Basic guide to rice – most popular types of rice

Basic guide to rice – most popular types of riceRice – we all know it, we all eat it and we all love it but I bet we don’t really know all that much about it.

Normally I wouldn’t be so bothered with a deeper knowledge on the subject of rice but some time ago we discovered a very funky little shop in the village next door, which among other produce sells 100+ types of rice… I wanted to try some of them but as I really didn’t know a lot about rice, it was time for me to do some research.

Apparently there are more than 40,000 different varieties of rice, shocking isn’t it?

Rice can be categorised by size, colour and its aromatic properties.

So we have:

Long-Grain Rice
This is most likely the most popular rice in our everyday cooking. The grains of long-grain rice remain intact after cooking, which make it perfect for most dishes including various salads.

Medium-Grain Rice
This types of rice become a little bit sticky. They are used for paellas, risottos or sushi as well as different sweet dishes.

Short-Grain Rice
Main use for this type of rice would be the famous rice pudding or a risotto as short-grain rice can be very sticky.

The other way in which we can catalogue rice is its colour:

White Rice
This types of rice has had its husk, bran and germ removed. After milling the rice is polished to give the seeds a bright, white and super shiny appearance. This rice usually cooks quickly but it lack important nutrients as they were removed during the milling process.

Brown Rice
This is so called whole grain rice. Brown rice has its bran and germ intact, which means that it provides more nutrients than white rice varieties. Brown rice has to be soaked before cooking so it is not an ideal ingredient for quick meals.

Red Rice
This is a special variety of rice, which is very similar to a brown rice, it still has its husk and germ intact but instead being brown it is red in colour.

Black or purple rice
This is the most nutritional rice out there but it is also the most expensive. It is a great source of vitamin E, iron and antioxidants. Cooked black rice turns deep purple hence the confusing name of being called both black and / or purple rice.

This is where my research took me so far. I know that this is just a beginning, the tip of the iceberg but it will give me a better understanding next time I walk into my rice shop 😉

If you love rice you might want to check out the LoveRice website, which is entirely dedicated to… surprise, surprise…. rice and rice only. Packed with wonderful rice recipes, extensive FAQs and general cooking instructions it is really a great place for any rice lover. And to make things even better there is an option of submitting your own rice recipe…

Do you love rice?

What is your “usual” use for it?

Have you ever been adventurous enough to try an exotic variety of rice?

26 thoughts on “Basic guide to rice – most popular types of rice

  1. I do love rice actually but I’m always confused as to whether it is good for you or not! I like white basmati best but try to eat brown rice whenever I can.

  2. we eat tons of rice being big curry fans but I have never heard of red rice before. I love the black rice (is that the same as wild rice – probably not) – lovely nutty flavour.

  3. I’ve never tried some of this rice before and I didn’t realise there were so many varieties. I can cook some types well but struggle with brown rice, I will try soaking it next time.

  4. I’m literally gobsmacked! I thought there would be 10 types of rice max! Lol! I’m a long grain girl, I’ve attempted to cook brown rice so many times but have always failed miserably. I had no idea you had to soak it! Lol xx

  5. I was about to write that I didn’t know that there are 100 types of rice, and the carried on reading to read 40,000 varieties!! What? That’s insane! An old friend of mine’s dad used to cook amazing basmati rice, I cannot get that to cook perfectly like he did!

I love all comments :-)