As we head into autumn in the Pacific Northwest, the Earth’s energy starts to move down and inward. The days are shorter and the air is cooler. It’s a perfect time for pressure cooking our brown rice. Energetically, boiled brown rice is lighter and more suited to spring and summer. Pressure cooked brown rice is dense, strengthening, satisfying and grounding. It’s also sweeter and the texture is perfectly suited to making rice balls and nori rolls.
I think soaking brown rice for at least eight hours is important. In the next month I am going to be experimenting with fermenting the rice to increase digestibility and decrease phytic acid. I will do another post with my results. If you are concerned about brown rice and arsenic read my post here.
Pressure cookers come in a variety of sizes. It is important to fit the amount of food you want to cook to the size of your pressure cooker. A small amount of food in a large pressure cooker does not cook very well and has a harder time maintaining pressure. I think a 4 or 5 quart stainless steel pressure cooker is a great size for most people. I mainly use my pressure cooker for grains and beans. I don’t like to cook vegetables under pressure. One of the things I love about vegetables is the way they add freshness to a dish and I think this is lost when they are pressure cooked.
Pressure Cooked Brown Rice
2 cups short, medium or long grain brown rice
3 cups water
2 good size pinches sea salt or 2″ piece of kombu
1. Rinse the brown rice until the water runs fairly clear. It’s amazing how dirty it can be. Place rice in a large bowl and cover with the water. Let soak for at least eight hours or overnight.
2. Drain the rice into a bowl, saving the liquid. Measure that liquid and use an equal amount of fresh water for cooking the rice. Place the rice and water in pressure cooker. Add the sea salt or kombu. Slowly bring to a boil. Add the lid, lock it and allow the pressure to increase to about a medium setting. Then turn the heat as low as you can while still maintaining the pressure. The different settings for pressure will depend on the type of pressure cooker you have. Some cookers only have one or two settings. This is fine. It may help to have a flame tamer/diffuser to even out the heat. Cook for 50 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. If you are pressed for time place the pressure cooker in the sink and run a little water down the side (not over the top) to bring the pressure down more quickly.
4. Remove lid carefully watching out for hot steam. Immediately transfer the rice to a dish to prevent it from getting too dense and heavy. Enjoy!
Pressure cooking rice is kind of an art. Yours may not turn out perfectly the first few times you try it. There are many variables and you will need to create a relationship between your particular stove and pressure cooker. Keep working at it. I think it will be worth it.
If you are having trouble with the rice getting burned here are a few things to try: Add a little more water in the beginning. Use a flame tamer. Try different burners on your stove. On my gas stove I do better with the medium size burner than with the small simmer burner.
I am more than happy to help you troubleshoot. Just send me a question in the comments.