I grew up on sticky rice. I adored it. In many parts of the world, nothing is more traditional than white rice as the center of every meal. But without the nutritious bran, plain polished rice is an empty food.
How did traditional rice-based cultures stay strong without the vitamins and minerals of whole rice? They fed the rice polishings to the chickens, who faithfully delivered these nutrients in their eggs and meat. I never cease to be amazed by the economy of nature.
Sometimes, I have learned, it is necessary to break from tradition for the sake of nutrition. Brown rice supplies a fair amount of B and E vitamins, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and selenium. Since I don’t have a chicken to process my rice bran for me, I would really rather leave it on. So to deal with the antinutrients in the bran and still get the same consistency as sticky white rice, I came up with a new trick.
The rice I eat now is alive when it goes into the cooker. I sprout eight ounces of short-grain (glutinous or sweet) brown rice, which entails soaking it overnight, draining it, then rinsing and draining it twice a day until the tiniest little rootlets appear. It usually takes about a day and a half. Soaking, draining and rinsing mimics the conditions that cause germination in the wild. The sprouts shouldn't be longer than a millimeter or two, as shown above. If they're ready before you are, cover them with water and keep them in the refrigerator for up to a day. Any longer makes for goopy rice.
Once the sprouts are ready, I place the rice cooker pot on the scale, tare it, pour in the sprouted rice, then add just enough filtered water to total 24 ounces of rice and water together. After it’s done cooking, which is faster than un-sprouted brown rice, I take the pot out of the cooker, keep the lid on, cover it with a towel and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. The resting time allows the steam and moisture to redistribute, which keeps the rice from sticking to the pot and ensures perfectly fluffy, sticky brown rice.
Frequently I only make four ounces of rice at a time, for exactly two servings. This way all of our rice is freshly cooked moments before we eat it. I find that to cook four ounces of brown rice, sprouted, I need to add eleven ounces of water. Six ounces of brown rice, sprouted, require fifteen ounces of water to cook. If the rice is too hard, add more water next time; if it is too gummy, add less. Trial and error - that's the nature of home cooking.