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What are the Different Types of Rice?

Rice is probably one of the most consumed foods around the globe. It is nutritious and filling and is part of the daily diet for half of the world. It can be used in a dozen of recipes because of the many kinds of rice available in the market. Here’s a list of different types of rice, in an attempt to help you expand your diet beyond the typical white rice.

  • Parboiled Rice

Parboiled rice also known as processed rice or converted rice, takes a little longer to cook than white rice and is golden in color. Parboiled rice, compared to regular white rice has a slightly fuller flavor. The grains of this rice will remain separate though, even after overcooking.  It goes well with rice salads and can be used in place of long grain rice.

  • Basmati Rice

Mainly found in Pakistan and India, Basmati rice is long grain rice that has a very distinct flavor. This rice gets its flavor through aging, after harvesting it is aged for about one year. Moreover, it is also known as one of the finest quality white rice. Since it is found in South Asia, it is typically used in curries. Upon cooking, the grains are fluffy and separate. It is usually cooked with spices which enhance the grain’s flavor even further.

  • Black Rice

Black rice aka emperor’s rice or forbidden rice was a food that was exclusively fed to emperors in China. This medium-grain rice is high in antioxidants (that’s why the color) and a good source of protein. It is tender outside and has a chewy outer layer and a nutty flavor. This flavorful grain is typically used in Asian cuisine. 

  • Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is another aromatic rice that originates from Thailand. It is long grain rice and upon cooking has a slightly sticky texture. It goes well with the Caribbean and East Asian dishes. You have probably had it with Jamaican jerk chicken or Thai curries. It is hands down, one of the most popular kinds of white rice used around the world. 

  • Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is a Japanese, short grain that is used for typically sushi, as the name suggests. It’s very sticky, which makes it perfect for all kinds of sushi rolls. Moreover, this rice can also be used like normal white rice if you are not in the mood for sushi. Sure, it will be sticky but the stickiness is not enough to make you want to not eat it.

  • Paella Rice

Paella rice originates from the Spanish region of Valencia and is used in paella- the traditional Spanish dish. The medium grains of this Spanish variety are white. It’s short-grain rice, high in starch and upon cooking it is moist and tender. It can absorb a lot of liquid; therefore it is ideal for stuffing, soups, and stews as well.

  • White Rice

This list would be incomplete without mentioning the most common type of rice- white rice. It is long-grain rice that might be the most versatile rice. Moreover, compared to brown rice, the way it’s processed causes it to lose a lot of nutritional value. Despite that, its simplicity is the reason behind it being so famous. It can be used in any recipe and is easy to cook.

  • Arborio rice

Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain that is often used for risotto since over slow cooking it absorbs flavor and liquid. It has a black dot in its center. Moreover, it has high starch content and upon cooking, it is wonderfully creamy. It has a chewy core and holds shape very well while cooking; therefore it is perfect for making fried rice ball.

  • Brown Rice

Brown rice is available in both long and short-grain varieties. It can replace white rice in any recipe. It is full of nutrients like fiber, mineral, and vitamins that is why it is famous for being the healthier option. Moreover, brown rice has a nutty flavor and when cooked have a chewy texture. Upon cooking, the grains take longer to soften and are separate.


Here is a guide about the different kinds of rice to help you get started. From the above list, you can make out that no two types of rice the same and that there is rice for every occasion. Rice is great for every meal and fits every recipe.

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