What Are the Different Types of Rice?

Rice is one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world. There are hundreds of famous dishes of rice each of which is distinctive to the culture, ethnicities, and types of rice. In fact, there are many different types of rice each of which has its own uses, benefits, and drawbacks when it comes to cooking. Find out more about the different types of rice and the best ones you can buy. Follow our rice buying guide to find out more. 

Types of Rice

Arborio Rice

Arborio is one of the most commonly consumed forms of rice all over the world. The reason is that it is neither too big nor is it too small and is classified as medium-grain rice. The white dot is visible at the center of the grain which is also one way to identify the rice type. Arborio rice emerges from Italy and contains high starch content as well. For this reason, it is used in a variety of dishes including risottos and tomato gravies.

However, a few people might not like Arborio rice because it stays firm to an extent even after being cooked. If you pay attention, you can make a creamy texture out of this rice as well. It may sound contradictory that the rice is firm and creamy at the same time but the case is true for Arborio rice. 

Basmati Rice

If we talk about the most popular type of rice used in Asian countries, it would be the Basmati rice. More than 70% of Basmati Rice produced in the world is cultivated in India. Coming with a pleasant and nutty aroma, this type of rice is mostly used with gravy on top of it. Indian cuisine such as Biryani uses Basmati Rice. One can also cook Basmati Rice with herbs and vegetables. The reason why Basmati Rice is preferred by many is that the grain is long, dry, and separate as compared to the Arborio Rice.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of hybrids being made with the Basmati Rice because of its flavor and aroma. It isn’t only used in making spicy dishes but also used to make desserts such as Kheer, a popular item in South Asian culture.

Cooked Basmati Rice

Brown Rice

If we talk about a variant of rice that is healthier than other options, it would be Brown Rice. This type of rice is whole-grain rice because the grain stays intact. Only the outer hull is removed. The reason why it is more nutritious than the other options is that it does not go through a detailed milling process and the majority of the rice content is preserved. Unlike white rice, there is no polishing done which is why this form of rice is saved from many chemicals as well. 

As a result, there is a denser texture along with high Fiber content, Vitamin B, Iron, and other important multivitamins as well. It is recommended that people who are undergoing a diet should avoid white rice and instead consider brown rice as a substitute. In addition to that, brown rice has a chewy texture when cooked along with a nutty flavor.

Suggested reading – How To Make And Serve KOKUHO Brown Rice

Two different varieties of rice

Jasmine Rice

Another quite popular rice used in Thai cuisine is Jasmine Rice. Unlike other rice, it has a mild and sweet flavor but it is used to make major food items. It is served steamed with other dishes such as Fried Garlic, Curry, Gravy, and others as well. It is also popular in other Asian countries. 

Jasmine Rice is long-grain rice and got its name by the fact that it has a jasmine aroma when cooked. It is easy to cook dishes with Jasmine Rice mainly because it absorbs the spices easily. 

Jasmine rice

Black Rice

Most of you might not have tried or heard about this form of rice as it is not common in various cuisines. The Black Rice gets black in color when cooked which is why it got the name. They are high in nutritional value and are mostly used in Chinese Cuisines. While they can be cooked separately as well, they are usually mixed with white rice and cooked. This type of rice has a mildly nutty flavor which is suitable for Chinese cuisine. 

Being high in antioxidants, Black Rice is one form of rice that is recommended for improving health. The Black Rice is one of the least cultivated rice and is generally reserved for aristocracy only. If you are lucky, you may find them at any high-end Chinese restaurant.

Black rice mixed with white rice

Bomba Rice

One of the rarely used rice is called Bomba Rice which is cultivated in parts of Eastern Spain. Bomba Rice is quite different from normal rice as it is almost spherical rather than long grains. 

Since it has a shorter grain, it isn’t much used in many parts of the world. Moreover, cooking Bomba Rice is also a difficult task. This is because it requires water three times higher as compared to normal rice. As a result, it also grows three times the length of raw grain. The only popular dish for which Bomba Rice is used is Paella. 

Types of Rice and All You Need to Know About Them

Types of Rice

Nutritional Value

Per serving

How to Identify Them

How to Cook Them

Where to Use Them

Where They Are Found

Arborio Rice

- 242 calories

- 0.3 g fat

- 4.4g protein

- 53g carbohydrate

- 48 mg potassium

Arborio rice grains are wider on the sides. They have a distinctive white dot at the center.

The ratio of rice to water when boiling is 2:1. 

Add your rice, and let it come to a boil. Then simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

- Rice pudding

- Risotto

- Gimbap

- Congee

- Gumbo

- Italy

- California, United States

Basmati Rice

- 121kcal energy

- 25.22 g carbohydrates

- 0.38 g fat

- 0.09 saturated fats

- 0.4 g fiber

- 3.54 g protein

- 126 mg sodium

- 32 g potassium

The rice will have a slightly golden hue to them. Look for the extra-long grains for the best flavor.

