Rice is a staple in Asian Cuisine and we love eating our bowl of rice in every meal. But can you identify the type of rice which you eat for every meal? Let’s find out how well do you know your rice!
Rice comes in three main form; short grain, medium grain and long grain. Different types of grains are cooked and prepared different. They are all different in terms of price, texture, taste and flavour.
Types of long-grain rice includes the American long-grain white and brown rices, Basmati rice, and Jasmine rice. Long-grain rice is generally lower in GI (Glycemic Index) – a rating system which serves as an indicator on a consumer’s blood glucose levels based on how quickly food is digested. Hence long-grain rice is a healthier rice option for people with diabetes.
Long-grain rice texture are dry and firm which makes it fluffier when cooked as it tends to separate on its own and the grains doesn’t stick together.
In Southeast Asian, we tend to go for Jasmine rice and it gives off a delicate flora aroma after cooked. As it originated from Thailand, it is also commonly referred to as Thai fragrant rice or Thai Hom Mali rice.
Long-grain rice is prefect for making biryani, salads, and pilaf.
Medium-grain rice is dry and chewy in texture and requires longer cooking time. Medium-grain rice is short and round in appearance and is more starchy as compared to long-grain rice. The grain usually stick and clump together which makes it prefect to make dishes like risotto or paella.
The more common type of medium-grain rices are Arborio and Valencia and they are generally priced more expensive as compared to long-grain and short-grain rice.
Short-grain rice is plump and short in appearance and they are very sticky in texture when it’s cooked due to the high starch content. It is the main staple eaten in Japan and Korea and is people commonly refer short-grain rice to Japanese sushi rice for easy reference. Indeed short-grain rice is the dedicated type of rice used to make our sushi and it is non-substitutable due to its unique characteristics.
In Taiwan, people generally used it to cook fried rice or to go with their bowl of braised pork stew (lu rou fan).
If you are making a recipe which calls for certain type of rice and you wish to substitute with other type of grains, I wouldn’t recommend to do so as each type of rice has their own texture, taste and flavour which makes it unique and different from one another. It would be beneficial to have some knowledge on the different type of rices available in the market so you won’t be confused when you are shopping for rice at the grocery store the next round!