Basic Steamed Brown Rice Recipe

Rice is a staple in many countries and regions and is a core ingredient in the daily diet for billions of people worldwide. It grows easily in many climates and conditions, and it can be grown in diverse terrains, so naturally, it has become a versatile grain that can be prepared in numerous ways. You'll see it used in appetizers, sides, and main courses.


Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for basic steamed brown rice and says, "There are many types of rice and many ways to cook it. In this recipe, I'm sharing the simple method of cooking rice on the stove. I love making a batch of rice at the beginning of the week, so I have it ready for stir-fries, buddha bowls, curries, and soups. Brown rice is usually my rice of choice because it has the most fiber and lots of health benefits."

Keep reading to learn this simple cooking and steaming method for brown rice.

Gather the ingredients for basic steamed brown rice

To make this recipe we only need 2 ingredients — rice and water. "I'm using long-grain brown rice in this recipe. There is a difference in cooking times between all types of rice. Brown rice is less processed and contains an outer bran layer, which is left intact during processing. "This bran layer contains natural oils, fiber, and nutrients, which contribute to its longer cooking time," Hahn explains.


You'll also need some water to cook the rice in. "I like to use filtered water when I cook all of my grains and pasta. If your tap water has a strong chlorine taste or any unpleasant odors, using filtered water can help eliminate these issues, ensuring that the rice absorbs clean and pure water. If the tap water in your area is clean and free from strong tastes or odors, you can skip using filtered water," Hahn shares.

Step 1: Rinse the rice

Put the rice in a colander and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes to remove the excess starch.

Step 2: Bring the water to a boil

Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Add the rice

Add the rice to the pot.

Step 4: Reduce heat and cook the rice

Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.

Step 5: Drain the rice

Drain the rice and return it to the pot.

Step 6: Steam the rice

Cover and let the rice steam in the pot for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Serve the rice

The rice is ready to serve.

How to steam other types of rice?

Cooking rice with this foolproof method is pretty darn simple and once you try it, you're going to want to make all of your rice this way. "We're using a long grain brown rice in this recipe, and the same method will work for short grain brown rice and medium grain brown rice," Hahn remarks. Any of the wild rice varieties will require about 10 minutes more on the cooking time with the same ratio of water and the same process for steaming.


The real difference comes into play with white rice because it doesn't have the bran layer and that will result in a quicker cooking time. To make white rice you can use 6 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes before moving to the steaming step.

"I love this simple stovetop steaming method because it only requires a basic pot but, if you have a bamboo steamer, that will work also. Just place the bamboo steamer over a pot that has about 2 inches of water and spread your rice evenly in the steamer. The steamer should fit snugly over the pot. Cover the bamboo steamer with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer for 45-50 minutes. Let the rice rest for about 10 minutes after removing from the heat," Hahn explains.


What pairs well with steamed brown rice?

Steamed brown rice is super versatile and pairs well with a wide variety of main courses and side dishes. "I like to use it for building Buddha bowls. I add a layer of rice to a shallow bowl and top it with seasoned tofu, roasted vegetables, avocado, beans, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds. Having rice already made makes this a quick lunch or dinner," Hahn shares.


Another great pairing is a classic stir-fry. Whether you have made a stir-fry with vegetables, tofu, chicken, beef, or seafood, the nutty flavor of brown rice will complement the stir-fry's savory and flavorful sauce. Steamed brown rice is also an excellent choice to serve with curries of various types, such as Indian, Japanese, or Thai. It helps to tame the rich and spicy flavors of the curry.

Pair brown rice with grilled or roasted chicken, salmon, steak, or tofu. The rice's nuttiness complements the charred or roasted flavors of the proteins. Brown rice can also be added to salads for extra substance and texture.

Basic Steamed Brown Rice Recipe

5 (21 ratings)

In this recipe, we share the simple method of cooking brown rice on the stove, whether you're using it for an appetizer, side, or main course.

Prep Time
Cook Time
wooden spoon of rice
Total time: 47 minutes


  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 8 cups filtered water

Optional Ingredients

  • chopped chives


  1. Put the rice in a colander and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes to remove the excess starch.
  2. Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the rice to the pot.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.
  5. Drain the rice and return it to the pot.
  6. Cover and let the rice steam in the pot for 15 minutes.
  7. The rice is ready to serve.


Calories per Serving 172
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 11.4 mg
Protein 3.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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