Rice Basics

Here's how to pick the right rice for your needs.


When cooking white rice for recipes, you can choose from three types:

Be sure to choose the right kind of rice for the dinner you're serving.
  • Short-grain rice is high in starch, making it stickier than other rices. It is most often used in Asian cooking, Spanish paella, and risotto. One prized short-grain rice is Arborio rice -- a mainstay in risotto.
  • Medium-grain rice is slightly sticky. It cooks up tender and plump with a mild flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Long-grain white rice is the most common rice used in America. It has a neutral taste and firm texture, and remains separate and fluffy when cooked. Long-grain rices such as jasmine and basmati are aromatic rices known for their fragrances. Both are good paired with stir-fry dishes and other Asian- and Indian-style foods or used in pilafs.
Enlarge Image Get creative with your meals by changing the rice you use.
  • Brown rice only has the hull removed. The bran layers left on the grain give it a tan color and a nutty flavor with a slightly chewy texture.
  • White or polished rice is milled to remove both the hull and the bran layers. It's milky, delicately flavored, and comes in several varieties.
  • Precooked (quick-cooking) rice is available in both white and brown.
  • Parboiled (sometimes called converted) rice is treated by a steam-pressure process before milling to make the white cooked grain extra fluffy.
  • Wild rice is used like rice but isn't rice at all; it's the long, dark brown or black, nutty-flavored seed of a marsh grass. There are many varieties and it cooks in just a few minutes.
  • In addition, there are a host of colored rices. These include Himalayan Red, Chinese Black, Colusari Red, Black Japonica, and Purple Thai, now available for cooks who want to go beyond basic white or brown.
Your Comment:
close
X