90% of recipes that use rice do so with white or Basmati. I would like to spice up my rice routine using these recipes, while having the health benefits of using brown rice - but it cooks in a much different fashion than white rice.

When substituting brown rice for white rice in a recipe, what should I adjust in terms of cooking time and technique?

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    You can pre-soak your brown rice overnight and it should cook about as fast as white if you're incorporating it in a recipe that normally takes dry white rice.
    – J...
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


Mostly, it will take longer to cook your recipe with brown rice. You will also need to add a bit more water. That's OK, you can do that. Figure about 1/4 extra water (1/4 again above what you had already planned for white rice) and about 1/2 again as much time.

Consider your other ingredients - don't mush them all to hell to cook your rice.

So, figure 1/4 more water and 1/2 more time, add your other ingredients at the time you would otherwise - counting backwards.

In other words, add your other ingredients at that time in which you think the brown rice should be done simultaneously with your other ingredients.

  • I would like to add and ask if toasting brown rice is any different from toasting white rice?
    – Bar Akiva
    Jun 16, 2016 at 10:07
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    I think it is about the same
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 16, 2016 at 10:12
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    Obviously, taste and texture will also change when brown rice is substituted. I find white rice seems to go better in dishes that have fattier meats and/or more oil, are spicier, and have thinner sauces, while brown rice seems better with sweeter, and/or lightly flavored sauces and less fat and oil. White rice tends to "soak up" sauces and mellow out flavors, while brown rice adds a bit of a richer character to dishes that are more lightly flavored. It's subtle, though - I can't think of a situation where one can't be substituted for the other. Jun 16, 2016 at 15:25
  • Even further than what @ToddWilcox said: the white rices I tried (bomba, basmati) seem to absorb more fat, but brown rice gets coated instead and the end result is an oily feeling. Tried with paella and with coconut rice. Reducing the oil/fat/cream proportion in the recipe helps.
    – hmijail
    Aug 12, 2022 at 3:37

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