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Rice...what you got?

  • j

Responding to the sticky rice thread got me thinking. I sure do have a lot of rice--more rice than any one family needs if you ask my husband. But honestly, its all different and serves different purposes. Right now I have Jasmine rice, japanese short grain rice, basatmi rice, brown short grain rice, brown purportedly jasmine rice, Thai sticky rice, black rice, the remenants of a bag of broken rice and I think one more but I can't remember what it is. The Jasmine is bought in bulk and used practically daily, the basatmi is for Indian food and never the twain to meet, as my husband learned when he mistakenly cooked bas. rice with a Chinese meal resulting in a rice strike by the pups. I am waiting for a chance to steam the sticky rice and making some meals out of hotsoursaltysweet.

What rice is in your cupboard? Please someone tell me you have more than me!

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  1. I've got Japanese brown rice, sticky brown rice, brown basmati and brown jasmine rice, arborio rice, short grain brown rice, and some kind of red rice. (and I'm just one person!) :) I also have a gazillion grains, (barley, oats--steel and rolled, quinoa, bulgur, millet, orzo, kasha, etc.) but as you say, they all serve different purposes!

    5 Replies
    1. re: anzu

      Your pantry looks very similar to mine -- except that I also have long grain white rice as DH kind of has issues with all of my brown rices. He'll eat the brown rice, but he prefers eating what he grew up with.

      btw, is there a difference between Japanese brown rice and short grain brown rice?

      1. re: Miss Needle

        Well, probably not, but at my Japanese grocery store, they sell these rice types that are "almost" brown rice. Basically, they range from 100 percent polished (white rice) to 0 percent polished (brown rice), and I've gone from 90 percent to now 30 percent-ish. I also have regular full-on brown rice, too, but I find that the Japanese "almost" brown rice I have I can actually use for sushi, b/c it has that fluffy sticky consistency of white rice.

        Also, I just call it Japanese b/c it's what the Japanese grocer carries, but they have both short grain and medium. I think the one I have is actually a medium grain.

        1. re: anzu

          I see. Thanks for the explanation. The Japanese "almost" brown rice sounds intriguing. I need to look for it to make my maki rolls.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Here's a website w/ an explanation of their rices. The different "almost" brown rice stuff is at the bottom. Part of me wonders if this is a marketing ploy. . ..

            1. re: anzu

              Thanks, anzu. I'm sure marketing has something to do with it. They're going for a very natural earthy feel to this brand of rice. Certainly "looks" healthier.

              I generally buy my rice at the bulk bin at a health food store as it's much cheaper. But I'll look for this at Mitsuwa this weekend.

    2. There is Japanese brown rice? Must find.

      I have black Japonica rice, a California blend of black and brown rice, some red rice from Bhutan, medium grain white rice, glutinous rice, basmati rice, arborio rice, an organic rice blend from CostCo that has a whole bunch of different kinds in it, and some plain old brown rice. I love rice.

      Also some wild rice that Alton Brown says is really grass, so maybe it doesn't count?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jnstarla

        wild rice is a grain. It doesn't count.

        There is Japanese brown rice---try a health food store or food co-op.

      2. I have 2-3 lbs of long grain white, arborio, long grain brown, jasmine and basmati rice. I also have 2 lbs of American wild rice, but that is technically not rice.

        1. I have much of the above mentioned but also just picked up some Red Rice from the Camargue. Have yet to give it a try, but is was on ther shelf at TJMxx and I had to buy it.,

          1. Three Califonia Japanese rices, arborio, Jasmine, Basmati, long grained white, parboiled long grain. At work in the genebank we have several tens of thousands of varieties.

            1. Aborio, two Japanese short grain rice, California long grain rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati and a wild rice. I love tiny pasta so I think I might have the winning hand for many different teensy versions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chef chicklet

                cc, we often seem to be on the same page or from parallel universes. I actually have some wild "rice" as well.

              2. In my pantry there is Calrose, Nishiki, extra-long grain white, long grain white and converted. I've got Arborio and a Bomba. There's also Jasmine and some Basmati. There may even be a box of Rice-a-Roni I keep as a joke.

