Bulgar wheat is a delicious, high-fibre whole grain, traditionally used in Middle Eastern recipes such as tabbouleh and pilaf. You also can use bulgar wheat in soups, salads, side dishes, vegetarian main courses and even desserts. Bulgar wheat is made from whole wheat that has been steamed, dried and cracked. This precooking process makes it quick to prepare. Bulgar wheat comes in different grinds: coarse, medium and fine. Each is used in different dishes ---coarse for stuffings, medium for salads and fine for desserts and breads. Both fine and medium-grind bulgar wheat can be cooked in the microwave.
If using fine-grind bulgar wheat, combine one part wheat with 1 and 3/4 parts water or stock in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a pinch of salt and stir. If using medium-grind bulgar wheat, the proportions will be one part wheat to three parts water or stock. Increase the salt to taste if you are making larger quantities of bulgar wheat. When calculating how much wheat to use, keep in mind that bulgar wheat, similar to rice, will expand to twice its original volume with cooking. In other words, 125 ml of uncooked bulgar wheat will become 250 ml (or 1/2 a cup will become 1 cup) cooked.
Cook the fine-grind wheat in the microwave on high heat for two minutes and 15 seconds. For medium-grind, the cooking time is longer and will vary according to how much bulgar wheat you are using. Cook 55 g (1/4 cup) of bulgar wheat on high heat for 8 to 10 minutes; 115 g (1/2 cup) for 12 to 14 minutes; and 340 g (1 and 1/2 cups) for 17 to 19 minutes. Keep in mind that each microwave is different and you may have to experiment a bit with these cooking times.
For both the fine and medium-grind bulgar wheat, remove the bowl from the microwave when the cooking time is complete. Stir. Cover the bowl and let stand for about seven minutes. Stir once again.
Use the cooked bulgar wheat immediately in a recipe, or store it covered in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked bulgar wheat for later use by spreading it out in a thin layer on a cooking sheet and placing the cookie sheet in the freezer. When the bulgar wheat is almost frozen, it can be transferred to plastic bags or containers.
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