I bet a lot of people, maybe half of the population, will agree with the line “Rice is Life”. Rice is a staple and has been a staple food source for many Asian countries like China, Japan, India and of course, Philippines. It’s already been a part of our daily lives. We often utter “hindi ako nabusog, kasi walang kanin” and most can relate without judgement.
Often times we settle for the usual white rice, but in this article, we aim to inform and educate you, our dear readers, about the different types of rice, its length and shape, texture, color and the health benefit it goes with.
Length and Shape
There are three varieties of rice; long grain, medium grain, or short grain rice.
Long Grain Rice - This rice has milled grains that are slim and lengthy and at least three to four times as long as they are wide. Due to its starch composition, it has firm, dry texture when cooked. Goes with salads, too.
Medium Grain Rice - Medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel about two to three times longer than it is wide compared to the long grain rice.It is characterized by its moist and chewy grains that sticks together when cooked.
Short Grain Rice - Shoutout to all sushi lovers. This is the short and sticky rice you enjoy every time your chow your fave sushi.
There are people who don’t mind the texture of their rice, because as for them, “rice is rice”, however, there are also a lot who minds. If you’re the latter then here’s a fast fact:
Sticky Rice - also called sweet rice or waxy rice grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is used in many traditional Asian dishes, desserts, and sweets. It becomes sticky to some degree when cooked.
Parboiled Rice - (also called converted rice) is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. This “rough” rice has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling that drives nutrients, especially thiamine -- 80% nutritionally similar to brown rice.
Brown is the natural color of rice after being harvested. Once the bran is removed, the color changes to white. Other colors like, red, black and purple all feature unique pigmentation in the bran.
White Rice - or polished rice 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 healthful rice still has the side hull and bran, thus the color. The side hulls and brans provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
Black Rice- also known as forbidden rice, it possesses nutty taste, and chewy texture. Recent research discovered that the bran layer of black rice contains a surfeit of anthocyanins.
For us Filipinos, as long as there’s a good amount of rice, any viand will suffice. We can do countless of recipes to make our daily rice bowl more appetizing and exciting. Hashtag relate, right? So we hope these fast facts help you as you explore the world of rice! :)