When was the last time I had the fluffy white Wonder Bread?
The soft, melt in your mouth bread that can be gobbled up in 2 seconds, perfect with PB & J…, Yum!
But along the way with life, I somehow gave up the Wonder Bread many years ago and don’t miss it that much any more. People are more careful about what they are eating these days and the bread is one of the most important food item when it comes to that matter.
No, today’s post in Beyond Kimchee is not about the bread, actually.
I am going to tell you how good it is to mix various grains and legumes in your rice. Just like the white bread the white rice itself doesn’t offer much nutrition to our body. The simple carbohydrate turns into sugar once entered into your system. Eating too much white rice? You might get the cutest rice belly!
Many Koreans are be aware of eating healthy to achieve the *Well-Being* as a social trend, more and more people are giving up the pure white rice. In fact if you visit any Korean household these days you will find the most families are enjoying multi-grain rice called “Japgok-bap (잡곡밥)” in their daily diet. I don’t need to explain the abundant benefits of eating the multi-grains. But giving a cold turkey to the white rice and switching to 100% brown rice can be harsh at the beginning. Brown rice alone is not that flavorful to enjoy. We know our rice.
So, start with mixture of white rice and different assorted grains, then slowly increase your multi-grains and decrease the white rice. You can eliminate the white rice completely at the end, but like adding white flour in any whole wheat bread, you need a little bit of white rice to pull all together. My ultimate ratio is about 70% multi-grains and 30% white rice. A little white rice itself helps to digest the fibers and ease the stomach.
You can collect all sorts of grains separately yourself or get the package that has the mixture. I would choose the later if I have the option.
If you go to any major Korean grocery stores you will find the loads of mixed grain packages; from 5 up to 20 different grains and legumes. I chose 15 grains for today’s rice. Pick anything that appeals you and fits your budget. Some can be quite expensive.
Here is how they look. Supposed to have 15 different types. I didn’t count. I tend to trust…, maybe I should have?
The most common grains and legumes they add are; brown rice, glutenous brown rice, black rice, rice bran, all sorts of beans (green/red/black/kidney/black eyed/soy, etc), split peas, oat, barley, sorghum, millet, etc. My advice is to avoid the package that has too many kidney beans. I found the beans in the package tend to be too dried and some has too much. You can always add your own beans of choice. I often add fresh beans and even nuts like walnuts or almonds.
I am going to use 1-1/2 cup of these mixed grains with 2 cups of white rice today. If you never had multi-grain rice before, this ratio would be the best to start with, and then adjust the amount of grains depends on your taste bud later on.
Now the next important thing is having the right kitchen appliance to bring your multi-grain to its ultimate best.
Using a pressure cooker is the best way to get the soft yet chewy grains.
Two options. The left one is electric pressure rice cooker.
All automatic. All you need to do is to push the button and it does the job for you. The down side? Expensive (about USD$400 and above). But it is a good investment if you use it often.
The one on the right is a stove top Pressure Cooker. Much more affordable (about $70 for the good quality). You have to manually adjust the time and the heat yourself. It is not that difficult but needs a little practice before you are very comfortable with it.
Pressure cookers are versatile. Not only for cooking rice to bring their best texture, you can cook porridge, oatmeal, beans, and even toughest meat can be very tender if cooked in pressure cooker within short time.
Now, let’s start getting ready to cook!
Rinse 1-1/2 cup of mixed grains several times and soak in the water for at least 30 minutes. I soaked mine for 1 hour.
Drain these beauties.
Mix with 2 cups of rinsed white rice. White rice doesn’t require soaking.
Pour 4 cups of water. The best ratio of rice (un-soaked) to water is 1 : 1.5 based on white rice cooked in a regular cooker. Other types of grains need far more water than white rice, but since the grains are pre-soaked and we are using the pressure cooking it won’t need that extra. I like this type of rice to be on the softer side. If you prefer chewier texture, reduce the water by 1/3 cup.
Most electric pressure cooker will come with several features. Mine has a multi-grain option so I selected that, and it is cooking. White rice only takes 20 minutes but mixed grain takes longer, about 35 minutes.
If you use stove top, you want to start on the high heat to boil up until you hear the hissing sound and the tab on the lid shakes, then reduce the heat to low, simmer for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait until it give off all the steam out.
You provably need less water to cook your grains with stove top cooker. Play with it a few times and you will get a sense of how much water is most ideal for you.
Done. Looks great. Imagine this healthy wholesome grains going into your body.
Before you scoop out the rice to serve, toss the rice gently so that bottom and the top will get incorporated.
I usually cook this type of rice more than I need and store the leftover in the freezer for the later use.
I put in the ziplock bag and freeze them. To reheat, remove the rice from the bag and reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Your rice will be as tasty as freshly cooked.
You can keep the rice in the fridge if you are planning to use it the next day. But rice looses its moisture very fast after 1 day and you will find them to become crumbly and tasteless after that.
With this wholesome healthy goodness, you don’t need much to serve with.
In my next post I will show you the awesome “Ssam-bap”, the Korean rice wrap with loads of lettuce and the delectable topping sauce that you can serve with this rice.
If you like the rustic flavors of Korean cuisines, you will love this.
This makes me hungry so I better take my buns off from the chair.
I will be back in a few days.
Multi Grain Rice (japgok-bap)
- 1-1/2 cup mixed grains short grain brown rice, black rice, millet, barley, sorghum, oat, legumes etc
- 2 cups white short grain rice
- 4 cups water use less if you prefer firm and chewier texture
- Rinse the mixed grains several times and soak them in the water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
- Rinse the white rice. Combine the white rice and the mixed grains in the Pressure rice cooker.
- Pour 4 cups of water (or less) and set a multi grain cooking setting if you have. Or use brown rice setting on your electric pressure rice cooker. When done, toss gently to incorporate.
- If using a stove top pressure cooker, bring the pot to high heat. When you hear the hissing sound and the bell on the lid is shaking, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the steam to work its way. Once all the steam escapes you can open the lid and toss the rice all together.
- Store the leftover rice in the freezer for the later use.