All About Rice

All About Rice

Get to know common varieties of rice and how to cook them to bring out their flavor.


By: Pete Mentrek

Wholesome, inexpensive and versatile, rice makes for a delicious base to embellish and serve as a side dish or main course. Discover all you need to know about five common types and how to prepare them.

Jasmine
White in color, jasmine rice is a long-grain variety of rice used in Thai and other Asian cuisines. It’s slightly nutty in flavor and has a rich aroma. Find it in the rice section of grocery stores.

Arborio
Named after the town in northern Italy where it’s grown, Arborio rice is a short-grain, rounded variety. It remains firm and chewy when cooked, which makes it perfect for risotto recipes. Check for it in the international aisle of grocery stores.

Wild
Dark in color, wild rice is a long-grain variety with a firm exterior and chewy interior. The name comes from the harvesting process where the grain is removed from wild-grown grasses. You can find it at most every grocery store.

Red
Red rice is a long-grain variety that gets its name from the color of the outer shell — which is left on. It has a high nutritional value, nutty flavor and can be found at many organic and health food stores.

Basmati
Similar to jasmine rice in flavor and texture, basmati rice is a staple in cuisine in India and the Middle East. Find it in the international aisle of grocery stores.

How to Cook Rice
Boiling is the most common way to cook rice. Generally, use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Boil the water, add rice, cover and simmer. Cooked rice should be firm but tender and no longer crunchy. Depending on the rice, it can be slightly sticky, but shouldn’t be gummy. Continuously check the rice after half the cooking time has elapsed. Add more liquid if it seems low.

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Boiling Times

  • White rice varieties: 18-25 minutes
  • Brown/black rice varieties: 30-35 minutes
  • Wild rice: 35-40 minutes
  • Red rice: 40-45 minutes

Tip: Cook Arborio rice by slowly adding liquid while stirring it for 20-30 minutes. This results in a creamy, soft final version.

How to Store Rice

  • Store uncooked rice in sealed containers for up to six months.
  • Keep it in a cool, dry and dark place.
  • Cooked rice can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Reheating Rice
To reheat rice, add the cooked rice to a bowl with a few tablespoons of water in it. Cover it with plastic wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes. The steam helps bring back the original texture.

Use rice as a side dish to create a truly hearty meal for the family. Rice goes great with almost anything, so don’t be afraid to experiment.



After serving as a professional chef for over a decade, Pete decided to share his tips and tricks from professional kitchens with you the reader. He specializes in guides and tutorials that make unknown ingredients less daunting.

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