Bean Guide

There are so many varieties of rice, you can have a different kind every night of the week. Asian lore says that rice calms the nerves, banishes depression and strengthens the internal organs. It's also an important part of a low-fat diet, so break out your rice-cooker. Our guide comes from FoodFit founder and CEO Ellen Haas' book, Great Adventures in Food.

Rice


Basmati
Black
Carolina
Converted
Della
Enriched
Instant

Jasmine
Long-Grain (Brown)
Long-Grain (White)
Louisiana Pecan
Medium-Grain (Brown)
Medium-Grain (White)
Risotto

Short-Grain (brown)
Short-Grain (white)
Sticky
Sushi
Texmati
Wild Rice
 

 

Basmati

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Looks and Taste
This aromatic long grain rice from India and Pakistan has slender, fragrant grains and a nutty flavor. Available in white or brown; brown basmati has more fiber, a stronger flavor, and takes twice as long to cook as white.

Dehra Dun is considered the best basmati, because of where it's grown in Southeast Asia

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Wash the rice in cold water to remove dirt and prevent stickiness. Simmer 1 part rice in 1 1/2 parts salted water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Best Uses
Delicious as a side dish, especially with Indian and Middle Eastern meals, because the grains remain tender, separate and firm even when cooked through.

Recipes
Basmati Rice

 

Black

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Looks and Taste
A type of sticky rice from Indonesia and the Philippines that looks like wild rice and has a nutty flavor.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber.

Easy Cooking
Soak in cold water for 8 hours then cook with an equal weight of water for 12 minutes; leave to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Best Uses
Its nutty flavor is appreciated in puddings and cakes.

 

Carolina

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Looks and Taste
Long-grain white rice from South Carolina that becomes slightly sticky when cooked.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Rinse the rice. Bring 1 part rice and 1 1/2 parts salted liquid to a boil. Cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Best Uses
Good for Italian-style risotto and puddings.

Recipes
Rick Bayless's Tomato, Rice and Beef Casserole

 

Converted (a.k.a. parboiled)

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Looks and Taste
Resembles long-grain white rice, but it's steamed and cooked before milling. Cooks to a fluffy but firm texture.

Nutrition Information
It's enriched to become an excellent source of thiamin and folate and a good source of niacin and iron.

Easy Cooking
Don't rinse. Bring 1 part rice and 2 parts salted liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
An all-purpose rice.

Recipes
Rice Pilaf
Golden Rice Pilaf

 

Della

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Looks and Taste
An aromatic long-grain rice from America, it cooks to a dry, fluffy texture. Nutty taste and an aroma like roasted nuts or popcorn.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 2 parts salted liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Recipes
Steamed Rice

 

Enriched

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Looks and Taste
Long polished kernels with a coating containing nutrients lost during milling.

Nutrition Information

This rice compensates for what's lost in the milling of white rice by having nutrients added back in the form of a coating. It has no fiber, however.

Easy Cooking
Don't rinse. Cooking method depends on type of rice used.

Recipes
Susan Spicer's Jambalaya

 

Instant (pre-cooked)

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Looks and Taste
Cooks to a fluffy texture; very bland in flavor.

This rice has been completely cooked then dehydrated.

Nutrition Information
Good source of folate.

Easy Cooking
Don't rinse. Just before eating, a given quantity of boiling liquid is poured over the rice to re-hydrate it.

Best Uses
A nice addition to stews and salads.

 

Jasmine

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Looks and Taste
This aromatic long-grain rice is from America; if its from Thailand it's called Thai Jasmine. Cooks to a soft, slightly clingy texture. Has a slightly floral aroma.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Soak the rice. Bring 1 part rice, 3 parts liquid to a boil; Simmer, covered for 20 - 25 minutes, or until rice has absorbed the liquid.

Best Uses
Used in many Asian dishes, especially Thai and Vietnamese. Also good when a relatively sweet side dish is needed, such as for pork or fruit-glazed poultry.

Recipes
Classic Thai Fried Rice
Jasmine Rice

 

Long-Grain (brown)

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Looks and Taste
Golden, whole, unpolished grain with bran intact. Chewy, with a firm texture and nutty flavor.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of magnesium, and a good source of copper, fiber, iron, niacin, phosphorus, thiamin and vitamin B6

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 2 1/2 parts salted liquid to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Soaking the rice overnight cuts the cooking time in half.

Best Uses
Delicious with curried vegetables or as a stuffing for pork chops. Makes an excellent pilaf, side dish, or salad.

Recipes
Basic Brown Rice

 

Long-Grain (white)

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Looks and Taste
Long, polished kernels. Bland and somewhat firm in texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 2 parts salted liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
Grains stay separate and fluffy after cooking, so it works well as a side dish or as a bed for sauces. Also great in soup, salads, and pilafs.

Recipes
Red Rice
Green Rice & Shrimp
Festive Rice Salad

 

Louisiana Pecan/ Wild Pecan

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Looks and Taste
This long-grain rice is grown only in the bayou country of southern Louisiana. It's similar in flavor to basmati, but the flavor suggests pecans. A nutty flavor and rich aroma.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron, niacin and thiamin.

