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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
I grew up having white medium-grain rice with butter, cinnamon and sugar for breakfast.
It was, and still is, one of my favorite breakfast. It wasn’t until I became an adult
that I discovered there were other varieties of rice.
There are so many varieties available. Each has a specific texture, flavor, and purpose.
Today, I am sharing some of the types of rice and what makes each one different.
It is a variety of short-grained rice used primarily in the classical preparation
of risotto. Its shape is short, fat and slightly oval with a pearly white exterior.
Once cooked, the grains stick together, which leads to the sticky starch essential
for risotto’s creamy texture.
Because it undergoes less milling than ordinary long-grained rice, it retains more
of its natural starch content. Cooking releases this starch, giving risotto its creamy
consistency. A pound of arborio rice can absorb up to 6 cups of liquid without becoming
Basmati rice is long, slim, full of flavor, and subtly nutty. It grows in the foothills
of the Himalayas in northern India and Pakistan. This is a long grain variety of rice
commonly used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Persian cooking.
To make perfect Basmati rice, soak the rice with plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain.
Cook the soaked rice in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil under medium-high heat, uncovered.
When it starts boiling, cover and lower the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. After
fifteen minutes, take the lid off. If there is any excess water, allow it to boil
off. Fluff with a fork; serve.
The difference between Brown Rice and White Rice is in the milling process. Brown rice has only its husk removed during milling, making it naturally high in B vitamins
and minerals. Because brown rice retains its germ – the portion of the grain that
is richest in nutrients – it also has some vitamin E. Brown rice has a richer flavor
and a chewier texture than white rice. It also takes longer to cook. Brown rice is
much higher in nutrients than white rice. This includes fiber, antioxidants, vitamins
White rice, on the other hand, has the husk, bran, and most of the germ removed during milling.
It’s fluffier and softer in texture than brown rice. The cooking ratio for both brown
rice and white rice is the same, 2 cups water to 1 cup rice.
Jasmine rice is an aromatic rice, named after the sweet-smelling jasmine flower that
has long translucent grains, stickier than other long-grain rice. It is used mostly
in Thai cooking. It does not need to be soaked before cooking; you only need to rinse
it a few times. Soaking it will make it soggy. When cooking Jasmine rice, follow the
package directions. Typically, they call for one and one half cups water for every
1 cup of rice.
Probably one you are familiar with is Par-boiled Rice and Quick-Cooking (or Instant)
Rice. These are very different. Par-boiled rice is whole grain rice that is soaked,
steamed under pressure and dried before milling and polishing. This forces the nutrients
into the remaining portion of the grain, so they are not totally lost during processing.
It’s not pre-cooked and is slightly harder than regular rice. It is golden in color,
takes a little longer to cook, and remains separate and fluffy. If cooking par-boiled
rice, the package directions usually state the cooking ratio to be two and one fourth
cups water to 1 cup rice.
Quick-cooking rice, or Instant as most know it, is milled, polished and fully cooked
first, then dehydrated. Regular rice requires 18-30 minutes to cook while instant
rice needs anywhere between 1-7 minutes. It’s best to follow the package directions
when preparing this kind of rice. Although faster to cook than regular rice, it is
more expensive than regular rice.
It is not actually a rice at all. It is a seed of a native marsh grass, known for
its luxurious nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Wild rice is native to the Great Lakes region of North America. Wild rice is generally
more expensive than other rice and takes longer to cook. Because of its texture, the
cooking ratio is 3 cups water to 1-cup rice.
This Basic Fried Rice recipe can be made with leftover vegetables and features a low
sodium stir-fry sauce you make yourself.
For Stir-Fry Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently, uncovered for 5 or more minutes
or until sauce is reduced to one half cup. When cooked, pour into lidded jar and keep
in the refrigerator. Stir before using. Nutrition: 1 Tablespoon = 5 calories, 0 g
fat, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 30 mg sodium
To make rice: Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Stir-fry vegetables in pan. Add stir-fry
sauce, onion, and garlic powder. Stir. Stir in cooked rice. Push to sides of pan,
making a hole in the center. Drop beaten egg into the center of pan and scramble.
Stir into rice and vegetable mixture.
Makes 4 (½ cup) servings. Nutritional Information (per serving) using carrots and
broccoli: 160 calories; 2 g fat; 55 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Excellent source of vitamins A and C.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse.
By Carla DueCounty Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculturecdue@uada.edu