amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Brown and sweet rice to go with everything

POSTED ON August 8, 2009

brown rice and market vegetables

brown rice and market vegetables

I had promised a couple of weeks back to give you some recipes for simple grains to eat with all the condiments you now have in your fridge. Having cooked grains on hand makes it so easy to prepare healthy meals in minutes!

As I sat down to write this post I wondered why would anyone want to read about cooking brown rice?
Then the question came to me…
Have you ever eaten good brown rice? No really, a nutty, sweet, slightly sticky and fragrant bowl of it, so delicious that you thought you could happily eat it everyday?
This combination of short grain brown rice and sweet brown rice, soaked before cooking, is all those things. No matter what season it is, brown rice is the grain I cook most as it goes with everything, from hearty stews in winter to refreshing summer salads, as a filling for nori rolls or eaten alone topped with your favorite condiments.


short grain brown rice & sweet rice

short grain brown rice & sweet rice

Brown rice purifies the blood, expels toxins, promotes digestion and is full of B vitamins and minerals. Rice bran, which is the coating on whole grain rice, is one of the most nutrient dense substances ever studied, helping to lower excess fat and cholesterol and normalize blood sugar imbalances.

Yesterday I had a pot of rice soaking, a bag of fresh produce from the morning’s trip to the farmers market and a friend over for dinner.

I put the rice on to cook. (recipe below)

Poured some wine.

Boiled the beets whole, stems and all, until tender…lost track of how long as we were busy talking.

chioggia beets

chioggia beets

Slipped the skins (and stems) off the beets and marinated with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Shaved some fennel and dressed with lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil.

marinated beets & shaved fennel

marinated beets & shaved fennel

Washed some lettuce and tossed with sprouts, chives and parsley.
Admired these…..

beautiful tomatoes

beautiful tomatoes

Then sliced them, tore some basil leaves, crumbled a little goat feta and drizzled everything with olive oil.

tomatoes, basil & fetta

tomatoes, basil & fetta

Got out the toasted pumpkin seeds and some chickpeas that I had mashed with olive oil a couple of days ago. Suddenly we had a feast!

Brown and sweet rice

1 cup short grain brown rice
½ cup sweet rice
2 1/3 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking
pinch sea salt

Place the brown and sweet rice in a heavy medium size pot. To wash: fill pot with water, swish grains around with your fingers, let rice settle then pour the water off. Repeat. Cover rice with 3 inches of filtered water and soak from 6 to 8 hours or longer. Strain off soaking liquid, add 2  1/3 cups filtered water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, lower heat and cook for 45 to 50 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from stove and let rice sit covered for 10 minutes before serving.
Once cool, store covered in the refrigerator and eat within 3 to 4 days.
Serves 4 to 6 people.

If you forget to soak your rice and can’t wait to have a bowl, increase water to
2  3/4  cups and cook for 50 to 60 minutes.

POSTED IN Gluten free, Grains

never miss a recipe!


  • thecatskillkiwi says:

    I’ve never tried the combination of short grain and sweet rice, but i certainly will now.

  • Scott says:

    Hi Amy,

    I’m a recent subscriber to your blog. I’m enjoying your posts.

    I’m wondering if you had any favorite brands or sources for the varieties of brown rice you mentioned?


    • amy says:

      Hi Scott,

      I buy bulk organic brown and sweet rice from my local health food store, the brand is Lundberg Family Farms and comes from California. When I was last over there I got some delicious brown rice from Massa Organics, unfortunately we can’t get it here on the east coast.

      Thanks for subscribing!


  • Erik R says:

    hi Amy,
    not sure how i missed this post earlier, but i too adore brown rice! sometimes with a poached egg on top and some kim chee, or even just with olive oil and flaky sea salt.

    tonight, i made pesto for my favorite rolfer, and since she has that pesky wheat allergy, i served it over brown rice. i highly recommend this even if you don’t have a wheat allergy! and somehow i bought this very lemony basil, which in the end turned into quite a fragrant meal.

    also, i wanted to know if you have tips for sorrel. i see so much at the greenmarket and the only thing i have done with it was add it to my vichyssoise thanks to deborah madison’s suggestion. any advice?

    best, Erik

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Eric, I hope to fix my feedburner problem soon!
      I saw a recipe for a sorrel tart on Tea & Cookies (on my blog roll)
      it may be from DM too? Lucky Ruthie, to have you cooking for her!
      Hope this finds you loving summer,

  • Scott says:


    Thank you for the reply! I will keep a look out for both of those brands.

    I just saw the waffle recipe and look forward to those as well.


  • Beau says:

    Hi Amy,
    I live in Melbourne and I’m having a hard time finding sweet brown rice at any health food stores here. Do you have any recommendations of where I can buy some in Aus?

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Beau,

      I just recieved a similar note from someone in London and I do remember it not being common there and not sure if I ever found it in Australia….
      I’ll have to ask some more people if they’ve found it anywhere in Australia. THe person in London found brown sticky rice which I think would work the same. If you can’t find it use all short grain brown rice and the soaking and amount of water will still make it a great pot of rice.
      Sorry I can’t help you more!

      Amy x

      • Beau says:

        Thanks Amy,
        I’ll keep my eyes out then for anything and will stick with the short grain brown rice until then!

  • Elisabeth says:

    Hi Amy!

    I have a question. Do you reheat the rice once it has cooled down?
    Also, I wanted to tell you, I absolutely love your book! I’ve made your gazpacho all summer long!


    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Elisabeth,

      Thank you so much! Delighted to hear you’re enjoying the book and gazpacho!
      Yes, I do steam rice to re-heat, or you can add it to a pot with a splash of water to warm it up.
      I cook it and then re-heat what I need for up to 4 days.

      Thanks again for reading!


  • michael says:


    Can you steam the sweet brown rice in a traditional thai sticky rice steamer?


    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Michael,

      Yes, I imagine you could but I haven’t tried it. Sweet brown rice does need at least 50 minutes to cook as it is still a brown rice.

      Let me know how it goes!


  • Matthew says:

    hi amy, delighted to have found your cooking today. planning on ordering both your books pronto. have you tried to make this rice in the pressure cooker? (maybe instructions are in one of your books..?)

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Thank you so much! Yes you can but I’ve found I get great results (and a more open grain) from a heavy pot.
      You can use slightly less water in a pressure cooker–it will be stickier, which can be lovely.
      Let me know how it goes.

  • Miranda says:

    I was hunting for Laotian sticky rice but have been waylaid here ever since. Measures and method are word-perfect. Rice cooks tender, a little sticky, dishes like a dream both hot and cold. A new staple, thanks for sharing Amy!

  • Miranda says:

    I came here for a sticky rice recipe, and left with hands down the best rice I’ve ever eaten or made. This rice is failproof and precious; I make it for me, anytime, and I make it for high occasions, sharing the recipe over dinner wherever possible. Please make this rice! It’s silky, sticky and oh so textured, glossy-good and delicious hot, cold, whatever.

Leave a Reply