Get Into The Grain Of It

Everyone at Yum Asia loves rice, and chances are, you do too. It can be a perfect side dish to so many things, but can also serve as the base of a full meal. You can flavour it in an almost infinite number of ways, or enjoy its inherent grainy perfume. However, there are numerous types of rice to start with, and staring down bags and boxes of white, brown, jasmine, basmati, sticky, and so on can be overwhelming. So we have created this guide to the different kinds of rice and how they can be cooked in our rice cookers.

Rice is a daily staple for nearly half of the world’s 7.8 billion people according to the International Rice Research Institute. The majority of it is consumed in Asia but it is now strongly trending upwards in other countries, including the UK, Europe and the U.S. It’s gluten-free (yes, even “glutinous” rice) and simple to cook if you know the basic varieties and have a good quality rice cooker in your kitchen. So refer to the below and go ahead and eat more rice because, let's face it, 3 billion people can’t be wrong!

The Four Characteristics Of Rice

1. Length and Shape

Rice is often characterized as one of three varieties – long grain, medium grain, or short grain rice. These varieties refer to the length and shape of the grain. Simply speaking, long grain rice will have a longer cylindrical shape, whereas short grain rice will be shorter and wider.

Long Grain Rice

This rice has milled grains that are at least three to four times as long as they are wide. Due to its starch composition, it is separate, light and fluffy when cooked.

Medium Grain Rice

When compared to long grain rice, medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel. Since the cooked grains are more moist and tender than long grain rice, the rice has a greater tendency to stick together.

Short Grain Rice

Featuring grains that are less than twice as long as they are wide, this rice is short and best for sushi. It has a sticky texture when cooked.

2. Colour

Rice is naturally brown after harvesting, but once the nutrient-rich outer layer of bran is removed, it is white in colour. Red rice, black rice, and purple rice all feature unique pigmentation in the bran. For these colorful rice varieties, the bran layer usually remains for added visual appeal and added nutritional value.

Polished Rice​

The term “polished” simply refers to white rice that has had its outer brown layer of bran and germ removed. Rice that has shed its bran layers can also be referred to as "milled rice."​

Brown Rice​

This healthy rice sheds its outer husk and retains its bran and germ layers that give it a characteristic tan colour. Though brown rice takes a little longer to cook than white rice, the nutrient-dense layers are rich in vitamins and minerals.​

Forbidden Rice​

High in nutritional value, this rice is also known as black rice and has a mild nutty flavor. Slightly sticky when cooked, it is used in a variety of Chinese or Thai dishes, including Chinese black rice cake and mango sticky rice. Mix it with white rice, and it also adds colour to any rice pilaf or rice bowl.

Wild Rice

These grains are harvested from the genus Zizania of grasses. High in protein, wild rice adds a colourful, exotic flair to any rice dish. Serve it with stir frys, mushroom soups, or casseroles for something new.

3. Aroma

Aroma is another factor to consider when cooking with rice. Certain rice varieties give off pleasing fragrances while being cooked. Add a sensory element to your guests’ dining experience with these rice types.

Basmati Rice

A type of long-grain rice that is popular among Indian cuisine and other ethnic dishes. Cooked basmati rice imparts a subtle nutty or popcorn-like flavor and aroma.

Jasmine Rice

Sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice, is a type of long grain rice with a long kernel and slightly sticky texture when cooked. Use it to infuse a subtle jasmine flavor and aroma into your dishes.

4. Texture

When cooking rice dishes, you’ll want to think about the desired texture of the rice. The starch content varies from rice type to rice type. It will affect whether rice is sticky or light and fluffy.

Sticky Rice

Also known as sweet rice, sticky rice is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is used in many traditional Asian dishes, desserts, and sweets. When cooked, sticky rice is especially sticky and is often ground into rice flour.

Parboiled Rice

This “rough” rice has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling that gelatinises the starch in the grain. This process produces a more separate grain that is light and fluffy when cooked. Converted rice is a type of parboiled rice that has been further pre-cooked, which ultimately allows you to whip up dishes of rice even faster but should never be used in a rice cooker!!

EASY OR PARBOILED RICE

IMPORTANT NOTE

Parboiled rice (also called converted rice and easy cook rice) is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk and is NOT suitable for use in any of our rice cookers. As this rice is already partly cooked (and not pure uncooked raw grains) they do not work with our fuzzy logic rice cookers. This type of rice should only be used for rapid boiling or microwave cooking which, in our opinion, destroys the characteristics of rice that makes it so tasty!

