Rice sprout can be defined as the live or germinating form of the grain consisting of a tiny bulge at its germ or a small root emerging from one end. This occurs on soaking the rice grain in water for a minimum period of time. The sprouted rice is usually tough and requires cooking in order to be consumed.
Only the brown colored grain of rice can be sprouted, as the white variety is dead. The long variety, aromatic rice is also incapable of sprouting whereas the brown basmati can be utilized. The rice can be consumed as soon as the bulge of the root appears at its base but it is bland in taste and extremely chewy at this stage. The rice sporting the tiny root is usually bitter in taste, with the specialty grain of Wehani rice considered to be the most suitable for sprouting as it is the least bitter of the all the available varieties of rice, capable of sprouting.
Growing Rice Sprout
The rice needs to be cleaned and rinsed thoroughly before being soaked for 14 to 18 hours.
- The drained rice grains are placed within a wide-mouthed jar and kept in dimly lighted location after covering the mouth of the container with a cheesecloth-like breathable fabric.
Storing Rice Sprouts
The sprouts are ready for consumption within a day or two and need to be stored before the roots reach 1/8 inch in length, as longer roots tend to turn the rice bitter.
About 2/3 cup full of rice grains yield a cup of sprouts.
- The sprouts can be stored in a refrigerator for a period of 15 days ideally.
Types of Rice Sprouts
Short Grained Brown Rice- This form of rice is the commonest type to be sprouted as it contains very less unbroken grains resulting in more sprouts.
Wehani Rice- A brown colored, long grained rice which has a typical nut like flavor. This is usually the best form of sprouted rice as it does not taste as bitter as the other forms.
Brown Rice- The sprouts obtained from this variety are usually very hard and need to be softened by cooking before consumption.
- Red Thai Rice- This is one of the best sprouting forms of rice which is similar to the Wehani rice in flavor.
Culinary Uses of Rice Sprouts
Soaked as well as sprouted rice are extremely nutritious and can be consumed in the form of soups, fried rice, and as a stir-fry ingredient. The Asians, particularly the Japanese and Thai use the sprouted staple to prepare a number of tasty dishes. Popular dishes that use the sprouted form of rice include:-
Japanese Rice Bowl- A combination of hijiki seaweed and carrot juliennes, stir fried together with tofu and mirin along with soy sauce.
- Shrimp and Sprouted Rice Soup- A hearty soup prepared by boiling the brown sprouts along with garlic, shallots and chopped shrimps and fish sauce. It is flavored with lemon grass and served with a garnish of roasted peanuts.
Rice sprout provides more than 88% of the daily manganese required by the human body.