- Food and Cooking»
- Cooking Ingredients
Different Types of Rice: Long and Short Grain Varieties
Health Benefits of Rice
Rice is an economical staple found in most kitchens across the world. As a carbohydrate, rice is a great energy source. Rice may aid digestion, maintain energy levels, may aid in stabilizing blood sugar levels, and is a great source of vitamin B. Whole grain rice has greater nutritional value than white rice. This is because whole grain rice has the bran intact.
Health Benefits of Rice Include:
- Energy source in the form of carbohydrates.
- Cholesterol free.
- Contains a variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals: Vitamin D, calcium, niacin, fiber, iron, thiamin and riboflavin.
- Low in sodium
- Brown rice may aid in cancer prevention and improve cardiovascular health.
There are a variety of rice types available, including long and short grain. Rice use varies by region and the intentions of the recipe. Here are just a few varieties:
Types of Rice
- Arborio Rice
- Basmati Rice: White
- Basmati Rice: Whole Grain
- Black Sweet Rice
- Brown Rice: Long-Grain
- Brown Rice: Short-Grain
- Glutinous Rice: Sweet
- Jasmine Rice
- Tex-Mati Rice
- Wehani Rice
- White Rice: Short-Grain
This short grain rice is imported from Italy. Arborio rice is especially starchy and almost round in shape. Arborio rice is what is commonly used for risotto.
Basmati Rice: White
White, long-grain basmati grows in Southeast Asia. Basmati is very fragrant. White basmati is commonly used for Thai and Indian curries. Basmati rice can also be used in pilaf recipes.
Basmati Rice: Whole Grain
Whole grain basmati is richer in fiber and nutrients than white basmati. However, whole grain basmati does lack the aroma found in white basmati and is not as flavorful.
Black Sweet Rice
Black sweet rice is in fact black on the outside. The color is due to the bran on the rice. Black sweet rice lightens to a rich purple-black when cooked and is known for its woodsy flavor.
Brown Rice: Short-Grain
Brown rice is rich in fiber and is usually a bit nutty in flavor.
Brown Rice: Long-Rain
Long-grain brown rice is not as sweet as short-grain brown rice. Long-grain brown rice is also rich in bran and features a more buttery and nutty flavor.
Glutinous Rice: Sweet
This particular rice is commonly used for sweets in regions of Asia and has a very sticky texture. Glutinous sweet rice is also used in Japan when making rice cakes known as mochi.
Like basmati, jasmine rice is also fragrant. Although jasmine rice is fragrant, it is very good at absorbing the various flavors and spices found in the broth.
The 'Tex' in Tex-Mati comes from the state, Texas in the USA. Tex-Mati is a type of basmati created to be more economical and absorbent of flavors. Tex-Mati is versatile and can be used in a variety of rice dishes.
Wehani rice comes from the state of California in the USA. Like Tex-Mati, Wehani rice is a hybrid of basmati. Wehani however, is in its whole-grain form and contains brain. The bran in Wehani gives it its rich cinnamon, rust color.
White Rice: Short-Grain
Short-grain, white rice is what is used when creating authentic sushi. Its sticky texture and stark white color blend beautifully with the contrasting colors found in sushi rolls.
© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares