ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A guide to choosing between different varieties of rice

Updated on August 22, 2007

Choosing rice

When I go to the market to buy rice I'm confronted by 15 or more sacks of rice that at first glance look pretty similar, but to the people of a rice hungry nation like Thailand have subtle and even not so subtle differences; and make a big difference in the quality of the finished meal.

I feel great shame…but I confess I used to enjoy minute rice with regularity. I even though it was pretty good too, but after a number of years living in Asia, and after trying a batch when last visiting my parents, I can say with great authority that it is the vilest product ever created, and that you should immediately dispose of any and all lingering harmfully in your kitchen.

There are a great many kinds of rice available, and the differences present within taste, texture, sugar content, size and even color; and each type of rice is suited to a different form of cooking, and matched to certain types of food.

Two of the most interesting, and widely appreciated rice varietals are Jasmine rice of Thailand and basmati rice of India; and not surprisingly, both of these varieties match very well with foods from their respective countries.

As a dried product we sometimes overlook the shelf life and relative freshness of the grain, but rice does deteriorate in texture and flavor as it ages, and it is worth the effort to search out a good supplier of freshly harvested rice. In most urban areas Asian markets are the best sources for fresher rice and the busier the store the better. That rice gathering dust on the bottom shelf of an old convenience store isn’t a good bet. You wouldn’t believe how good and how flavorful freshly harvested rice from the paddy can taste!

Some of the varieties of rice are:

Brown rice, which is simply rice with more of the external bran attached

Parboiled rice, popular but flavorless rice treated to enhance the separateness of the gains after cooking. This rice is boiled or steamed before the bran is removed, and some of the bran's nutrients are passed into the white rice.

Minute rice, gross

Arborio and other short grained rice, used in European dishes such as risotto or paella

Jasmine rice, Very tasty Thai long grained white rice

Basmati, The longest grained rice with a nutty and intriguing taste

Uruchi mai, Japanese shorter grained rice used for sushi

Of course there are literally hundreds of varieties, and all require distinct cooking times and water requirements for best preparation. Paying more attention to the type of rice you select to match your cooking makes a big difference and is an easy way to eat better and more authentically.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I live in Korea and the rice here is so sticky! It is like sushi rice. I'd like to find a longer grain rice - anyone have a suggestion? Melissa

    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      11 years ago

      So far my favorite is a brand of basmati that I can get locally that tastes very much like pecans.

      And I agree about minute rice. Gross.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)