Meet the grain that fuels the world.
What would we do without rice? Most cuisines of the world feature rice in one way or another–from sushi to arroz con pollo, rice puddings to paella, and dolmas to dirty rice and jambalaya! We’re also drinking our fair share of rice–in sake, horchata, rice milk, and beer. All tolled, we humans get more than 20% of our calories from this mini but mighty grain.
Kinds of Rice
There are three basic kinds of rice–short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grained–but among them, hundreds of different varieties.
White rice is highly refined and polished and does not require washing before cooking. Recipes using other types of rice, such as Basmati, occasionally call for soaking or rinsing the rice before cooking to remove extra starch.
White rice has been milled to remove the outer husk, the bran, and the germ. Though less nutritious, white rice has some advantages over brown rice: it stores longer and cooks faster.
- Chinese Chicken Fried Rice II
- Cashew Raisin Rice Pilaf
- Stuffed Peppers
- Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cabbage Rolls II
Brown rice has been given the lightest touch in terms of processing. It is the whole grain version with just the outer husk removed, leaving the nutrient-rich bran and germ. It is nutty, chewy, and more nutritious than white rice.
- Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole
- Mexican Bean and Rice Salad
- Brown Rice
- Garlic Chicken Fried Brown Rice
- Best of Everything Veggie Burgers
Arborio rice is a medium-grained, starchy white rice, used most famously to make risotto. Continuously stirring risotto helps the arborio rice give up starch that helps thicken the dish.
- Lemon Seafood Risotto
- Risotto with Tomato, Corn, and Basil
- Gorgonzola and Wild Mushroom Risotto
- More Risotto Recipes
Elegant, perfumy basmati rice is a long-grained rice grown along the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s an important part of Indian and Pakistani cooking. The word “basmati” means “queen of fragrance.”
- Indian Style Basmati Rice
- Chicken Breasts with Plum Salsa and Basmati Rice
- Chicken Biryani
- Roasted Corn and Basmati Rice Salad
- Curried Pork Chops and Cauliflower with Basmati Rice
Wild rice is actually the seed of a grass plant, and so not a “true” rice, though it is often found in rice blends and pilaf mixes. Wild rice has a wonderful nutty flavor and a chewy bite.
- Minnesota Wild Rice Dressing
- Wild Rice and Asparagus Chicken Breasts
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Wild Rice and Beef Casserole
- More Wild Rice Recipes
Sticky, or “glutinous rice,” is a short-grained rice that is typically steamed, not boiled, and used in Asian specialties.