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Types of Rice and How to Use Them

Rice is one of the most popular foods on our planet. Almost every country has a national meal made from it and there are more than 40,000 varieties of rice.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you about the differences between kinds of rice and how to cook them correctly.

Classification of rice by grain type

All types of rice can be divided into 3 main categories depending on the shape and length of the grain: short, medium, and long.

🔷 Short

  • Short rice is almost round, and pearl-white or a brownish color. Short rice contains a lot of starch, so it sticks during cooking.
  • Round rice absorbs liquids well, so it’s used in meals where it needs to absorb the smell of broth or other ingredients. Like for example, in paella.
  • A good example of short rice is Japanese sushi rice.
  • Short rice can be used in making sushi, paella, rice pudding, rice desserts, and rice balls.

🔷 Medium

  • Medium rice contains less starch than short rice, it’s more creamy and less sticky.
  • The main types of medium rice are carnaroli and arborio rice.
  • Medium rice is great for risotto, fried rice, rice salads, and arancini.

🔷 Long

  • Long rice has the least starch compared to other kinds, so the grains don’t stick to each other.
  • Basmati and jasmine are examples of long rice.
  • This rice can be used to make pilaf, curry, and other meals for Indian, Thai, and Palestinian cuisines.

Kinds of rice

Arborio

Arborio is Italian white rice that has a creamy texture when it’s cooked but remains solid. It’s great for risotto, arancini, and Italian pudding.

Basmati

Basmati is the only type of rice that is aged. It takes on an herbal flavor and can change color from white to gold.

Dry grains that don’t stick make it a great kind of rice for pilafs and biryanis.

Jasmine

Jasmine is a kind of long-grain rice with a light flowery flavor and tender sweet taste. The grains are much shorter than basmati but they can be interchangeable.

This rice can be used to make Thai meals, curries, and also as a side dish for meat, bird, and fish.

Black rice

Black rice contains antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which is what turns it a dark color (this is the same antioxidant that’s in blueberries and blackberries). The grains have a deep nutty taste, a tender structure, and a dark purple color.

It’s great for porridge, pudding, and pastries.

Brown rice

Brown rice is whole-grain rice. The only part removed from brown rice is the outer hull, which is inedible. Brown rice has a thick texture, a nutty taste, and it is more nutritious.

This type of rice is universal and can be a healthier alternative to regular white rice.

Valencia (Bomba)

The grains in this rice are very short and almost completely round. They have great absorbing power but don’t stick thanks to their high amylose (a type of starch) content.

This kind of rice is used for making paella.

Sticky rice

Sticky rice contains very little amylose resulting in rice that is especially chewy, sticky, and sweet when cooked.

Sticky rice is used in Asian cuisine: mochi and or other sweet treats. It’s also used as a side dish in Thai cuisine.

Cargo (red rice)

Red rice is a lot like brown. Only the outer shell is removed. The grains are red-brownish and have a nutty taste.

Red rice is used in Japanese, Thai, and Philippine cuisines. You can also use it to make broth, fried rice, and pilaf.

Wild rice

Wild rice is not rice at all. Long brown grains look like rice and taste like it but they are not rice. It’s actually a kind of marsh grass. Wild rice contains a lot of nutrients and microelements.

With wild rice, you can make meals like salads, soups, pilafs, and casseroles.

5-Minute Crafts/Tricks/Types of Rice and How to Use Them
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