Recipe Collection: How to Soak Rice |

Recipe Collection: How to Soak Rice

admin January 19, 2012

Rice is something of an enigma of grains.  It’s both low in phytates and phytase (the enzyme that helps break down the phytates).  That means that it doesn’t “have” to be soaked, which is why many people choose it when they need something fast.  It’s still better to soak it, though.  The method is somewhat strange, but, if you keep up with it, eventually over 95% of the phytates will be reduced.

Yes, eventually.  It’s a multi-step method.

Luckily, this is not too difficult.  It just requires time.

How to Soak Rice


  • Brown rice
  • Filtered water
  • Raw vinegar OR “old rice water”


This is a two-step process, really.  The first time you do it, you will use vinegar (I choose red wine, but you could choose apple cider, or really any type of acid).  The second time, you will use the “old rice water” which I will explain below.

First, take brown rice and pour it into a glass bowl.

Then, add water and 1 tsp. acid per cup of rice.  Set it in a warm place (warmth is necessary to reduce phytates).

Let this sit at least 7 hours; overnight is better.  Now, here comes the trick!  Pour about 1/2 c. of this soaking liquid into a small glass dish and save it until the next time you soak your rice.


Pour the rest of the liquid out and rinse the rice; cook as usual.

The next time that you soak rice, instead of adding vinegar, you will add this 1/2 c. of soaking liquid that you saved.  Continue to save liquid after each time you soak it, and use that liquid (plus additional water) to soak your new batch of rice.

Research has shown that this method, after 4 “cycles,” will reduce almost all of the phytates.  Pretty neat, huh?

Have you ever tried to soak rice?

This is the writings of:



  1. How long will the old rice water keep?

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Hi Cynthia, I have kept it in my fridge for up to a month, I think, with no issues. Hopefully if you make rice more often than that it should be good indefinitely. 🙂


  2. I learned all about soaking rice a few weeks ago (I’d never done it before then). I now have a little routine of soakng beans & soaking rice at bedtime the night before I want to use them. So easy!


  3. Can you do this with any type of rice (jasmine, basmati, sticky)? And do you have to keep the the different rice waters separate from each other. Or could you use the rice water from the jasmine rice for a batch of brown rice? I hope that makes sense.


    • Hi Jennifer,

      I was just wondering if you ever got a reply to your post? I’d like to know if the different soaked rice water(s) are interchangeable?


  4. Could you post source of research, please, about the phytates being reduced after 4 batches? I want to know why water from the old rice is helpful and what it is that makes it more efficient after each batch at removing more phytates, vs just using a fresh batch of water each time. Is there no way to reduce almost all the phytates if you’re just using new water and 1tsp. of an acid each time?



  5. […] grains. Why hadn’t I considered this? That night I soaked a bowl of rice over night, following Modern Alternative Mama’s method, and cooked it in homemade chicken broth like Sally Fallon recommends in Nourishing Traditions. […]


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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