                I love just about every variety there is.

                1. Calrose, brown basmati (which I find has a very strange flavour), arborio, short grain brown and kamut.

                  1. Just finished using basmanti rice and now I have only brown rice. Cooked the brown rice hoping to make rice pudding.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: classylady

                      Elephant brand basmati rice. An indian friend of mine swears by it. Cooks up perfectly every time.

                    2. I have jasmine, baby jasmine (from Urban Accents- very tiny grains), arborio, bomba, brown, and a brown/white/wild blend.

                      1. Don't know what happened to my post, so I'll repeat...

                        Two CA Japanese rices, long grain white rice, parboiled white and brown rices, short grain brown, basmati and brown basmati, and arborio. I've used lots of others, but that's all for now!

                        1. White sushi rice
                          White jasmine rice
                          Brown jasmine rice
                          Brown long grain rice
                          Brown medium grain rice
                          Forbidden rice
                          Brown kalijira rice
                          Bhutanese red rice
                          Jade pearl rice

                          Like anzu, I also have barley, oats, quinoa (white and red), bulgur wheat, couscous, farro....we are just two people, but I love having a variety of rice and grains.

                          1. No Valencia so far? No paella lovers out there? I've got some...

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: MMRuth

                                I prefer Bomba to Valencia also. That's why I have it.

                            1. Nope,don't keep much of it at home as rice is a bad carb. If I have to use it (rarely) I only buy brown, long grain rice.
                              The only white rice I use sometimes is arborio for my risotto or paella, but that only happens couple of times per year.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: polish_girl

                                i thought brown rice was a good carb. And how can rice be considered bad? It's the staple of sustenance for most of the world.

                                1. re: roasted138

                                  It really doesn't have much more in the way of nutrients as compared to white rice, and adds only traces of fiber, as well as a little more fat. That said, I feel as if I'm being healthier when I eat brown rice!

                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                    Rice has a pretty high GI- white rice 84, brown rice 79.

                                    1. re: polish_girl

                                      Whether people can tolerate rice really depends on the type of person and their activity level an other factors. There really is no "good" and "bad" carb. If you've got some issues like diabetes, then, yeah, you're probably better off not having too much of it. But roasted is right that it is the staple of sustenance for a great part of the world.

                              2. Aborio, jasmine, basmati white. Jasmine, basmati brown. Also several Lundberg blends.

                                1. Several pounds of basmati rice (Bombay brand), arborio, several packages of Near East rice pilaf, and a small bag of Forbidden black rice and a small bag of Bhutan red rice because I saw them in a store and had to have them...although I've never used them. What could I use them for?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    There are a few ideas for black rice on home cooking

                                    Be careful with it though. It turns everything purple.

                                    1. re: rworange

                                      Thanks for the link(s) AND the warning! LOL

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        add to rworange's warning that some people are freaked out by unexpectedly purple food, including purple rice.

                                        but it tastes quite good just cooked.

                                  2. Being diabetic, I can't eat rice. Being Japanese, I have to eat rice.

                                    My daily rice is a 50/50 mix of premium short grain koshihikari white and koshihikari haiga-mai (partially milled), with the intent of finding the lowest Glycemic Index and highest nutritious combination possible. I was a big proponent of cal-rose medium grain rice, until I discovered the huge difference in the ratio of amylose to amylopectin - the two main forms of starch across rices. Amylose is harder to digest, so a higher ratio of amylose insures a slower uptake of carbohydrate. Or so goes the theory. Does it work? I do definitely feel that my serum glucose level, taken 30 minutes after eating, is lower with this rice combination than with cal-rose. I know that I take less insulin, based on my sliding scale. But is it that significant? No, not really. Glycemic Index aside, the actual Glycemic Load depends on so many other factors - whatever else I'm eating - that the final picture is not that different. It's not some magic panacea that gives me my pre-diabetic life back. I have cut way back on the amount of rice I eat, and that's never going to change.

                                    I do have other forms of rice in the cupboard, which I use periodically. Basmati has a lower GI than cal-rose, as does wild "rice".

