to cut back. I love the texture and the nutty flavor of brown rice. I get the fiber and other nutritional benefits without feeling deprived at all. So when I learned that germinating brown rice before cooking dramatically improves the health benefits of the already healthy grain, I immediately gave it a try.

Germinated brown rice, AKA GABA rice or GBR (germinated brown rice) for short, is traditionally achieved by soaking the rice for 16-20 hours. Wha?!! 20 hours??? I know it takes time. But it doesn’t take all that much effort. Rinse it. Soak it. And change the water every 5-6 hours. The cool part is, you will know when it’s ready. You will see the grains JUST ABOUT to sprout. You don’t want it to full-on sprout. You are supposed to use warm water. But I use cool water. It’s easier. And more importantly, it works.

Just remember, soaked rice absorbs water over time and the water that is already IN the rice needs to be accounted for. So, use less water when cooking rice that has been soaking for a long period of time. This isn’t an issue if you use a rice cooker. Most rice cookers will have water level lines that corresponds to how much dry rice was used. Yeah, rice cookers can be a bit pricey. But really worth it if you are a regular rice eater like me. My rice cooker is one of my absolute favorite and most oft used kitchen appliances. It’s a “Cuckoo” pressure rice cooker. And it makes the most perfectly textured rice. It’s chewy but not watery. Just the way I like it.

Just try it once.


Germinated Brown Rice
Makes 4 servings
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 cup brown sweet rice (*see note at bottom of post)

  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice by running water on it, swirling it around with your hand, and discarding the rinse water. Repeat about 5 times.
  2. Soak rice in water changing the water every 5-6 hours
  3. When the rice starts to sprout (after 16+ hours), drain the water. It’s ready to be cooked.
  4. Combine the drained rice and about 3 cups of water in a pot. (Note: Amount of water required may differ slightly depending on how much water was absorbed.)
  5. Bring to boil on high heat.
  6. Lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and leave it in the covered pot for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir thoroughly – all the way to the bottom of the pot – with a rice scoop and enjoy.

*Brown sweet rice is stickier in texture.  It’s great when mixed with short grain brown rice, and it complements Korean dishes well.  However, if you are not a fan of stickier-textured rice, you can replace it with other types of brown rice.

25. July 2011 by gomo
Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grains, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 comments

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