The correct rice to water ratio is 1: 1.5 cups. 

To cook the rice, soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Then drain the rice, and add water again. Boil for 10 minutes.

- Biryani

- Pulao

- Other Indian foods

- India 

- Pakistan

Brown Rice

- 216 calories

- 44 g carbohydrates

- 3.5 g fiber

- 1.8 g fat

- 5 g protein

- 5 mg sodium

The characteristic brown color of the rice makes it impossible to mistake its identity.

Rice to water ratio is 1: 2. Let the rice come up to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

- Stir-fries

- You can use them anywhere instead of white rice.

It is found everywhere.

Jasmine Rice

- 160 calories

- 4 g protein

- 1 g fat

- 39 g carbohydrates

Grains are shorter and thicker than basmati rice. 

You should smell a jasmine fragrance. Once cooked, the rice should have a fresh flavor.

Ratio of rice to rice is 1: 1.5. Wash your rice and add it to a pot with the water. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Thai cuisine

Thailand

Black Rice

- 160 calories

- 1.5 g fat

- 4 g protein

- 34 g carbohydrates

- 1 g fiber

Black rice has a deep black color, which turns purple when cooked.

Black rice can be cooked without soaking. 

Wash the rice and let it boil with 1 ¾ cups of water, per cup of rice. Steam and serve.

- Black rice ramen

- Black rice pudding

- Other Indian dishes, with black rice as a substitute for white rice.

North-East India is home to this rice. It is grown in Odisha, Jharkhand, and Bengal.

Bomba Rice

- 172 calories

- 3.15 g protein

- 0.47 g fiber

- 0.24 g fat

- 17 mg potassium

The grains are short and pearly white. 

Bomba can also absorb about 3 times its weight in water.

1 cup rice goes with 3 cups water. Let it boil, and then simmer. Cook the rice uncovered, for about 18 minutes. This should form a thin crust at the bottom.

Paella

Risotto

Spanish Rice

Spain

Things to Consider When Buying Rice

There are various important elements of rice that should be considered before purchasing. This will help you make an informed decision. 

Type of Rice

Above, we have mentioned the various types of rice that are consumed all over the world. However, among the top recommendations are Basmati Rice and Arborio Rice. Brown Rice is generally suitable for those people who are looking for weight loss and can’t afford to fulfill their rice cravings by eating the white types of rice.  

Age of Rice

The most important factor when buying any particular rice is its age. Unlike other food items, rice tends to get better over time. For example, 1-year-old rice would be better in taste, aroma, and flavor as compared to rice that has been freshly cultivated. This is because the old rice has less moisture content due to which it stays separated. The aging of rice is generally considered beneficial mainly due to the fact that with aging, the nutritional content of the rice also improves. 

Dry White Rice has a shelf life of 2 years which is why we recommend that you buy rice that is at least 1 year old. However, in case you have plans to buy brown rice, we recommend that you get them instantly. Even the newer ones are good or you can buy 3 months old. This is because Brown Rice has a shelf life of 3 months only. 

Quantity to Price Aspect of Rice

The foremost thing you should consider when evaluating the quantity to price aspect is how much is going to be the need of rice at your place for the next 6 months. If you are a family that does not consume rice dishes a lot, then we recommend that you don’t buy it in high volumes as well. On the other hand, if you have rice dishes made at least 7 to 10 days a month, you can purchase higher volumes of rice. 

However, the important thing to evaluate is the quantity to price aspect. Rice that is packed in smaller quantities is generally more expensive as compared to rice packed in higher quantities. For example, you might get 1 kilogram of rice for $10 and 2 kilograms of rice for $18 instead of $20. This concept is known as saving on bulk buying. 

We do recommend bulk buying especially in the case of rice as it gets better with aging. Therefore, you won’t even have to worry even if you buy in higher quantities. However, if there is a rare consumption of rice, you can go for small quantities as higher quantities of rice could expire if you don’t use them.

Color

White rice is the most common type of rice consumed all over the world. When purchasing the rice, you should always make sure that the rice does not have a yellowish color. It should be purely white. In case there is any yellow texture, it indicates that the rice had been stored improperly which is why it has discolored. It can also highlight that there has been a problem during the milling process which is why the rice has discolored. 

Grain Strength

Above, we mentioned some of the most frequently used types of rice in the world. They perform very well which is why several hybrids are introduced as well. You might see Kernel, or Super Kernel, or even other variants of rice in the local market. Therefore, when buying anything other than the types we mentioned above, it is our recommendation that you buy rice with a strong grain strength. 

This means that when buying rice, hold them in hand first. If they break easily, they aren’t good rice and if they don’t, they are good to go. In case you are buying rice pre-packed, just check the packet as it would be transparent. If you see broken rice, we recommend that you avoid it. Such rice will be broken as soon as they are cooked and will give an excessively creamy texture to the dish which is not always required. 

