Wondering what rice is best for what dish? Read on for all you need to know about rice:
Types of Rice
Long grain rice has a long, slender kernel three to four times longer than its width. Due to their starch composition, cooked grains are lighter, fluffier and more separated than medium or short grain rice.
THINK: pilaf, stir-fry, salad, soup and Southern dishes.
Medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel than long grain rice, two to three times longer than its width. Cooked grains are moist and tender, with a tendency to cling together. Medium grain rice, like Calrose, is a good choice for dishes that have a creamier consistency.
THINK: risotto or rice pudding, paella, as well as sushi and other Asian dishes.
Short grain rice has a short, plump, almost round kernel. Cooked grains are soft and somewhat chewy, with a slight springiness to the bite. Like medium grain rice, short grain rice is a good choice for creamier consistency dishes.
THINK: rice pudding and Asian dishes.
Brown rice has the outer hull removed but still retains the nutrient-dense bran layers that give it a tan color, chewy texture and nutty flavor. Brown rice is a 100% whole grain, rich in minerals and vitamins, especially the B-complex group.
Basmati is an aromatic long grain rice with its own distinctive aroma and flavour. The cooked grains are long, separate and fluffy.
Parboiled rice is rough rice that has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling. This procedure gelatinizes the starch in the grain, ensuring a firmer, more separate grain when cooked.
White rice (regular-milled) has the outer husk and bran layers removed. Most U.S. white rice is enriched with thiamin, niacin and iron and fortified with folic acid to restore nutrients lost during processing.
Black japonica is an aromatic, 100% whole grain rice with a dark black bran. Cooked grains are slightly chewy with a subtle sweet spiciness.
Red aromatic rice has a deep-coloured, honey-red bran and is 100% whole grain. Cooked grains have a savoury, nutty flavour and are slightly chewy.
Arborio is a medium grain rice with a characteristic white dot at the center of the grain. Primarily used in risotto, this rice develops a creamy texture and has an exceptional ability to absorb flavours.
Jasmine is an aromatic long grain rice with a distinctive aroma and flavour. Cooked grains are soft, moist and cling together.
Other Forms of Rice Include:
Pre-cooked rice: Also known as quick-cooking or instant rice, this rice is pre-cooked and dehydrated to cook more rapidly.
Ready-to-heat rice: Available in microwavable single-serve cups and pouches, it is convenient, ready in seconds and offers a delicious, healthy option with less prep and mess.