                                    Jasmine has a super-high GI (very low amylose/high amylopectin) - so I try to stay away from rice in the Vietnamese places around here that serve mainly Jasmine. The two lowest GI rices in the book are something called Bangladeshi BR16 long grain, which I'd love to try, and Uncle Ben's Converted - which I'd rather have my legs cut off.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: applehome

                                      What is is about converted rice that you don't like? Just the flavor?

                                      1. re: bkhuna

                                        The Alford and Duguid cookbook, "Seductions of Rice" hasa very interesting [well, to me] discussion about converted rice or "parboiled" rice. According to them, the process developed has the effect of forcing more nutrients into the rice. They also say that parboiled and converted rice ---yes, even Uncle Ben's---are the same and that parboiled is commonly sold and consumed in India etc.

                                        Anyone know?

                                        1. re: jenn

                                          Yes, parboiled is "converted". Parboiling drives nutrients into the grain and is an eons old practice in parts of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                            hmmm, does that mean that parboiled [converted rice] would be a better choice health wise? Not necessarily the Uncle Ben's version --which I believe is also partially cooked--but the traditional Indian type? Is it a better choice for diabetics et al? or does it all shake out the same?

                                            1. re: jenn

                                              Yes, parboiled is definitely healthier. The micronutrients make a difference in the diets of poor children in the sub-continent. Because I can't buy Japanese rice here (or could pay $10 per pound), my long grain (Indica) rice for every day use is a 50% white and 50% parboilied mix. I don't think there would be a difference for diabetics.

                                      2. re: applehome

                                        Japanese (Japonica) rices like Cal-Rose are low amylose; Jasmine and other long grained rices are high amylose Indicas.

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          That's interesting - the Glucose Revolution lists Thai Jasmine as having a GI of 109, which is technically more than Glucose (indexed at 100). Even the Thai glutinous rice is lower - at 98. Jasmine is not listed under either low or high amylose rice, but under specialty rice, which just seems to be a collection of otherwise uncategorized rices. Koshihikari is listed under high amylose, with a GI of 48. Calrose is 83. The absolute highest is a rice from Turkey, at 139.

                                          Answering bkhuna - for me, having grown up in Japan, rice must stick together, not necessarily like glutinous rice, but with enough stickiness to form a nice ball, if you want to do so (like sushi or nigiri). Converted, or par-boiled American long-grain rice doesn't stick together. Also, rice must have flavor. Japanese rices, including medium grain cal-rose and short-grain koshihikari have a range of flavors - the best rices are very tasty, not enough to clash with your accompaniments, but great rice adds to the overall flavor, rather than simply being a blank, tasteless base. Uncle Ben's converted is tasteless and doesn't stick together - inedible, in my book. Basmati doesn't stick together, either, but it is very tasty and fits as an accompaniment to many dishes. Maybe I just haven't found the right dish to eat with converted rice.

                                          1. re: applehome

                                            Its not the convertedness that makes it not stick together---its the type of rice. In addition to not sticking together, Basmati rice makes lousy congee---it doesn't fall apart in that lovely smooth porridgey way that Chinese/Thai Japanese rice does.

                                            Rice is definitely a tastebud thing. While you may find Basmati rice very tasty--despite the lack of stickiness---my youngest pup [who spent 6 years eatting rice in Guangxi Aut Region] is positive it isn't even rice!!!! he doesn't know what it is but it isn't rice! We found this out the hard way when we made Basmati rice for an Indian meal. The future solution was to mix the Basmati rice with some Jasmine rice and cook them together. That gave us enough "sticky" to pass muster.

                                            1. re: jenn

                                              But is there such a thing as converted or par-boiled sticky rice? There's the fully cooked stuff in plastic packages in Asian stores, that you can heat by nuking or putting in a boiling pan of water. But I've never seen loose, in-a-box parboiled japonica or cal-rose rice, or anything that is of a sticky variety. I just can't help but think that the par-boiling process would affect the stickyness - there would always be some loss of starch in that first batch of water, which would not be available for the final cooking.

                                              If I'm going to buy into a shortcut, I'll use the fully cooked stuff. It's about as convenient as can be, and it's edible if you can get around the preservative taste that some of them have.

