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Jan 4, 2014 10:20 AM

Rice - which type and where?

Hi all,

Expanding on the recently renewed rice cooker thread, what type of rice do you buy and where do you usually buy it? I am just a few cups away from finishing my rice bag and wanted to get some recommendations.

For the past few years, I've been buying Japanese/Korean type rice (if that's the right way to refer to it). I often buy Kokuho Rose or Rhee Chun and usually get it from Galleria. They have so many different types of that style and at such a wide range of price points. Is there much difference between the $20 bag or the $30 bag?

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  1. I think it depends what you are doing with the rice. If you're having it with Asian foods then you'll probably want something similar to Jasmine rice, which is fairly sticky (if not rinsed) and has a nice aroma for eating plain on the side. If you're having it with Indian food like curry, or if you're making Biryani, you'd usually want Basmati rice, which is longer grain and less sticky. If you're making Italian risotto, you need a starchy shorter grained rice like Arborio.

    Beyond that, there are a million varieties so it probably depends on what you like. If you're in an experimental mood check out Rube's Rice at the St. Lawrence Market, Rube is gone (RIP) but they still have a vast selection of rices so you can just buy small quantities in bulk to try out without obligating to a $20 bag up front.

    1. I have a $10 bag of Calrose from Food Basics, with very good flavor. It's my goto, and good enough to serve with sashimi.
      The brand is Royal MRRM packed by Daisy.
      Kokuho Rose is supposed to be the best Calrose clone , but there is a lot of Calrose in California, and not much difference unless you are fussy sushi chef.

      1. Although I don't use a rice cooker, I've asked the same question in many forms, and many times in Toronto.

        I've even asked many "mom / grandma types" (I mean that in a very nice way, since I thought they should know) while they were grabbing large bags of rice from the monstrous walls of rice at some of the large Asian markets. I'm still searching for a great rice however ...

        Botan Calrose from California seems to be a fav, but I found the flavor is just meh.

        Hope someone can help us out !

        PS I think the cooking technique is just as important as the rice. Rinsed, then stove top cooked makes for a great texture.

        PPS The best tasting rice I've been making has been a Thai Jasmine, even tastier than Elephant 817 basmati, and WAY better than any sticky rice I've made.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PoppiYYZ

          Hi Poppi, which Thai Jasmine do you use?

          1. re: smfan

            Milagrosa Jasmine from the Asian Market on the south side of Dundas St E, just east of Cawthra. Should be widely available though.

            A friend's thai girlfriend (I ask everyone what there favorite rice is) gave me a bag of Rose Brand Thai Jasmine and it is pretty good too. Not sure where she got it in TO though.

        2. Basmati is my go-to rice. Tilda or 817, available in Indian grocery stores in big bags and I think Loblaws sells Tilda in smaller bags.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hal2010

            +1 for Tilda white basmati. I stock up when it's on sale. I also use Tilda brown basmati when I can find it.

          2. I used to buy the Calrose from Nishiki brand. Have switched to Koshihikari lately will try the Sasanishiki next time around.
            Source has been J-Town for Nozomi brand for Koshihikari. Just luv the texture and feel of individual grain as have started to appreciate it. If you like you can try the T&T Koshihikari as it is a big step up from other generic variety of rice and somewhat reasonable (18$ if I recall).
            Have my eyes on Yamazaki Brand for the next batch of ultra premium rice.
            I do have a half decent rice cooker from Tiger.
            Growing up on Basmati rice hardly anything sold here excites me regardless of the price point. Some premium varieties are sold locally if you know someone who produces it in the subcontinent (almost 100% export to the middle east region) as otherwise you can't even buy them in the region they are grown due to high price point not sustainable locally(local variety was referred to as the flamingo variety of Basmati)