How rice is classified, as well as how it's best cooked, depends mainly on the length of the grain.
Long and slender with a length that's four to five times its width. Because its grains stay separate, light and fluffy, it's perfect as a side dish.
Short and plump; only slightly longer than it is wide. Its moist grains stick together when cooked and stay tender even at room temperature.
Falls somewhere between long and short, with grains about twice as long as they are wide.
This is the most popular method, using a set amount of rice and a set amount of water, for a set amount of time. By the time the water is absorbed, the rice should be tender.
This is usually the preferred method for cooking sticky and clinging rices. Rice is soaked, drained and put in a steaming basket set over a pot or wok of boiling water and cooked by steam alone, without the rice ever touching the boiling liquid.
In this method, the rice is cooked much like pasta. Though this may sound appealingly easy and foolproof, it actually requires almost as much attention as does the absorption method. The rice is sprinkled into a large pot of boiling salted water, then stirred often to prevent sticking. When tender, it is thoroughly drained, then rinsed quickly to halt cooking. Sticky and clinging rices do not do well with this method, but many other varieties do fine.
|Rice||Characteristics||Grain to Liquid||Basic Cooking Method|
|Arborio Rice |
|Soft and creamy. Best used in risotto recipes.||1 cup to 3/4 cups||After an initial toasting of the grains in butter or oil, liquid (usually broth) is added gradually as rice is stirred to create a rich almost saucelike result.|
(white imported and brown)
|A long-grain, highly aromatic, hulled rice from India. Usually aged for a year to develop its full flavor.||White: 1 cup to 1-1/2 cups|
Brown: 1 cup to 2 cups
|Soak and rinse rice for 30 minutes. Simmer white basmati 15 minutes. Simmer brown 45 minutes.|
|Brown Rice (long grain)||Tends to remain separate and fluffy when cooked. Great for pilafs, rice salads and paella.||1 cup to 2 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|
|Brown Rice (medium grain)||Similar to long grain, but stickier. Great with stir-fries and curries.||1 cup to 2 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|
|Brown Rice (short grain)||A sticky, chewy rice; very good in sushi and puddings.||1 cup to 2-1/4 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|
|Brown Rice (sweet)||Very sticky. It is what mochi and amasake are made from.||1 cup to 2 cups||Simmer 50 minutes.|
|Forbidden Rice||A nutty-tasting black rice, imported from China. Soft textured; purple when cooked.||1 cup to 2 cups||Simmer 30 minutes.|
|Jasmine Rice (white or brown)||An aromatic, long-grain rice similar to basmati. The perfect accompaniment to Thai curries.||White: 1 cup to 1-3/4 cups|
Brown: 1 cup to 2 cups
|Simmer white rice for 15 minutes.|
Simmer brown rice for 45 minutes.
|Kalijira Rice (white)||A long-grain rice but on a miniature scale. Sometimes called baby basmati, these tiny grains are nutty and aromatic and cook up quickly.||1 cup to 1-1/2 cups||Rinse well. Simmer 10-15 minutes.|
|Lundberg Countrywild||Long-grain brown rice, blended with Wehani and Black Japonica rices; delicious as a side dish.||1 cup to 2 cups||Rinse rice and simmer 45 minutes.|
|Purple Sticky Rice||Used as a sweet dessert rice.||1 cup to 2 cups Rinse well.||Bring to a boil (no salt), cover and simmer for 40 minutes.|
|Red Rice||Imported from Bhutan; has a nutty taste and pink color when cooked.||1 cup to 1/2 cups||Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.|
|Sushi Rice (white)||Medium grain, chewy and sticky||1 cup to 1 cup||Rinse and drain several times until water runs clear. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.|
|Texmati Rice (brown)||A cross between basmati and long-grain American rice. Delightfully nutty, fragrant rice.||Great plain, with curried vegetables or seafood, or use in stuffings.||1 cup to 2 cups Simmer 15-20 minutes.|
|Texmati Rice (white)||A cross between basmati and long-grain American rice. Fluffier and milder in flavor and aroma than imported basmati.||1 cup to 1-3/4 cups||Simmer 15-18 minutes.|
|Wehani Rice (red rice)||A long-grain rice, but on a miniature scale. Sometimes called baby basmati, these tiny grains are nutty and aromatic and cook up quickly.||1 cup to 2 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|
|Wild Rice||Technically an aquatic grass seed, delightfully chewy and full-flavored, it's popular in grain mixes, soups and salads.||1 cup to 3 cups||Rinse well. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer strongly for 45 minutes.|
|Wild and Brown Rice||20% lake-harvested wild rice and 80% long-grain brown rice||1 cup to 3 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|
|Wild Rice Blend||Made from long-grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, Wehani, Japonica and wild rice.||1 cup to 3 cups||Simmer 45 minutes.|