The Different Types Of Rice

The Long Grains

Jasmine White Rice

Jasmine rice, from Thailand, has long, translucent grains. When cooked, it has a seductive, slightly floral aroma and a soft, clingy texture. It should be washed before cooking to remove excess starch.

IDEAL FOR: Curry, stir-fry dishes, and other Thai and Asian cuisine

RICE COOKER SETTING: Long Grain, White Rice or Yumami

Basmati White Rice

Basmati, the predominant rice in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, is marked by its extra-long grains and  subtly nutty fragrance and flavor.

IDEAL FOR: Dal, curry, Pilau (saffron rice)

RICE COOKER SETTING: Long Grain, White Rice or Yumami

Standard Long Grain

American type long-grain white rice is the most familiar rice in western kitchens. During cooking water gets completely absorbed by the rice for a dry, fluffy texture with distinct grains.

IDEAL FOR: General purpose dishes

RICE COOKER SETTING: Long Grain, White Rice or Yumami

Brown Long Grain

American type long-grain brown rice is the whole-grain version of  its white counterpart—that is to say, the bran and germ layers are left intact, giving the rice a nutty, grainy flavor and a chewy bite.

IDEAL FOR: General Purpose

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown Rice or GABA

The Medium And Short Grains

White Sushi Rice

Japanese-style rice is used for sushi, but also served plain as a finish to a typical meal. It’s slightly translucent when raw, and firm but a bit sticky when cooked (but don’t confuse it with Japanese sticky rice, used for the sweets called mochi).

IDEAL FOR: Sushi, Seafood, Japanese dishes

RICE COOKER SETTING: Short Grain (or white setting if no short grain)

Bomba White Rice

Bomba is the rice of choice for the Spanish classic paella. It absorbs up to twice as much liquid as long-grain rice, but without getting sticky, like short-grain rice.  

IDEAL FOR: Spanish dishes

RICE COOKER SETTING: Short Grain (or white setting if no short grain)

Arborio White RIce

Arborio rice is the most widely available variety of Italian superfino rice, used to make risotto (the other types include carnaroli and vialone nano). All of them have plump grains and a high proportion of amylopectin, a type of sticky starch that’s responsible for the trademark creamy texture of risotto.

IDEAL FOR: Risotto, rice pudding

RICE COOKER SETTING: Short Grain (or white setting if no short grain)

Short Grain Brown Rice

Short-grain brown rice, like other short-grained varieties, has a higher level of amylopectin, making it slightly sticky. The intact bran gives it more chew than white short-grain rice.

IDEAL FOR: Sushi, healthier sushi

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown rice or GABA

The Speciality Grains

Wehani Rice

Wehani rice is a whole-grain, reddish-brown American hybrid of basmati and long-grain brown rice. Its intense chew and deep colour make it popular for mixing with other rices in a pilaf.

IDEAL FOR: Pilaf, rice mixing for colour

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown or GABA

Kalijira Rice

Kalijira rice is a medium-grain rice from the Bengal region of India, often called “baby basmati” because of its diminutive size. It makes an intriguing alternative to basmati in a pilaf.

IDEAL FOR: Vegetables, fish and light meals

RICE COOKER SETTING: Long grain or white rice

Wild Rice

Not true rice but actually the seed of a grass native to North America. Despite the name, most “wild” rice sold in supermarkets today is actually cultivated (though truly wild rice can be found at specialty stores). The long grains are deeply chewy, and add interest to pilafs and plain cooked rice varieties.

IDEAL FOR: Variety of foods such as dressings, casseroles, soups, salads, and desserts.

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown or GABA

Chinese Black Rice

Chinese black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is increasingly available in specialty stores and even supermarkets. It’s a whole-grain rice that cooks up firm, non-sticky, and tender. Its dramatic colour (deep purple when cooked) makes it a particularly striking side dish or pilaf..

IDEAL FOR: Porridge, dessert, traditional Chinese black rice cake, bread, and noodles

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown or GABA 

Glutinous Rice

In the sense of being glue-like or sticky, and not in the sense of containing gluten (which it does not). Often called “sticky rice can come in short or long grain lengths

IDEAL FOR: Desserts, Mango sticky rice and many asian dishes

RICE COOKER SETTING: Short or Long grain depending

Thai Rice Berry

Riceberry rice entered the Thai rice market over ten years ago and is well known for its distinctive appearance, nutritional value and numerous health benefits

IDEAL FOR: High nutrition, very healthy, new grain for use in Thai dishes

RICE COOKER SETTING: Brown or GABA

More Grains To Be Added

We only add what we see as the most popular or important grains to this section. If you feel a grain is missing then let us know for our consideration.