Grain Length

Grain length is also an important evaluating factor when purchasing rice. There are three types of grain length each of which has its own purpose. Firstly, the long grain length rice is usually cooked for the spicy dishes instead of the sweet ones. They are quite popular in Indian culture and used for making Rice with Indian Gravy. They have less starch content which is why they do not stick to one another after being cooked. 

Besides, there is medium grain length as well. This type is one that has mild starch content and is used for making sweet dishes in some countries while used for making spicy food in others. Overall, this type of rice is one of the most famous ones because it is cheaper than long grain rice. Lastly, there is short-grain rice which is only used for sweet dishes mainly because of the high starch content which gives it a sticky and creamy texture.

Buy Top Quality Rice 

Now that you are aware of how to buy the best rice, here are some options we have reviewed that would make a perfect choice. 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Authentic Royal Basmati Rice
Iberia Jasmine Long Grain Fragrant Rice
Nishiki Premium Rice


1. Authentic Royal Basmati Rice


Behold! The King of The Rice Family. The Basmati Rice is a great choice if you want your rice dishes to be perfect every time. As we said above, age is one important factor to consider when purchasing rice. This Royal Basmati Rice has been aged for over 12 months which is why it will give all your dishes a naturally pleasing flavor, and non-sticky texture. The best part? You can prepare this rice in just 15 to 20 minutes. 

Over 5000 buyers have been satisfied with this Royal Basmati Rice and we assure you, your experience will be the same. Grown in the South Asian region, this is one of the most authentic forms of Basmati Rice you can get. As far as health aspects are concerned, it is non-GMO certified, vegan, Halal, non-fat, and supports a Kosher diet as well. 

 Keep in mind that this will cost you a little extra but then you are getting one of the best variants of rice too.

2. Iberia Jasmine Long Grain Fragrant Rice


Like we said above, one of the most fragrant rice used all over the world is Jasmine Rice. If you are looking for Jasmine Rice, this pack by Iberia is a great option. The package is 18 pounds and the best part about it is that you can have it set at regular delivery intervals. For example, Amazon will ship it to your address every two months. There are plenty of reasons why we recommend this rice if you specifically want the Jasmine Rice variant. 

Firstly, these rice are extremely healthy and close to the natural product. They are non-GMO certified, gluten-free, non-fat, and kosher supportive as well. Therefore, even people who are on diets can consume this rice without any worries. Besides the health aspect, these rice have a long grain which makes them perfect for the food items such as chicken, gravy, or even some vegetables. The naturally pleasing aroma will make every dish delicious. 

The best part is that they are grown from natural farms based in the USA, India, and Brazil. Another aspect that assures you of the high quality is that it is an Amazon’s Choice product.

3. Nishiki Premium Rice


If you are looking for all-purpose rice, consider these ones because they are medium grain rice. They can be used to prepare all sorts of spicy foods as well as desserts. The Indian Kheer is one of the delicacies you can try out with this rice. This is a 15-pound package and comes at a nominal price. In fact, it is cheaper than the Basmati rice. Raised in California, these rice have been harvested in one of the most environmentally friendly and safe farms. 

We recommend that you try out a variety of Chinese cuisines and Thai cuisines with these rice because they require medium grain rice traditionally. Over 6000 buyers have been satisfied and have come for repeat purchases as well. This assures you that these rice are going to do the cooking job perfectly. 

A few people mentioned issues associated with the delivery of Amazon.com. We recommend you to go for Prime Shipping. Try making the Japanese Azuki Rice from these. You can learn more here - Tips For Making Japanese Azuki Rice



Comparative Analysis

  Authentic Royal Basmati RiceIberia Jasmine Long Grain Fragrant RiceNishiki Premium Rice
TypeBasmati RiceJasmine RiceMedium Grain White Rice
Price Range$$$$$$
UsesUse for cooking food items including high specialty Indian cuisines such as Biryani.Use along with food items such as chicken, curry, and gravy. It can also be used along with vegetables-
Grain LengthLong grainLong grainMedium Grain
Package Size15 pounds18 pounds15 pounds
 

As per our comparative analysis, we believe that the Royal Basmati Rice is going to be the best choice for you. This is because they have the minimum complaints, fewer issues of broken grain and the majority of the customers have been exceptionally satisfied with their purchase. It may be a little expensive and if that isn’t in your budget, the Jasmine rice would be ideal too. With their special fragrance, you can have a special aroma in your dishes. 

Lastly, if you intend to make sweet dishes, we recommend the last option. Don’t buy the first two if you are planning to make a sweet dish as they will not serve the true purpose. 

Conclusion

Getting the right kind of rice may seem like a difficult task but isn’t really much of a hassle. We hope that our rice buying guide has truly been helpful for you in making the right choice for purchasing rice. Next time you go out to markets or purchase online, consider all the factors that we mentioned as they will help in making an informed decision.