Rice

Rice

Rye isn't as nutritious as other grains, but it's hardy enough to grow in very cold climates. This has made it a staple of Northern Europeans, who use it to make breads, crackers, and whiskey. It has a distinctive, hearty flavor that's best when combined with other assertive ingredients. Substitutes: triticale

arborio rice
arborio rice
This plump white rice can absorb lots of water without getting mushy, so it's perfect for making risotto. The best comes from Italy. Arborio is very well-regarded
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basmati rice
basmati rice
This aromatic, long-grain rice is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and is especially popular in India. The cooked grains are dry and fluffy, so they make a nice bed for curries and sauces. Basmati is available as either white or brown rice. Brown basmati has more fiber and a stronger flavor, but it takes twice as long to cook. Aged basmati rice is better, but more expensive.
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Bhutanese red rice
Bhutanese red rice
This red short-grain rice is a staple in rural areas of Bhutan, a small kingdom nestled high in the Himalayas. It has a strong, nutty flavor and is best served with other assertive ingredients. It cooks much faster than brown rice.
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black forbidden rice
black forbidden rice
This has short grains which turn a beautiful indigo when cooked.
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brown rice
brown rice
Many rice varieties come as either brown rice or white rice. Brown rice isn't milled as much as white, so it retains the bran and germ. That makes brown rice more fiber-rich, nutritious, and chewy. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform as well as white rice in many recipes. Long grains of brown rice aren't as fluffy and tender, and short grains aren't as sticky. Brown rice also takes about twice as long to cook and has a much shorter shelf life (because of the oil in the germ). Keep it in a cool, dark place for not more than three months. Refrigeration can extend shelf life.
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converted rice
converted rice
This is a good compromise between nutritious brown rice and tender, fast-cooking white rice. Converted rice is steamed before it's husked, a process that causes the grains to absorb many of the nutrients from the husk. When cooked, the grains are more nutritious, firmer, and less clingy than white rice grains. Uncle Ben's is a well-known brand.
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glutinous rice
glutinous rice
Despite its name, this rice isn't sweet and it doesn't contain gluten. Instead, it's a very sticky, short-grain rice that is widely used by Asians, who use it to make sushi and various desserts. You can buy this as either white or black (actually a rust color) rice.
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Himalayan red rice
Himalayan red rice
This is a Himalayan version of our long-grain brown rice, only the bran is red, not brown.
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instant rice
instant rice
This is white rice that's been precooked and dehydrated so that it cooks quickly. It's relatively expensive, though, and you sacrifice both flavor and texture. White instant rice cooks in about five minutes, brown in about ten. Minute Rice is a well-known brand.
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jasmine rice
jasmine rice
Jasmine rice is a long-grain rice produced in Thailand that's sometimes used as a cheap substitute for basmati rice. It has a subtle floral aroma. It's sold as both a brown and white rice.
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kalijira rice
kalijira rice
This tiny aromatic rice is grown in Bangladesh. It cooks fast and is especially good in rice puddings.
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long-grain rice
long-grain rice
Long-grain rice has slender grains that stay separate and fluffy after cooking, so this is the best choice if you want to serve rice as a side dish, or as a bed for sauces. American long-grain rice (which includes Carolina rice) has a somewhat bland flavor, and is what cookbooks usually have in mind when they call for long-grain rice. Patna rice is a mild rice grown in India. Basmati rice, another Indian import, has a nutty taste and goes well with many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Jasmine rice is also aromatic, and usually less expensive than Basmati. It often accompanies Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Americans have crossed Basmati with American long-grain rice to get popcorn rice, which is milder and less expensive than basmati. Another hybrid is wild pecan rice, which retain most of the bran for a nutty, chewy flavor.
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medium-grain rice
medium-grain rice
Medium-grain rice is shorter and stickier than long-grain rice. It's great for making paella and risotto.
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Patna rice
Patna rice
This is a long-grain rice grown in India.
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pinipig
pinipig
Filipino cooks use these glutinous rice flakes to make desserts and drinks.
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popcorn rice
This rice is a cross between basmati and American long-grain. Common brands include Texmati, Delta Rose, and Cajun Country Popcorn.
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puffed rice
puffed rice
Look for this in Indian markets. Substitutes: Rice Krispies
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Rice
Rice
Rice is the most important food crop in Asia. It can be cooked whole and served with stir-fries, sauces, and curries, or made into flour, wine, cakes, vinegar, milk, flakes, noodles, paper, and tea. Rice is classified mostly by the size of the grain. Long-grain rice is long and slender. The grains stay separate and fluffy after cooking, so this is the best choice if you want to serve rice as a side dish, or as a bed for sauces. Medium-grain rice is shorter and plumper, and works well in paella and risotto. Short-grain rice is almost round, with moist grains that stick together when cooked. It's the best choice for rice pudding and molded salads. Other specialty varieties include Spanish rice for paella, glutinous rice for sushi and rice balls, and risotto rice for risotto. Most varieties are sold as either brown or white rice, depending upon how they are milled. Brown rice retains the bran that surrounds the kernel, making it chewier, nuttier, and richer in nutrients. White rice lacks the bran and germ, but is more tender and delicate. It's less nutritious than brown rice, but you can partially compensate for that by getting enriched white rice. Brown rice takes about twice as long to cook as white rice. Converted rice is beige. It tastes a lot like white rice, but it has more nutrients. Instant rice is white rice that's been precooked and dehydrated. It's convenient, but expensive and bland.
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risotto rice
risotto rice
This plump white rice can absorb lots of water without getting mushy, so it's perfect for making risotto. The best comes from Italy. Arborio is very well-regarded, but Carnaroli, Roma, Baldo, Padano, and vialone nano = nano are also good. The highest Italian risotto rice grade is superfino. Lesser grades are (in descending order) fino, semi-fino, and commune. You can sometimes find brown risotto rice, which has more fiber and nutrients, but it isn't nearly as creamy as white risotto rice. Never rinse risotto rice--you'll wash off the starch that gives it such a creamy consistency.
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short-grain rice
short-grain rice
This is sticky, though not as much as glutinous rice. It's a good choice if you're making sushi or rice pudding, and it also works pretty well in a risotto or paella. Brown short-grain rice isn't as sticky.
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Spanish rice
Spanish rice
This is a medium-grain rice that's perfectly suited to making paella. Varieties include include Granza rice, and the highly regarded (but difficult to find) Valencia rice.
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Thai purple sticky rice
Thai purple sticky rice
This turns a rich dark purple when cooked. The color bleeds, so it's best to pair it with other dark ingredients. Thai cooks often use it in desserts.
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Wehani rice
Wehani rice
This russet-colored rice is derived from basmati rice.
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white rice
white rice
Most varieties of rice are processed into white rice at the mill, where the grains are scoured to remove the husk, bran, and part of the germ. This processing strips some of the nutrients, but make the rice tender and fast-cooking. Many producers sell enriched white rice, which restores some of the nutrients. If well-sealed, white rice can be stored almost indefinitely in a cool, dry place.
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wild pecan rice
wild pecan rice
This chewy, nutty-tasting hybrid contains neither wild rice nor pecans. It's only partially milled, so it retains some of the bran and has a nutty flavor.
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wild rice
wild rice
This isn't a rice, but rather a grass seed. Compared to rice, it's richer in protein and other nutrients and has a more distinctive, nutty flavor. The downside is that it's more expensive than rice and takes longer to cook. It's especially good with poultry and game. Cultivated wild rice isn't as expensive--nor as flavorful--as "wild" wild rice.
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