Three Types of Rice You Should Know

Grains make up a significant portion of the human diet and are an effective source of carbohydrates and protein. They can be categorized as whole grains or refined grains. Whole grains are those that are minimally processed, which means they still contain the bran (outermost layer of the grain), germ (embryo) and endosperm (above the germ). These offer a huge source of fiber, vitamins, proteins, minerals and antioxidants. Refined grains are derived from the whole grains but without the three components and the nutrients. This renders them a longer shelf life as, without the oily germ, they avoid turning rancid when exposed to heat and light.

What are the types of grains that are common in our Asian diet? We are sure you would know the answer to this too well - rice grains!

Aside from noodles, rice is a staple almost every Asian swears by, one might even say that they cannot live without this grain. Available across a variety, this simple starch is widely known as the first cultivated grain in Asia. The Italian counterpart is risotto - made from arborio rice. The difference is, arborio rice when cooked, becomes firm, creamy and chewy - making it perfect for risotto.

Certain types of rice are also healthier than others. White rice is starchy, and contains fewer nutrients than other kinds of rice with its husks, bran and germ removed. Basmati rice is considered the healthiest rice as, being long-grained, it does not have as many calories compared to other types of rice. Fun fact: basmati rice elongates as you cook it, resulting in long pointy grains that are fluffy and separate rather than sticking together like white rice.

We show you three different (and on the healthier side) types of rice grains and how to use them for the perfect dish.

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How To: Use Different Types of Grains

A quick tldw (too long don't watch) on the different types of grains:

Brown Rice

The facts: Highly Nutritious, comes in red or black 'brown' rice. More fibre in brown rice as compared to white rice as brown rice has its bran and germ intact - basically the stuff that contains more more fibre and antioxidants. 

Rice to water ratio: 1:2 ½

Flavour and Texture: Nutty & medium to firm texture (cannot be stored for too long else a rancid smell will be produced)

While this Garlic Chicken Fried Rice uses japanese rice in its recipe, we're just saying brown rice works just as well, and tastes just as delicious as a substitute. 

Quinoa Rice

The facts: Quinoa is not actually rice - it's a supercereal, but its cooked and eaten like a grain. It's high in protein, fiber and minerals. With cooked cup of quinoa gives 8 grams of protein, you eat less, for more. It's also more filling, so you tend to be fuller after just one portion. AKA, you snack less.

Rice to water ratio: 1:2

Flavour and Texture: A sweet and nutty flavour, and short, round grains make for little 'pops' in your mouth. Firm, bouncy texture, it's like rice, but not quite.

Similar to risotto rice, we think quinoa works as a great replacement in our delicious One-Pot Tom Yum Risotto Recipe.

Basmati Rice

The facts: It's the healthiest rice out of the whole lot, and also the longest, lengthwise. Different from other rices, basmati rice is fried first, then cooked in a broth to rise & become the fluffy, non-sticky rice we love. Very commonly used in indian cuisine. 

Rice to broth ratio: 1:2 

Flavour and texture: The rice grains separate from one another and do not stick together, it's considered more fluffy than starchy, and breaks very easily as compared to other rice types. It's also longer and thinner. 

Basmati rice is used very frequently in Indian cuisine, and we think you should try out our Vegetarian Briyani recipe for a healthy and satisfying rice dish. Delicious and healthy, watch the macros and still get to enjoy a good meal. 

And if you love rice as much as we do, here's a list of 10 Easy Rice Recipes that you just have to know. Every kind of rice can be replaced with another, if you're feeling adventurous enough.

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