Rice is a kitchen staple, it is the perfect accompaniment to so many dishes but when it comes to choosing the right rice it is often a confusing task. Here is a round-up of the most popular rice varieties in Australia, what types of meals they’re best suited to and how to cook them.
Short-grain: is fat and plump. Once cooked, they stick together and clump together.
Medium-grain: rice is tender, moist and chewy. The grains stick together forming a creamy consistency.
Long-grain: varieties are commonly used as they achieve fluffy rice and stay separated.
10. Red rice
Red rice is a long-grain rice that is milled to remove the outer husk, whilst retaining the inner layer of bran. It has more nutrients than white rice and takes longer to cook.
How to cook: bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of red rice to the boil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce the heat and cook covered for 45 minutes.
Recipe suggestion: Red rice salad
Best for: stir-fries and curries
9. Basmati rice
Native to Pakistan and Indian, Basmati is one of the most popular rice in Indian and Asian cuisines, Basmati rice is a long-grain rice that has a subtle nutty flavour and aroma.
How to cook: Soak for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Rinse it well then add 1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water. Cook for 12 minutes. Here is a different way of cooking it.
Recipe suggestion: Lamb tikka rice pilaf
Best for: Indian and Asian dishes
8. White rice
White rice has a starchy, slightly sticky consistency and is very versatile. It is arguably the most popular rice in Australia and is popular in all cuisines. When cooked it has a mild, light texture.
How to cook: if you are cooking white rice in the stovetop, add one cup of rice to two cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.
Recipe suggestion: Pork cutlets with ginger, lemongrass glaze
Best for: stuffing, casseroles
7. Brown rice
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice as it has a nutrient-rich outer husk (which gives it its brown hue).
How to cook: bring 2 cups of water to the boil, add 1 cup of brown rice and reduce the heat and cover for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
Recipe suggestion: Eggplant and artichoke rice
Best for: casseroles, stir-fries
6. Jasmine rice
Jasmine rice is also known as Thai or fragrant rice, is a long-grain rice with a slightly sticky texture and will infuse your dish with a subtle jasmine aroma and flavour.
How to cook: Rinse before cooking then add 1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water. Cook for 12 minutes.
Recipe suggestion: Asian salmon with kaffir lime
Best for: Thai and Asian cuisine
5. Black rice
Also known as the forbidden rice of China or “emperor’s rice”, Black (which turns purple when cooked) rice is increasingly popular is Australia. Nutritionally speaking, black rice is one of the best options as it is high in fibre, vitamins E and B and is packed with antioxidants.
How to cook: Soak rice for 30 minutes before cooking 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water for 25-30 minutes. If you don’t soak it, it will take over an hour to cook.
Recipe suggestion: Tamarind eggplant with black rice, mint & feta
Best for: sushi and puddings
4. Wild rice
Wild rice is harvested from Zizania grasses, grown around wetlands and lakes. Not only is it a colourful addition to your meal it is also high in protein.
How to cook: wild rice needs more water than other varieties to cook. Boil 3 cups of water and add 1 cup of rice and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender and the water has been absorbed.
Recipe suggestion: Wild rice salad
Best for: stir-fries and casseroles
3. Japanese rice
Koshihikari rice, otherwise known as Japanese rice is an essential part of Japanese cuisine. It is short and plump and sticks together well, making it perfect for sushi and rice dishes.
How to cook: Rinse well, add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice to a medium saucepan. Bring to boil covered and then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Recipe suggestion: Chicken Teriyaki sushi with crunchy salad
Best for: sushi and puddings
2. Aborio rice
Aborio rice is recognisable by its wide medium grains. It gets its name from the town of Aborio in the Po Valley, Italy, It has a creamy consistency once cooked and is thick and sticky.
How to cook: To cook in the microwave add 1 cup of Aborio rice, 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a microwave-proof bowl. Cook on high for 5 minutes, then cook on 50% power for 15 minutes.
Recipe suggestion: Winter warmer hearty risotto
Best for: risotto, rice pudding, soups
1. Carnaroli rice
Carnaroli rice is similar to Aborio but is lesser-known, the main difference is that it is slightly longer and thinner than Aborio with a thicker consistency. You’ll find it in traditional Italian risottos.
How to cook: To cook in the microwave add 1 cup of carnaroli rice, 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a microwave-proof bowl. Cook on high for 5 minutes, then cook on 50% power for 15 minutes.
Recipe suggestion: Creamy tomato risotto
Best for: risotto
If you are looking for a different cooking method try the absorption method.