Thank you

Yum Asia Thai rice mill
Yum Asia rice getting inspected
Yum Asia rice quality control
PREMIUM AND CAREFULLY SELECTED

About Our Rice

Why Choose Yum Asia Brand?

WE DON'T CHOOSE ANY OLD RICE

For each grain chosen we test for aroma, taste, texture, shape, purity, ethical harvesting and much more...

GENEROUS PROPORTIONS

We simply don't do small portions. For example, the most popular rice we have is packaged in generous resealable 5kg pillow bags.

GOOD IN PANS - BETTER IN RICE COOKERS!

Picked to work well in saucepans but cooks amazingly in good rice cookers.

FULLY COMPLIANT

Rice is only chosen if it acheives the correct grade and meets various certifications such as GMP, GHP, HACCP international standards.

ONLY THE BEST PADDIES AND MILLS

Where our rice originates

Thailand, Pakistan and Vietnam

Our rice is grown in either Roi et, in North Eastern Thailand (Jasmine and Riceberry) ,  Pakistan at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range (Basmati rice) or the finest paddy fields of Vietnam (Koshihikari). All our growing areas are prime grounds for growing their own respective speciality grains and are world renowned.

Yum Asia rice paddies
Himalayan water feeding Yum Asia rice paddies
Yum Asia rice paddies

The Popular Grains

Here is a summary of the more commonly eaten rice

White Jasmine Rice

Our number 1 selling white rice. This versatile long grain rice is often used in Asian dishes with it's inoffensive fragrant jasmine aroma, great medium fluffy but firm texture beautiful taste. The very best variety is known as Hom Mali jasmine rice.

Brown Jasmine Rice

With a more chewy bite long grain brown rice is a healthier alternative to white jasmine rice. More nutty and grainy in taste and texture the Hom Mali jasmine variety is the tastiest you can buy.

White Basmati Rice

Largely used in central Asian cuisine this very long grain (often over 6.5mm) is the ideal rice compliment to Indian curries. It's simple faintly nutty often earthy taste works so well with spices that you won't want to stop eating.

Brown-rice-background

Riceberry Rice

A relative newcomer to rice markets and cuisine this berry coloured firecracker of a grain is full of flavour, nutritional value and health benefits. Can be mixed with normal white rice for a unique (and pretty) combination.

Sticky Rice

Also known as glutinous rice this can be short or long grain. Used in Asian dishes fabulous desserts such as mango sticky rice it's slight aroma is really unique.

Short Grain (Sushi Rice)

Shorter and fatter plump grains which is commonly used to make Sushi rice due to it's stickier texture due to higher amounts of amylopectin.

Note that sushi rice is not actually a rice - it's just a way of cooking and preparing short grain rice.

Hands Removing Ninja Bowl From White Sakura

Tips for cooking perfect rice

There are many different ways to cook rice. Some are better than others. Check out our advice for great tasting rice every time.

Use a good rice cooker

Whilst not essential a good rice cooker with fuzzy logic technology does more than simply boil the rice. It steams, braises and other cooking techniques to achieve optimal taste, texture and aroma.

Use a saucepan but do it right

The most common method of cooking rice is the boiling method in a saucepan. Often a lot of nutrients are lost in this method but if the process involves some steaming then the results can be satisfactory

Use good quality rice

Use a good quality grain which doesn't have many broken grains. If using a rice cooker choose the right function for the rice you are cooking. Do not use pre-cooked rice.

Wash your rice if needed

Not all rice needs washing but if your rice is particularly starchy then run through cold water using a sieve or similar until the water runs more clear.

Use the right amount of water

Different rice types require different amounts of water. This amount is also determined by the amount of rice you are cooking. You can either use rice cooker bowl level lines to assist with this or try work out the ratio of rice to water yourself.

Leave to rest

When finished cooking in either a pan or a rice cooker remove the cover, gently stir the rice to release excess moisture and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Leaving on keep warm in a rice cooker with the lid shut after stirring works best.

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Tips / Tricks

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