Sprouting germinating brown rice

In a previous posting, I briefly mentioned how sprouted or germinated whole grains are great.  Here, I'll tell you more about how I recommend doing it. 
There are several postings you can easily find online, but I have found them more complicated than necessary.

I recommend using organic brown rice because I don't want to risk consuming the chemicals that go into inorganic ones. I have found that the 365 Everyday Value is most inexpensive at $3.39 for 2 pounds from Whole Foods. While Whole Foods has their own suggestions on cooking brown rice here, I recommend the following:
  1. Fill a glass container with 8 oz of organic brown rice. I reused a spaghetti sauce jar, as shown on the left above.
  2. Fill the jar with cold water.
  3. Shake the jar a bit to release any bubbles so that the water intimately contacts the rice.
  4. Leave in the dark in your cupboard or cabinet for 1 or 2 days, depending on how much you want it sprouted.  I usually leave it for 2 days.
  5. The rice will partially ferment and smell a bit sour or pungent.  Don't freak out.  This is a good thing in terms of nutrients for you.  If you don't like the pungent smell, just rinse the rice out and refill the jar with fresh water.
  6. The water will become a bit cloudy after 24 hours, as shown in the right jar above.  The rice will also have absorbed water and expanded.  The rice should have also sprouted a bit from the tip, as shown here.
  7. Be sure to shake it a bit about once a day to release the trapped gases and to reestablish intimate contact between the rice and the water.
  8. If you're not going to use the rice after 3 days of germinating and sprouting, I recommend that you store the soaked rice in a fridge.  Rinse it well with fresh water before storing if desired. 
  9. (Optional) If you desire even more sprouting, you can drain out all the water and cover it with a breathable cloth.
  10. Before you cook the rice, rinse it with fresh water one last time. 
  11. I usually cook my rice on the stove top, water level a few millimeters above the rice, low heat, closed lid, 30 minutes. However you wish to cook it, pot-on-the-stove or rice cooker, note that you will require
    1. Substantially less cooking time than regular rice
    2. Substantially less water than regular rice
Why sprouted brown rice?
I'm going to assume that you already know that whole grains are healthier than the white bread or white rice. Sprouted wheat is whole wheat that is allowed to sprout a bit before being used. It releases the nutrients in a manner that your body can better absorb. It's also easier to digest. According to Wikipedia,
Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, beneficial enzymes and phytochemicals, as these are necessary for a germinating plant to grow. These nutrients are essential for human health.
You can read more about sprouting whole grains there. In the near future, I'll discuss sprouting (or germinating) brown rice, and why I love it so much. (In fact, it sells as a premium food product and the Japanese have even made rice cookers programmed to germinate the rice for 20 hours before cooking it.)


  1. Thank you for the most important, helpful information! I had been soaking my rice in far less time, not as helpful. Thanks for your site and sharing with us. It is most appreciated

  2. Great idea! I have never tried sprouted brown rice. Sounds very healthy. Great blog!

  3. What about microorganisms (bacteria, fungi)which are multiplying in water for three day out of fridge? Looks like sour cabbage. Is that 30 min slow cooking is enough to kill them?

  4. If you make your own yogurt or kimchi, it's the same question: what about the microorganisms? Unless you pasteurize your homemade foods, you always take that "risk". If you have a decent immune system, you should be able to handle it. I've been following this recipe for a few months now and haven't gotten sick once. That being said, I always rinse the rice well before the fridge and the cooking stage.

  5. if there were enough microorganisms, mold would grow after two days and you would see it

  6. you're gonna cook the rice anyway who cares about microorganisms!

  7. Sorry...I guess I'm a newbie... Will the taste be the same? My kids are picky eaters and it was difficult to transition to brown rice at all. Does this process change the taste/texture in any way?

  8. Good question. If you rinse well before cooking, it may taste a bit nuttier than unsprouted rice. It's subtle and personally like it though. It would be interesting to test if your kids can tell the difference. ;)

    And if you don't rinse well, it might taste sour. =P

  9. Mr. Turtle!

    Hello, I see that this is an old thread, but I found it because I just sprouted brown rice for the first time. It smelled deliciously sweet for the first two days... on day three it turned a little stinky, sour. Not pungent but turned. After rinsing, the smell was a little better. I'm cooking the rice now to see how it will taste. Do you think it's safe to eat, healthy to eat OR compost?

    All the best!


  10. Hi Liz,

    Very sorry for the late response. Yes, it is supposed to smell stinky sour if you soak it for too long. After rinsing and cooking, it should be fine to eat!

    Mr. Turtle