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
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
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.
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.