Different Types of Rice and Cooking Methods

Different Types of Rice and Cooking Methods

Rice is the staple crop of many nations of the world, and is often the main source of food. Rice is an excellent food for athletes as it is high in complex carbohydrate and low in fat. Brown rice, in particular, is high in fiber and B-group vitamins.

Not only is rice a nutritious food, it tastes great and is extremely versatile. There are many varieties of rice now available, ranging from the familiar white or brown long-grain rice to specialty ones such as basmati and the so-called glutinous rice used by the Japanese to make sushi. Rice is also marketed in a variety of convenience packs; follow the instructions for using.

Arborio Rice - A type of short-grain rice traditionally grown in Italy and used to make risotto. The high starch content of Arborio rice gives risotto its characteristic creamy texture.

White Long-grain Rice - Long-grain rice is the separating grain which is delicious in the many international dishes of Asia, India and Spain.

Brown Long-grain Rice - This rice retains the natural bran layer which is rich in many vitamins and minerals, including rice bran oil. This long-grain rice is firm in texture, with a slightly nutty flavor.

White Medium-grain Rice - Better know as risotto or arborio rice, this is the softer cooking medium-grain rice which has the advantage of being able to carry flavors and colors well. Its soft, creamy texture makes it ideal for desserts such as Creamy Rice. It absorbs as much as five times its weight in liquid.

Easy-cook Long-grain White or Brown Rice - Sometimes called parboiled or pre-fluffed rice, this variety is a good choice for the novice cook. It is steamed under pressure before milling which hardens the grain, reducing the possibility of over-cooking. This process also helps to retain much of the natural vitamin and mineral content.

Jasmine or Thai Fragrant Rice - This long-grain white rice has a delicate Jasmine fragrance which makes it perfect for inclusion in Asian dishes and with curries and seafood. A long-grain variety popular in Thailand and appreciated for its sweet aroma and nutty flavor.

Cooking Methods:

The rapid boil and absorption methods are the most common ways of cooking rice. If liked, stock may be used instead of water. Because each type of rice has a different cooking time, it is best to refer to the instructions on the individual packs. For example, brown rice generally takes about double the cooking time of white rice. The quickest way to cook rice, however, is in the microwave.

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