Cooking fluffy, nutty, perfectly prepared whole grains can be a challenging task, even for the most trained cooks. Luckily, there are a few rules to live by to avoid creating the glob monster.
- Presoak: Just as soaking beans overnight makes them softer and faster to cook, the same works for tougher grains. Try soaking brown rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa, or buckwheat in water overnight.
- Exact measurements: Like baking, grains require exact measurements. Use dry measuring cups for the grains and a liquid measuring cup for the water or broth.
- Dry roast: A dry roast opens the tough exterior and adds a nice toasted flavor to the grains. Rinse whole grains thoroughly in water, and then place them in a medium- to large-sized pot. Over medium-high heat, roast the grains until they are dry and fragrant. Meanwhile, boil the water needed for the grains. When grains are roasted, pour in the exact measurement of boiling water and quickly close the lid to prevent the hot water and grains from sputtering everywhere.
Read more grain cooking tips here.
- Slow slimmer: Cooking the grains too fast will make the water evaporate too quickly. Vice versa, cooking the grains too slowly will turn them into a gloppy mess. Bring the water to a boil, and then turn the burner to medium-low. There should only be a few bubbles slowly rising to the surface as the grains cook.
- Steaming: It's common to either burn the bottom of the pan or end up with sticky, gummy grains. To avoid both, simply turn the burner off during last 15 minutes of cooking (as long as all of the water is evaporated) and allow the grains to steam.
- Fork fluff: Don't stir the grains as they cook or else it will release more starches and the grains will become sticky. Wait until the grains are fully cooked, and then use a fork to break up the grains and fluff them.
What are your go-to guidelines for preparing fluffy grains?