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Jun 14, 2012 10:18 AM

Which White Rice is "White Rice"?

I'm making a beans and rice meal tonight, and I realized this morning that I really don't know what kind of rice to use. I soaked the beans and am cooking them now (simply with onion and oregano). I'm going to use the bean broth to make a White Rice with Black Bean Broth (D. Madison's recipe). The recipe calls for "white rice." I have Basmati, Arborio, and Sushi rice. I guess all of these are 'specialty' rices, and non of them are really what I think of when I think of beans and rice. Should I use one of these or go buy something else? If so, what?


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  1. Go out and buy some medium or long grain white rice. I"d use the long grain.
    Arborio rice (Italian short-grain rice) has firm grains and is chewy. Use if for risotto or puddings.
    Basmati rice is a long grain variety with a fragrance and flavor that I don't think you'd want to include in black beans and rice.
    Sushi rice is a short grain rice that cooks up rather sticky. It's given special handling (multiple washing cycle) for sushi preparation - I wouldn't use it for black beans and rice.
    All that said, if you decide not to run out and get some other rice, the Basmati would probably work out the best based on the selection you have on hand.
    Some Cuban black beans and rice recipes use Basmati rice.

    1. typically a long-grain white (polished) rice is used. I'd use the Basmati--it won't be authentic NO, but it will probably taste great. Arborino would be too mushy, and sushi is short or med grain; might be too firm.

      1. Generally when a recipe (in the USA) calls for white rice, that means long grain white rice.

        Of the specialty rices you listed, I would the Basmati if you don't want to buy long grain rice. Also, if it's a "Southern" beans and rice recipe. The white rice would also imply converted white rice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dave_c

          If I see a recipe that calls for white rice I would typically use American long grain rice.

        2. I use basmati rice whenever a recipe calls for "white rice." I like the flavor much more than a generic medium or long grain white rice.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mangiare24

            Same here. Basmati can be used just about anywhere you would use regular white rice and in fact will make most dishes even better. Certainly better than any 'converted' rice, like Uncle Ben's.

            And yes...Basmati rice makes AWSOME beans and rice.

            1. re: The Professor

              I served basmati the last time that I made gumbo and I prefer the taste over American long grain.

              I am wondering if I am the only person who thinks that it is easier to properly cook basmati (and jasmine) than white rice?

              1. re: Kelli2006

                "I am wondering if I am the only person who thinks that it is easier to properly cook basmati (and jasmine) than white rice?"

                I have better success with basmati and jasmine than I do with something like a Carolina medium or long grain rice. Not sure why though. Plus the basmati and the jasmine have a much better taste. I can easily eat either of those with just a bit of butter, salt & pepper.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  From what I understand, basmati rice has less starch than regular long grain rice.

                  I've cooked basmati using the 1 to 1.5 ratio as I would long grain and both turn out nicely. However, some basmati packages suggest 1 to 2.5 ratio which seems like a lot of water.

              2. Thanks for the info. I may pick up and try some generic long grain rice, but for tonight I used the basmati, and it was fantastic! I tend to prefer basmati as my go-to rice, and it didn't disappoint. I do want to try the more authentic option sometime though, so thanks all!