Rice Ahead

June 2nd, 2010 by Erin Gennow
Brown Jasmine Rice

Brown Jasmine Rice

Here is an excellent way to have brown (or white) rice cooked at a moments notice for fast, easy dinners.  Cook dried rice ahead of time (such as on a weekend), cool it, then freeze it.  I originally thought about doing this a few years ago, when I saw pre-cooked, frozen rice at Trader Joe’s.  Of course it costs more to purchase pre-cooked frozen rice, than uncooked rice.  If Trader Joe’s can pre-cook and freeze rice, why can’t I? So, I cooked up a batch, let it cool, and froze it in a thin layer in a plastic zip top freezer bag.  To reheat it I just break off what I need and pop it in the microwave for a couple minutes.  Trader Joe’s does have an excellent uncooked Brown Jasmine Rice, which is much more cost effective than pre-cooked rice.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: White Rice – 20 minutes; Brown Rice – 35 minutes

Serving Size: About 9 cups cooked rice

Ingredients:
3 cups dried rice (white or brown)

5-6 cups water, vegetable broth, chicken broth (or any combination)

Salt to taste

Process:
Put all ingredients into a medium or large pot and bring to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil turn down the heat so the rice is at a low simmer and cover.  Cook over low heat for about 35 minutes for brown rice (20 minutes for white rice).  Turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered for about 10 minutes (white or brown).

You can use it right away, store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it.

If freezing I recommend letting the cooked rice sit covered for no more than 5 minutes to keep the rice a bit al dente, as it will cook a bit more when reheating.

To Freeze:
Spread the rice out on a baking sheet to help cool.  Once the rice is at room temperature place it into gallon size bags and lay the bags flat on the baking sheet, place in the freezer.  Make sure the rice is only about a 1/4 inch in depth when the bags are flat so it is easy to break off when frozen.  Once frozen you can remove the baking sheet.

To reheat, break off the desired about and microwave until hot.  Time varies depending on the amount and strength of microwave.  I tend to do 1 minute at a time.  You can also add it to a wok or saucepan with a touch of water, cover, and reheat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Variations:
You can cook as much or as little as you want.  For every 1 cup of dried rice add 2 cups of liquid.  I like broth for flavor, but salted water works fine.  You can also add any spices you want at the beginning for different flavors.  Italian Seasoning – basil, oregano, thyme; Mexican Flavor – cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder

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