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Different Types of Rice: Long and Short Grain Varieties

Updated on April 8, 2015
Rice comes in many colors, flavors and even fragrances.
Rice comes in many colors, flavors and even fragrances. | Source

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:

Rice colors can range from black, brown beige to white. The darker the rice, the more nutritious it is.
Rice colors can range from black, brown beige to white. The darker the rice, the more nutritious it is. | Source

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

Arborio Rice

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.

Jasmine Rice

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

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


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub, Miss Olive. It's so interesting and useful to know the different types of rice out there that we can try. Voted up!

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Another Great one, MissOlive!

      I voted it UP and Useful and of course, Shared.

      Thanks for some more greaat information on foods.


    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      prettynutjob30, great username! haha I love it. Jasmine is a really nice variety of rice, isn't it? Mmmm, with chicken broth sounds simply wonderful. Thanks so much for reading voting and commenting.

      cclitgirl, hola chica! There you go again, you made me hungry! You know, I could live on a combination of my mother in law's perfect mexican rice, topped with a healthy scoop of my mom's charro beans and a spoonful of fresh pico de gallo. Ohhhh heaven! Dang it, my mouth is watering again. Yum!

      mecheshier, thank you! It is kind of easy to forget there are so many varieties. Isn't it great to have a choice when we are making a special dish? I'm super glad you found this hub to be useful and I truly appreciate the votes.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. Informative, well written and organized. I love rice and it nice to see a list of the varieties plus a description. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      I love rice, with brown and jasmine being my favorites. Pair it up with black beans, and not only do you have a complete protein, but add some freshly sliced avocado, organic sliced tomatoes, fried plantain and a bit of queso fresco...and you have my all-time favorite meal. :) Loved this hub!

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, I love Jasmine rice that would have to be my all time favorite. Jasmine rice also taste real good when mixed with chicken the broth goes well with the clean taste of the rice, voted up, awesome and more.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Ruchira, basmati rice does have a nice flavor and texture. I enjoy it too. Great tip on draining it - thanks! Thank you for stopping by Ruchira.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      good synopsis on rice.

      i am a big fan of basmati rice. Usually drain off the water from it once it's soft to get the excess of carbohydrates.

      voted up as useful

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Mommiegee, so glad to hear it. Thank you for sharing that with us.

      GraceD, who knew? Right? I'm sure I missed a few varieties. It was sure interesting to research. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Vinaya Ghimire, I'd love to see the images of that. Other than in pictures, I've never seen rice fields. I'm sure you have childhood memories too, helping your family through the season. Thank you for stopping by to read, share and comment.

      Docmo, your comment warmed me so much. I adore the idea of family culture and a harvest season. I bet you could tell us some wonderful stories. So glad you came by to read and comment.

      Dexter Yarbrough, Hi Dex, brown rice is my daughter's favorite too. I have to admit I kind of just love them all. Each for their unique flavor. Happy to see you.

      teaches12345, they all sound delicious! I had a jasmine rice pudding with pineapple. It was ice cold and so sweet and tasty. I bet it would taste great with coconut too.

      Sparkle Chi, sounds like you have rice quite a bit. It is nice to have the two varieties you mentioned for whatever dish you choose to accompany it with. Thanks for sharing and reading.

      tillsonthian, I'm always happy to see the grocery store begin to stock up on varieties of foods. After my research, I began to notice more and more types of rice in the grocery aisle. Jasmine rice is definitely special. Yes, brown is better but I won't tell. :) I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      What a great crash course in rice! It seems just recently that Basmati and Jasmine have appeared in grocery stores and are becoming popular. Great alternatives to my favorite white rice...I know it should be brown but I love white rice! Thanks for the information.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Rice is a favorite in my house! We keep a ready supply of brown rice and jasmine rice on hand. One of them seems to go perfectly with whatever we are making!

      Fantastic information about the different types of rice! Thanks for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We usually use the long grain rice, but do use the brown rice more often now as a side dish. The health benefits are great, just as you have posted here. Love jasmine rice. I had this at a local restaurant and they added some coconut to it which made it really good!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Hi Missolive! Great hub. Brown rice is my favorite. There is a lot of good info in this hub.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      I grew up in South India and loved visiting my uncles place among the rice fields. I have vivid memories of harvest season and the rituals around rice. Loved this delightful hub on all things rice as an avid rice lover. Great detail brilliant presentation!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      These days my family is busy with rice planting. Rice is main crop and staple food in Nepal.

    • Grace D. profile image

      Grace D. 5 years ago from Missouri

      I thought I knew a lot about rice but after reading this I realize I have a lot to learn. Great hub!

    • Mommiegee profile image

      Mommiegee 5 years ago from Alabama

      I absolutely enjoyed this hub! My kids love rice. Their dad is Cuban and we ate rice almost every night! Thumbs up!