Steamed Brown and Black Rice

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo contributed by Ame Gilbert Yield:  8 half-cup servings (4 cups total)
Prep Time:  2 minutes Cook Time:  3 hours

Steamed Brown and Black Rice

This version of our Brown and Black Rice dish is steamed over coconut water, which is a very slow cooking technique that results in a pleasant, drier, chewy texture. Is it worth the time? Yes, if you’re at home, maybe braising a pot of beans or stew, or waiting for bread to rise. The steamed rice has an intensity of flavor that makes it special.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice

½ cup black (forbidden) rice

3 to 5 cups coconut water

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 large banana leaf, optional

Instructions

  1. Rinse the brown and black rice in cold water, then soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Put rice in a steamer basket that fits into a pot with a tightly fitting lid.
  3. Pour 3 cups of coconut water over rice. There should be an inch or two of water on the bottom of the pot. Pour the coconut oil on top of rice and sprinkle with salt. If using, top with a piece of banana leaf large enough to cover the surface. Cover with pot lid and bring to a boil, then lower to a slow simmer.
  4. Check rice every half hour or so, making sure there is an inch or two of coconut water simmering on the bottom of the pot. Add coconut water as needed.

Kitchen Tips

During cooking, if pot lid is loose and you see steam escaping, lay a clean cotton dish towel over the pot and nestle the lid into the fabric. Be sure the towel’s edges rest on the top of the lid, away from burner flame.

A second version of this rice dish is boiled, instead of steamed. It cooks more quickly than the steamed version:

1 cup brown rice
½ cup black (forbidden) rice
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 cups coconut water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 large banana leaf, optional

1. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat.

2. Add the coconut water, coconut milk, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Add a piece of banana leaf (if using) large enough to cover the surface area. This banana leaf will impart a subtle vegetal flavor.

3. Cover the pot and cook until rice is tender, about 55 minutes. Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Note: Open the pot midway to stir and make sure there is enough liquid, then check and taste the rice a few more times near the end of cooking to make sure the grains are fully hydrated. If not, add water by the tablespoonful and cook a bit longer.

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