How to Cook Bulgur

Three Parts:Buying Bulgur WheatPreparing Bulgur WheatCooking Bulgur Wheat Through Absorption

Bulgur is a wheat product that has been parboiled, dried and ground to a powder. This cereal is common in Middle Eastern, southern Asian and European cuisine. You can cook bulgur quickly with boiled water, then season or use in recipes as desired.

Part 1
Buying Bulgur Wheat

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    Look for bulgur in whole food stores. It is often sold in the bulk section.
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    Don’t confuse bulgur for cracked wheat. The latter is not parboiled and will take slightly longer to cook. Both have a chewy, nutty consistency.
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    Pick bulgur for recipes that compliment its natural nutty flavor. Bulgur can be used in place of couscous, quinoa and even oats.
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    Try several types of bulgur wheat. It comes in finer and larger grains. For example, you may see free keh, faro, organic, brown and fine-grained bulgur. [1]
    • Fine grain bulgur is also known as “Number 1.” It cooks faster than coarser grains.
    • Coarse bulgur will take longer to cook, but the texture will be firm enough to use as a side or in a salad or in soups and stews.

Part 2
Preparing Bulgur Wheat

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    Measure 1 cup (164g) of bulgur. Pour it into a bowl. The bowl should have a tight-fitting lid, or you can use a saucepan.
    • If you don’t have a lid, try to find a plate that will cover the top of the bowl.
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    Bring 2 cups (0.47l) of water to a boil in a kettle or on the stove. For larger batches, you will maintain a ratio of 1 part bulgur to 2 parts water.
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    Pour the 2 cups of water into the bowl containing your bulgur. Unlike with other grains, you do not have to cook bulgur on the stove. Consider adding 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of butter or olive oil for extra flavor. [2]
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    Place the lid on the bowl or saucepan.
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    Start your kitchen timer. Allow it to sit for 7 to 20 minutes for the bulgur to absorb the water.
    • Fine grain bulgur should sit for 7 minutes.
    • Medium grain bulgur should sit for 20 to 25 minutes.
    • Coarse grain bulgur should sit for 30 minutes.
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    Drain any remaining liquid out of the saucepan or bowl. Use a narrow opening between the lid and bowl or a strainer. The holes in the strainer should be very small so that the bulgur does not drain with the water.
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    Fluff the bulgur with a fork. Season with salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste.
    • To make a quick tabbouleh salad, add 2/3 cup (0.16 l) of chunky salsa, chopped fresh parsley and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. [3]

Part 3
Cooking Bulgur Wheat Through Absorption

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    Sauté 1/2 of a medium onion in 1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil or butter.
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    Add additional vegetables, such as carrots, mushrooms or bitter greens. If you want to make a 1-dish meal, you can add as many vegetables as you like. Sauté them until they soften.
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    Add garlic to the pan. Cook for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
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    Pour 2 cups (0.47 l) of vegetable or chicken broth into your pan. Stir into the vegetables and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned areas. You can use water in place of broth, if you choose. [4]
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    Heat the liquid to a boil.
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    Pour 1 cup (164 g) of bulgur into the pan. Stir well until all the ingredients are combined.
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    Take the pan off of the hot burner. Place a lid over the top.
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    Let the grain sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This method is best when used with medium or coarse bulgur.
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    Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Taste the result before you add seasonings, since broth may include salt and pepper.
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    Serve immediately. Pour off excess liquid as needed.

Tips

  • You can cook bulgur in the microwave. Use a ratio of 1 cup (164 g) of bulgur to 1 and 3/4 cups (0.41 l) of water. Cook on high in a bowl for 2 minutes. Then, stir and let the bulgur sit in the bowl, covered with a lid, for 7 minutes. [5]

Things You'll Need

  • Dried bulgur
  • Water
  • Measuring cups
  • Saucepan/bowl with lid
  • Kettle
  • Butter/olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fork
  • Vegetables
  • Kitchen timer
  • Herbs/spices
  • Chicken/vegetable broth
  • Wooden spoon
  • Strainer

Article Info

Categories: Cereal Grains