                                              1. re: applehome

                                                Indica and not Japonica rices arer parboiled.

                                            2. re: applehome

                                              Having lived in Japan for close to 11 years, I am also a lover of good quality Japanese rice. However, you can't make good gumbos and jambalayas with it. Converted rice is a wonder mechanism for absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients. That is why many chefs will call for converted rices in certain dishes.

                                        2. I have been using a combination of something called Five Grains rice and Long Life rice. These may not be rice at all, but a mixture of various whole grains, may include some brown rice.

                                          1. I've got basmati, arborio and Calasparra. I don't even know what the Calasparra is used for.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              I think the latter is used in paella ....

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Oh, riiiiight! NOW I remember -- I was taken in by a Williams-Sonoma promotion.

                                            2. Japanese sushi rice, Calrose rice, long grain, and brown. I also have extra short grain, 'sweet' Japanese rice. I love wild rice and basmati too and also have these from time to time in my cupboard.

                                              1. I also have japanese brown rice, japanese white rice, thai milagrosa, arborio, bomba rice, calrose, basmati and wild rice mix from Trader Joes (used for soups). Oh yes, there's also sweet sticky rice.

                                                1. My usual Japanese rice these days is Kagayaki brand for both white and haiga-mai (half-milled brown) rice. I've also been experimenting with some versions of sprouted brown rice I find at the Korean market. I haven't found the right proportion yet, but getting to be more health-conscious, I've been using a combination of two or three of these rices, along with some other grains, like spelt berry, which I really like for added texture and flavor.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: E Eto

                                                    I hadn't seen or even heard of sprouted brown rice other than being used as an ingredient in bread. I guess I never looked for it because I assumed it is perishable.

                                                    Two ingredients I love in brown rice, aothough not at the same time:

                                                    1) Amaranth! Takes a higher water/grain ratio than the rice.
                                                    2) Dried chestnuts. Reconstitute before cooking unless you break them up first.

                                                  2. I think all the abovementioned kinds have passed through my pantry at some point (except jade pearl..??), but I'm currently rebuilding my pantry stock after a move and only have the precooked vacuum-pack kind you get in Korean/Japanese markets, which is actually great. If you go to a major Korean market like in LA you can get brown or sprouted rice kinds, or rice with beans.

                                                    Was just at the local Mitsuwa today and noticed some brown rice that looked like it might have been partially polished... I had just been reading about this Japanese semi-polished (haigamai) rice in Saveur (which just did a big article on brown rice that breaks the mold) and wondered whether this was it. I think I'll go back and get some. The article also starts off with a rave for Massa Organics brown rice, available at the SF Ferry Building farmers market.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Cicely

                                                      Massa Organics brown rice is my main rice. It is brown rice ... taste-wise it is good but not ravable. I buy it mainly because I like their growing practices and they guy who runs the farm is a nice guy. However, I'll bet in a blind taste with another brown rice, Saveur couldn't tell which was which. For anyone in the Bay Area, it is also sold at the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers Market.

                                                      1. re: Cicely

                                                        Jade Pearl rice is a green rice

                                                        New - lovely, pale-green organic Jade Pearl Rice

                                                      2. Besides arborio and white jasmine, I have a couple pounds of Minnesota wild rice. I was meaning to make my mother's chicken wild rice soup all winter, but there it sits, in my cupboard.

                                                        1. Just led me to realize...my cupboard's about bare. I generally buy jasmine rice in five-pound bags, but I've run out and haven't been to the store where I can get it. Normally I have brown rice, too, just regular long-grained brown rice, but I used up the last of that a few nights ago; and I used up all of my regular plain old long-grained white rice the next night. I think I have some arborio in there, and I've got some weird short-grained brown rice that I bought quite awhile ago and my one and only attempt at cooking it was such an EPIC FAIL that I have been afraid to try again.

                                                          1. I too have lots of different rice varieties in my cupboard. One thing that I do is stock up when the New Crop rice comes in (seasonal). I seem to find New Crop rice more flavorful than the regular crop. Sam, can you explain the difference?

