Brown rice recipes to try at home

Mara Cepeda
Brown rice recipes to try at home
Recipes that will convince your family to eat brown rice

MANILA, Philippines – Looking for new ways to make family meal times more interesting? Try including brown rice in your daily menu!

While Juan undeniably enjoys a steaming cup of white rice, brown rice is gradually gaining popularity among Filipinos due to a number of benefits.

Brown rice is said to be healthier than the white variety. Brown rice production can also potentially lead to an increase in the country’s food supply and a decrease in rice importation in the Philippines. (READ: 4 reasons to eat brown rice)

For families seeking healthier alternatives to their regular meals, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) suggests various brown rice recipes that can be served at home. Here are some of them.


Makes 6 servings, 1 cup per serving


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 cup (3 pcs) tuyo tamban (dried fish), fried, shredded
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • ¼ teaspoon iodized salt
  • ½ cup tomato, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup eggplant, cubed
  • 3 pieces white cheese, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cucumber, seeded, diced



  1. In a frying pan, heat oil. Sauté garlic and tuyo.
  2. Add rice. Mix well and cook covered for 3 minutes.
  3. Season with salt.
  4. Add tomato, eggplant, cheese, basil, and cucumber. Blend well. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.


Makes 5 servings, 1 cup per serving


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup bangus tinapa (smoked milkfish), flaked
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • ½ teaspoon iodized salt
  • 2 pieces egg, salted, sliced
  • ½ cup, tomato, cubed
  • 2 cups fresh pako (fiddlehead fern), cleaned



  1. In a frying pan, heat oil. Sauté garlic and bangus.
  2. Add rice. Season with salt. Mix well and cook covered for 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg. Toss tomato and pako. Blend well.
  4. Serve hot.


Makes 8 ½ servings, 1 cup per serving


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup onion, white, chopped
  • ½ cup chicken, breast, cut into strips
  • ½ cup ham, diced
  • ¼ cup bell pepper, green, cubed
  • ¼ cup bell pepper, red, cubed
  • 5 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup catsup, banana
  • 1 piece chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon iodized salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 2 pieces chicken egg, omelette, cut into cubes



  1. In a pan, melt butter. Sauté onion, chicken, ham, and bell peppers.
  2. Add rice. Blend well until mixture is heated through.
  3. Season with soy sauce, catsup, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add cabbage and stir-fry. Toss in egg. Blend well.
  5. Serve hot.


Makes 28 servings, 3 pieces per serving


  • 2 cups brown rice, washed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, dissolved in
  • ½ cup water, hot
  • 1 cup sugar, white


  • ½ cup milk, fresh
  • ½ cup chocolate syrup
  • ¼ cup mini-white chocolate kisses (or white chocolate chips)



  1. In a sauce pan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir constantly for 15-20 minutes or until rice is soft.
  3. Add oats and cocoa mixture. Blend well. Continue cooking.
  4. When the cooking mixture is almost dry, season with sugar and blend well.
  5. Mold the mixture using a polvoron molder. Place in individual containers.
  6. Pour milk and chocolate syrup on top, then sprinkle with white chocolate kisses.


Makes 13 servings, 2 pieces per serving


  • 1 ½ cups brown rice, raw
  • 1 cup rice, malagkit (glutinous)
  • ½ cup sugar, white
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup coconut milk, 1st extraction (pure)
  • ½ langka, ripe, chopped
  • 7 pieces (26 slices) banana, saba, sliced into sticks
  • 3 pieces (26 slices) yellow kamote (sweet potato), sliced into sticks
  • 26 pieces lumpia (egg roll) wrapper
  • 3 cups cooking oil, for frying



  1. In a sauce pan, combine  brown rice, malagkit, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes while stirring constantly.
  2. Add the coconut milk and langka, stirring often to avoid scorching. Blend well.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Set aside.
  4. Place ¼ cup of rice mixture on a wrapper. Form into a flat log.
  5. Lay the saba and kamote. Press gently until it settles in the center of the mixture. Roll tightly then secure both sides by moistening with water and seal.
  6. Do the same with the rest of the mixture.
  7. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown or cooked.
  8. Drain to remove excess oil.
  9. Serve hot.

Developing a taste for brown rice

The Philippine Rice Research Institute notes that the average Filipino consumes 3 cups of rice per meal, equivalent to 9 cups of rice a day.

With rice remaining as the most commonly consumed food product in the country, it is imperative that Filipinos gradually shift to a more sustainable and healthier rice variety. (READ: Why shifting to brown rice matters)

The shift to eating more brown rice than white rice will be difficult, as the brown variety is currently more expensive due to low demand. The Filipino palate also prefers the sweet taste of white rice.

However, if families will begin serving brown rice meals at home, the country will be well on its way in ensuring rice self-sufficiency and food security for future generations. –

Brown rice photo via Shutterstock

For the complete list of the recipes and their nutritional value, check out FNRI’s recipe pamphlet here.

Do you have any healthy recipes you want to share? How about other stories about hunger? Send your contributions to and be a part of the #HungerProject!


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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.