How to cook bulgur wheat on the stove, in the microwave, Instant Pot or in a slow cooker too. Bulgar wheat recipes are here and what to make with leftovers too.
Bulgur wheat, also known as cracked wheat, is a nutritious and versatile grain that has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines for centuries. It is made by cooking whole wheat kernels, then removing the bran and crushing the grain into small pieces. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and it can be used in a wide variety of recipes, from salads and soups to pilafs and stuffed vegetables.
How to Cook Bulgur
If you have only cooked white rice as a side dish in your house, this is much more nutritious. Let’s about how to cook bulgar in boiling water to perfection shall we. Then you can enjoy its nutty flavor and chewy texture in all your favorite dishes.
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How Long Does it Take to Cook Bulgur
Leave yourself about 15 minutes or so depending on how long it takes for your water to boil. I wouldn’t rush it but it isn’t largely different than how long rice takes to cook really. The timing will depend on the cooking method. Instant Pot bulgur wheat would be the fastest.
Step 1: Choose the type of bulgur
Before we dive into the cooking process, it’s important to choose the right type. There are several varieties available, including a fine coarse grind, medium, as well as whole wheat. These are not gluten free unfortunately. The finer varieties cook faster and great for salads, while the extra coarse varieties are ideal for pilafs and stew.
You can also choose between white or whole wheat, depending on your preference. Whole wheat is more nutritious and has a nuttier flavor, but it takes longer to cook than the white variety.
Step 2: Should I soak bulgar?
There are two ways you can do this. First always rinse it in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, you can transfer to a large bowl and cover it with water. Use a ratio of 1 cup of bulgur to 2 cups of water. Let it soak for 15-20 minutes, until it has absorbed most of the water.
Once it has soaked, drain any excess water using a fine mesh strainer. Use a fork to fluff and separate any clumps. This will decrease the boiling time by about half. We have a no soak method below for you too.
Bulgur Wheat on the Stove
Step 3: How to cook soaked bulgur
Now it’s time to cook and create your favorite bulgur wheat recipe. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water or broth to a boil. Add the soaked and drained wheat to the pot, along with a pinch of salt, if desired. Stir well and reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pot and simmer for 12 minutes – 15 minutes cooking time, until it is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Check occasionally to ensure it doesn’t dry out or burn on the bottom. If it is still a little crunchy, add more liquid and continue to simmer until it is fully cooked.
Step 4: Fluff and serving
Once it is fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 – 10 minutes. This allows the dry bulgur to absorb any remaining liquid and become fluffy. Use a fork to fluff the separate any clumps. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or butter at this point, to enhance its flavor and keep it moist.
How to Cook Bulgar Wheat in the Microwave
This is an easy and cheap microwave recipe you can make as a quick side dish and an easy alternative to cooking it on the stovetop. In this case you will want to let it sit in a pot of water first so it can soak up and fluff, then it won’t take as long to nuke. Make sure you use a dish that is safe for this method of cooking.
Slow Cooker Bulgur Wheat
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Combine it all, mix together, you can add diced onions and fresh herbs if you like. Cook covered on low for 2-3 hours or until it is as tender as you’d like.
How to soak bulgur wheat
Begin by rinsing this grain thru a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any dirt or debris on the outside, similar to beans and rice. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 cups of water for every cup of bulgar. Let it sit and soak for 15 – 20 minutes or until it has absorbed a lot of the liquid and almost doubles in size.
Drain liquid left and pour in 1:2 ratio of the amount of grain added. If initially you poured in 1 cup add 2 more cups of broth or water. Cover the bowl with a paper towel or plastic wrap. Leave a small vent for the steam to escape. Microwave on high power for 5-8 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed and the bulgar is tender.
Remove the bowl and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes to fluff. Use a fork to separate any clumps. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or butter to the top at this point to enhance its flavor and keep it moist.
This is very versatile. It can be served hot or cold, depending on the recipe. Use it as a base for salads, mixed with fresh vegetables, nuts, and dried fruit. It can also be served alongside roasted vegetables or grilled meat as a simple side dish.
Cooking in the microwave is a quick and convenient method that yields great results. With these simple steps, you can enjoy the nutty flavor and chewy texture of bulgar wheat in no time at all.
What to Make with Bulgar Wheat
This can be served hot or cold, depending on the recipe. For a simple side dish, sprinkle your dish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or mint. Serve it alongside roasted vegetables or grilled meat. You can also use as a base for salads, mixing it with fresh vegetables, nuts, and dried fruit.
How to Use Leftover Bulgar
If you have any leftovers, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 1-2 minutes, or until it is hot.
- Leftover bulgur recipes are many. It can be used as a base for bulgur salad. Simply toss it with fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers, and add a dressing of your choice.
- Make stuffed vegetables: Can be used to make a delicious inside to things like stuffed bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant. Mix with herbs, spices, and vegetables, and stuff the mixture into the hollowed-out vegetables. Bake in the oven until tender.
- Use it in soups: It can be added to soups, stews, or chilis to add texture and nutrition. Simply add the leftover bulgar to the soup or stew and simmer until heated through.
- Make patties or meatballs: Leftover bulgar can be mixed with vegetables, herbs, and spices to make vegetarian patties or meatballs. Simply shape the mixture into patties or balls and bake in the oven until golden brown.
- Use it as a filling for wraps: Leftovers can be used as a filling for wraps inside naan bread. Simply add along with fresh vegetables and a sauce of your choice.
Bulgur Wheat Recipes
Overall, this is a versatile and nutritious grain that can be used in a variety of dishes. By following the steps outlined here, you can cook to perfection and enjoy its delicious flavor and texture in all your favorite recipes.
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How to Cook Bulgur Wheat
- 1 pot
- **no soak method** Melt the butter in a saucepan. Transfer the rinsed bulgur to a saucepan and fry in butter for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until a nutty flavor appears.
- Add 2 cups of water and salt, stir and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, watching the liquid level.
- If the liquid has been absorbed into the bulgur but it is still not ready, add more water, cover and cook longer or until liquid is absorbed and it is as tender as possible.
- **soaking method** Add 1 cup bulgur to 2 cups water or broth into a bowl and soak for 15-20 minutes. Then drain the liquid out using a fine mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water or broth to a boil. Add the soaked and drained wheat to the pot, along with a pinch of salt, if desired. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 minutes – 15 minutes cooking time, until it is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.