Brown Rice Varieties

Notes about the texture and flavor differences among the four most common types of brown rice.

Brown rice is nothing more than white rice with the bran layer left intact. Like white rice, it comes in different varieties. After cooking our way through the four most common types (see the chart below), we discovered that the cooking times and liquid-to-rice ratios were comparable for each—they cooked in about 65 minutes, using our oven-baked method and 2 1/4 cups of liquid per 1 1/2 cups of rice. Texture and flavor, however, varied considerably.


Texture: Distinctly separate grains with an elastic, almost spongy texture

Flavor:  Mildly sweet with clean nut and barley flavors


Texture: Soft and creamy with a starchiness similar to that of risotto

Flavor: Very sweet and malty-tasting


Texture: Very firm, separate grains with almost no elasticity

Flavor: Earthy-tasting with a slightly chalky finish


Texture: Moderately firm, separate grains

Flavor: Nutty, buttery, and rich-tasting

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