Herbed Brown Rice Inspired by April Bloomfield {recipe} – This Isn’t Meant to be Racial

Herbed Borwn Rice, April Bloomfield

Recipes for rice upset me so much that I cope by writing blog posts about it  …

Not about rice.

About recipes for rice.

This might sound a little racial, but whatever. You know how proud I am of my peoples.

I assume that Asian people are born knowing how to properly cook rice. If an entire race can come shooting out of the womb knowing how to do something, it can’t be so difficult that it requires written instructions, which newborns, even the prodigy-level genius Korean newborns, wouldn’t have been able to read anyway.

But let’s ignore the whole “Asians Already Know How to Do Everything” thing like everyone else seems to do, and focus on the fact that cooking rice usually involves an electric rice cooker. Have you ever seen a rice cooker? It knows how much rice you just put in. It knows how much water you put in. It figures out how long to cook so that your inaccurate ratio will still render a perfect pot of soft, sticky, just-beyond-al-dente steamed rice in which each grain maintains its individual granular integrity.

And that’s even if you forget to plug it in.

So a “recipe” for rice, like “recipes” for sandwiches, salads, and boiled water, just seems…superfluous.

It’s not just the simple methods of cooking rice, either. Recipes for rice dishes also seem a little bit unnecessary, particularly Fried Rice of any race or religion. You just chop shit up. Throw it into a frying pan with enough oil to offend someone who is watching. Stir it until it looks cooked.

Fried rice.

You need a recipe for that?

No, you don’t.

You also don’t need a recipe for April Bloomfield’s Herbed Steamed Rice, which is why I’m not giving it to you. I am, however, sharing my tweaked version of it, which is so awesome and unique and above everything I just said about rice recipes, that it requires a recipe.

My recipe uses sturdier, healthier, and definitely more racially superior brown rice.

Asian people would never eat rice this way.

Herbed Steamed Brown Rice

based on Herbed Steamed Rice by April Bloomfield, published in Food & Wine magazine, October 2011

In the original recipe, April Bloomfield steams long-grain white rice in a regular saucepan on the stovetop. I’m Asian. I don’t cook rice in a saucepan unless I’m camping, and even then, I’d still use a rice cooker plugged into some kind of battery-powered generator. I steamed brown rice in an electric rice cooker with garlic and onions first, then tossed butter and fresh herbs into the steamed rice right before serving.

serves 4


1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained (Bloomfield uses long-grain white rice)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt to taste (about ¼ teaspoon)
¼ cup chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon


Put the rinsed rice, garlic, onions and water in the rice cooker and let the rice cooker work its genius. When the rice is cooked, do not open the lid, allowing the rice to sit in its own steam.

Remove the rice to a large bowl. Lightly fluff the rice. Toss fluffed rice with butter and chopped herbs until butter melts. Season to taste with salt.

Serve hot.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adri (thegirlblogger) December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

Don’t forget there are some of us without the cultural advantage to tackling something as simple as rice. I am from the great white north with the only cultural influences in my family cooking coming straight from cabbage and potatoes. The first time I saw a rice cooker I was 25, until then I didn’t know that rice didn’t come in a box from Uncle Ben. I still get nervous when making dishes with rice, I don’t want it to turn out mushy and gluey, and I’ve never even tried to tackle proper fried rice. So those rice recipes you talk about, there are some of us who really do need them! 


2 Catty December 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

ok so. how do I even begin? my white (WHITE.VERY WHITE) bf (oh yes, you’ve met him!) has dared to challenge the rice cooker saying that when we put in say 1 cup of rice and up to the 1 mark of water, it is NOT SOFT ENOUGH and now he puts waaaay more water and my rice is soggy. Firstly he is fucking banned from making rice. secondly, AS IF the rice cooker is ever wrong????


3 sarah December 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

catty ~ you know he did that on purpose right? RIGHT?! kind of like the way boys break glasses while “doing the dishes” so they’re *ahem* banned from doing dishes?! :D


4 Catty December 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

the tricky bastard!!!

5 Angie December 9, 2011 at 6:47 am

Gotta make this too.   It looks simple, yet very delicious with herb and butter.


6 Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) December 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

Haha, this post was very entertaining!  I JUST bought a rice cooker a little more than a month ago (Zojirushi) and am obsessed with it–it really is a little miracle machine.  

I’m definitely going to try this!  I use my rice cooker for a lot of different things, to make steel-cut oatmeal in morning.  It’s a life saver :) 


7 Bert Duplessis July 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Not being Asian I cooked brown rice in a pressure cooker (just 22 minutes), then used lots of fresh herbs from the garden (parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil and a little bit of thyme).  No butter thank you we are vegan… :-) 


8 Unlucky Rice Cook August 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Ok, Let”s suppose the non-Asian readers would like to try the wonders of the almighty rice cooker. Which one should we pick?


9 Vanessa Nielson July 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I’ve been cooking a lot with brown rice lately and wanted to try to mix it up somehow. Tried this tonight and it turned out pretty good! I put some lentils in with my rice just because, did a bit less garlic, added just used a teaspoon of parsley as my herb, and put in the butter while it was still cooking. Mostly it tasted oniony but it still contrasted nicely with the other things I cooked for our meal (fish with a spring salad on the side). I will probably mess with it some more in the future, but this is a nice basic template for me to build on. Thanks a lot!


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