Easy Cooking
Rinse rice. Bring 1 part rice and 1 1/4 parts salted liquid to a boil; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
Delicious as a side dish, especially with Indian and Middle Eastern meals, because the grains remain tender, separate and firm even when cooked through.

Recipes
Louisiana Pecan Rice

 

Medium-Grain (brown)

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Looks and Taste
Short, plump kernel but less dense than short-grain. Moist, tender texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of magnesium, and a good source of fiber, niacin, thiamin and vitamin B6

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 2 parts salted liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
An all-purpose rice used in soups, side dishes, and salads.

Recipes
Brown Rice

 

Medium-Grain (white)

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Looks and Taste
Polished kernel with a moist, tender texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and thiamin, and a good source of iron, and niacin.

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 1 1/2 parts liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
An all-purpose rice used in soups, side dishes, and salads.

Recipes
Rick Bayless's Tomato, Rice and Beef Casserole
Red Beans & Rice

 

Risotto Rice

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Looks and Taste
Small, polished kernels that develop a creamy consistency.

Arborio, Carnaroli, Roma, Baldo, Padano, Vialone Nano are all good risotto rices. The highest grade is superfino; then fino, semi-fino, and then originario o commune.

Brown versions of risotto rices are less creamy than the white risotto rices, and therefore don't make very good risotto.

Easy Cooking
Don't rinse. Simmer 1 part rice with a little butter, reduced wine, and chopped onion; then, stirring constantly, slowly add to the simmering mixture 2 1/2 to 3 parts hot water or stock until the rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. When cooked properly, the center of the grain should be hard while the rest of the grain is soft and creamy.

Best Uses
Risotto is usually served as the pasta course in an Italian meal; it can also be served as a main course.

Recipes
Risotto with Fresh Peas

Simple Turkish Pilaf
Pumpkin Squash Risotto

 

Short-Grain (brown)

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Looks and Taste
Sticky when cooked.

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 2 parts salted liquid to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Soaking the rice overnight cuts the cooking time in half.

Best Uses
The stickiness of the grains of this rice make it perfect for use in rice puddings, molded rice rings, and sushi. The stickiness also makes chopstick use very easy.

Recipes
Brown Rice and Crunchy Vegetable Salad

Brown Rice Pilaf

 

Short-Grain (white)

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Looks and Taste
Sticky when cooked.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and thiamin, and a good source of iron, and niacin.

Easy Cooking
Rinse well. Soak 1 part rice with 1 1/ 8 parts water for 10 minutes; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 5 minutes; raise heat for 30 seconds. Take off heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Best Uses
The stickiness of the grains of this rice make it perfect for use in rice puddings, molded rice rings, and sushi. The stickiness also makes chopstick use very easy.

Recipes
Rice Pudding

 

Sticky (a.k.a. Glutinous Rice)


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Looks and Taste
Sticky rice can be black or white, short or long grain Very sticky when boiled. Easy to handle with chopsticks.

Nutrition Information
A good source of fiber.

Easy Cooking
Soak in cold water for 8 hours then cook with an equal weight of water for 12 minutes; leave to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Best Uses
Used in Chinese and Japanese dishes, especially boiled and sweetened in sushi.

Recipes
Sticky Rice

 

Sushi

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Looks and Taste
Very sticky.

Easy Cooking
Cook short grain rice in water with kombu (a type of kelp); then drain the remaining kombu and while still hot, toss the rice with a mixture of rice vinegar, salt and sugar.

Best Uses
Used in sushi.

 

Texmati and other aromatics


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Looks and Taste
Dry, fluffy texture. Milder in flavor than basmati. Grown in the United States, it is also cheaper and easier to prepare.

Easy Cooking
Bring 1 part rice and 1 3/4 parts salted liquid to a boil; lower the heat. Cook, covered for 15 minutes.

Best Uses
Versatile. Use like basmati.

 

Wild Rice

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Looks and Taste
This rice is really a seed, not a rice. Long, unpolished kernels with an earthy, nutty flavor. Chewy texture.

Nutrition Information
It's a good source of a number of nutrients such as copper, fiber, folate, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and zinc.

Easy Cooking
Rinse well under cold water. Bring 1 part wild rice and 3 parts salted water to a boil. Simmer, covered, for about 50 minutes.

Best Uses
An elegant but expensive way to make a special salad, side dish, or stuffing. It can be mixed with white or brown rice to make pilafs, cold salads, or even poultry stuffing. Its flavor goes well with game and dark-meat fowl.

Recipes
Wild Rice with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

 

NOTE: An excellent source contains more than 20 percent of the Daily Value for that nutrient. A good source contains between 10 and 19 percent of the Daily Value.

Source: Copyright 2000 by Ellen Haas. From the book "Great Adventures in Food" By Ellen Haas. Used with permission of St. Martin's Press, LLC.

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