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: justagthing

                                                              Not quite sure what a New Crop means, but, for all rices:

                                                              The best flavor is obtained if rice is harvested when the grain ripens, the unhusked rice is dried to 14% moisture, milled and polished; and eaten soon after. Aromatic rices like Jasmines and Basmati provide more fragrance; and other rices are more flavorful if the time from field to bowl is kept relatively short.

                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                "New crop rice, the name designate for Anson Mills Carolina Gold, refers to rice that is milled and cooked within four months of harvest."

                                                                That being said you have to check the date on the bag. The bags that were marked 'new crop' in San Francisco at the end of the season are still sitting on the shelves of some markets many months after they were 'new'.

                                                                Sigh ... for the old days when hot posts worked and I could regularily catch interesting topics like the LA thread in the above link about new crop rice. Now all I catch is a few boards and topics that pop up in "In the Boards"?

                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                  Lao sticky rice harvested, dried to 14%, milled and cooked and eaten within a week--really the best!

                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                    rw...i will make sure to post when the new crops hit the store if you like. thanks for the info.

                                                                    1. re: justagthing

                                                                      Great! Thank you. I worry if you're getting any extra goodness if four months is the cutoff point.

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                        I'm not sure, but I do know that I prefer the bags labeled new crop, it just seems to be more flavorful.

                                                              2. Jasmine!Jasmine!Jasmine!

                                                                1. I think you have me beat, but not by much-
                                                                  japansese black
                                                                  short grain white
                                                                  long grain white
                                                                  sticky rice
                                                                  all for different cuisines marvelous stuff mmmmmm!

                                                                  1. I like this thread. It gave me an excuse to take inventory:

                                                                    20 lb. Basmati Rice (partial bag)
                                                                    20 lb. Thai Jasmine Rice
                                                                    5 lb. Scented Sweet Sticky Rice (Long Grain) from Thailand
                                                                    Arborio Rice
                                                                    Texmati Rice
                                                                    Buthanese Red Rice
                                                                    Purple Jasmine (Thai)
                                                                    Ruby Rice (Thai)
                                                                    Coral Rice
                                                                    Kalijira Rice (Bengal)
                                                                    Carnaroli Rice
                                                                    Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice
                                                                    and (2) boxes of Chicken Rice a Roni

                                                                    The only one I still have trouble cooking is the Thai Scented Sweet Sticky rice. I hear you need some kind of bamboo contraption to steam that properly after a long soak.

                                                                    1. all korean rice. My mother likes to eat "e chan ssal" and we also have korean sweet brown rice (sticky) and some korean purple rice that's added SPARINGLY to the white rice. Like a tsp of black rice to 3 cups of white rice. very tasty stuff

                                                                      1. Ok, I SHOULD know better than to ask this question on a topic where people are serious about rice ... and keep in mind that I have at least a half a dozen varieties in my cabinet from various whites, green, browns, mixed and blacks ...

                                                                        So I'm not looking for the answer 'so much easier and better to cook your own'.

                                                                        I was in the market today and noticed that Minute Rice now has microwavable individual serving rice cups that really DO take one minute ... you don't even need to add water ... just pull back the cover and zap for one minute ... brown, white, wild, saffron and chicken flavored.

                                                                        If you were at the office and wanted rice ... there it is ... in your desk to the microwave back to your desk.

                                                                        Anyone tried it?

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                          wow, saffron and wild as well...i haven't seen these in the market yet..but will keep my eyes out for them. sounds intriguing.

                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                            I haven't had the minute rice, but Japanese stores have had the same thing available for years, with Japanese style rice. Most of them are good - some do have a sort of chemical after taste probably from the preservative. But you could buy the S&B microwaveable packet of kare (Japanese curry) and the rice and have a kare rice in the break room. Or just bring some tsukemono and a slice or two of left over meat. I've always thought that rice is one of those things that is quite forgiving in terms of microwaving to reheat, so it makes sense that these packaged ones come out fine. I kept one for months with my emergency rations in the back of the desk drawer and when I finally ate it (with a can of kabayaki eel) it was fine. I'm not sure the guys working through the night with me appreciated the eel, though. Not a chowhound in the bunch...