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How to cook brown rice

Lynn Wright / 24 April 2015

Cooking brown rice can be a hit-and-miss affair, but our foolproof guide means you’ll be able to cook the perfect batch of brown rice each and every time.

Brown rice
Brown rice makes a healthier alternative to white rice

A healthy alternative to white rice, brown rice makes for a nutritious, filling meal. With only the outer husk of the grain removed during milling, brown rice retains all its vitamins, minerals and fibre. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking to maintain your weight or need to stablise blood sugar levels.

As with white rice, brown rice is available in short, medium and long grain varieties. The shorter the grain, the starchier the rice, and as a result the cooked rice will be stickier. Brown basmati has a long grain with a low starch content, which results in light, fluffy rice, with grains that remain nicely separated.

Brown rice has a mild, nutty flavour that makes it a delicious alternative to white rice in pilafs, curries, stir-fries, kedgerees and salads.


Serves 2-3

  • 150g (approx 1 cup) brown basmati rice
  • 500ml water (approx 2 cups) water
  • A pinch of salt

How to cook brown rice

1. Measure your dry rice. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove loose starch so the rice will be less sticky. Drain the rice thoroughly.

Optional: If you’ve time, soak your rice in cold water for 30-60 minutes. Soaking brown rice before cooking helps soften the tough outer layer of the rice grains, making it more digestible and releasing enzymes that make it more nutritious.

2. Place the rice in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt.

3. Place the saucepan on high heat, and bring the water to a rapid boil. Stir the rice, then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to a low simmer.

4. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until most the water has been absorbed. Start checking at 30 minutes to prevent the rice from burning.

5. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit in the covered saucepan for at least 10 minutes so it absorbs the remaining liquid.

6. When you’re ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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