Rice pudding, cereal, casseroles, side dishes.
Rice…..is another grain cereal. It is actually the most widely consumed staple food for the entire world; for human consumption that is. Rice can be grown as an annual or perennial plant depending on the location and is grown in over 100 countries.
There are many varieties of rice. Actually there are over 40,000 different varieties of rice in the world. I am going to focus on the major rice varieties and types here in the U.S.
white rice compared to brown rice....image below
- Long Grain Rice: long slender kernel; fluffy when cooked
- Medium Grain Rice: shorter wider kernel than long rice; clings together when cooked
- Short Grain Rice: short plump round like kernel; soft and cling together when cooked
- Sweet or Waxy Rice: short plump with an opaque kernel; loses it shape when cooked
- Aromatic Rice: have a higher concentration of aroma and flavor than the other varieties of rice
a) U.S. aromatic: red rice with a deep honey-red bran; minimally processed to retain its bran, takes 45 – 50 minutes to cook, once cooked it has a savory nutty flavor and slightly chewy.
b) Basmati Rice: (There are actually 3 varieties – Basmati, US Basmati and Texmati) Long grain which is aged to enhance the aroma and reduce moisture content with a roasted nut or popcorn flavor, once cooked it becomes fluffy
c) Black Rice: aromatic black whole grain rice used in desserts.
d) U.S. Black Japonica: Aromatic rice with a dark black bran, 45 – 50 minutes to cook and then is slightly chewy and has a taste of sweet spiciness.
e) Calrose or California Rose: medium grain rice
f) U.S. Della or Delrose or Delmont: aroma similar to basmati
g) Jasmine Rice: is a long grain rice with a unique aroma
h) U.S. Jasmine Rice: aromatic long grain rice with a distinctive aroma
i) Red Rice: reddish-brown whole grain rice
j) Wehani Rice: long grain reddish-brown rice
- Arborio Rice:
a) Arborio Rice: Italian short grain rice, high starch content – used to make Risotto
b) U.S. Arborio: Medium grain rice, this rice has a white dot at the center of the grain – used in risotto
c) Carnaroli Rice: larger grain – one of the best rice’s for Risotto
2. Brown Rice: Is the rice when the hull / husk have been removed. Brown rice still contains the bran layer which gives the rice its color and is rich in minerals and vitamins. With that being said, it is worth
mentioning that very little brown rice is consumed. Why….for one the cooking time…it takes about an hour to cook. The second reason is the taste / flavor….once the hull / husk has been removed, the bran starts going rancid and develops a bitter taste to some….it actually has a nutty like taste and is slightly chewy.
3. Regular Milled White Rice: This is the most common form of rice in the United States. This rice has had the outer hull / husk removed and the bran removed; the removal of the bran is called milling. Milled Rice may also be called White Rice or Polished Rice.
Interesting Fact /Note: In the U.S. all milled rice must be enriched with vitamins to make its nutritional value similar to brown rice. The only exception is rice coated with glucose instead of the vitamins which is sold as Japonica rice packaged in California. (Most of the enrichment is usually in powder form on the rice and is easily washed away)
4. Parboiled Rice: This is Rough Rice that has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling. What does this mean…..it means that this Rice directly from the field has been partially boiled with the hull / husk
still on. They actually do this in three steps….soaking, steaming and drying the rice. Parboiled rice contains 80% of the nutrients of brown rice. Because of the nutrients, the new texture of a firmer more separate
fluffy grain this rice is actually preferred by chefs and consumers. This rice is also known as Converted Rice. Do Not confuse this rice with Instant Rice……they are not the same.
5. Precooked Rice: This can be white or brown rice. It is just rice that has been completely cooked or dehydrated after milling. The plus to this rice, is a reduce time for cooking.
6. Broken Rice: The rice has been broken either in the field or during the process of drying or milling. Most Broken Rice is removed during the milling process, due to broken rice tends to get mushy during cooking.
Broken rice ends up in the beer industry, rice flour or the dog food industry.
7. Organic Rice: Cost three times as much as conventional rice.
8. Instant Rice: or Quick Cooking Rice – is just rice that has been precooked than then dried…can be ready in about 3 to 5 minutes.
9. IQF Rice: Individually Quick Frozen Rice – this rice has been fully cooked and then frozen. This product is actually better to use than Instant Rice. Due to the quality of the product, instant rice in most
cases the rice kernel has been damaged in the process of manufacturing.
Packaging: All grains should be stored in a moisture proof food grade container. This container could be a
Mylar bag, polyethylene bags, plastic buckets or #10 cans. Store your rice in manageable amounts such as 10 lb bags; this will also help with rotation. Most importantly it allows easier inspection and if contamination does occur it does not allow exposure to your whole stock of rice. Also several
smaller bags can be places inside a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Air causes Rice to spoil quickly, make sure to store all rice in air tight containers with oxygen absorbers, if purchased from the grocery store in a bag
remove the Rice immediately from the bag… these wax-coated bags are rarely air-tight.
Note: Rodents and insects can penetrate plastic bags
Storage Conditions: Storage at 40-60°F is optimal. Grains are not damaged by freezing temperature, but temperatures above 60°F causes a more rapid decline in seed viability (ability to germinate) but only a slightly faster loss in food value. Moisture above 15% will allow molds to grow. When the moisture reaches 20% some bacteria can start to grow. The result is spoiled grain unfit for use. Store containers off the floor, especially off concrete floors, concrete can wick moisture to stored containers very easily. Inspect grain often for insect activity. 
Shelf life: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate.....with any of your food storage you need to develop a program
to rotate your supplies on a regular basis. First in first out.....in others words as you use your stored rice replace it with new rice. Label each container with product and storage date.
- White Rice: If properly packaged and stored in oxygen – free containers it can last up to 30 years unopened. Temperature does effect the years of storage: temperature of 40 degrees = 30 yrs., while 70 degree temps will only last 10 years unopened. And 5 years once opened.
- Brown Rice: Can last up to 6 months if stored correctly in an unopened container and 2 months once opened. The exception is freeze-dried brown rice which has a shelf life unopened of 7 years and 1 year once opened.
- Cooked Rice: has the shortest shelf rice – 3 days to 1 week in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer. Remember any ingredients added to the rice such as butter or sugar will affect the ability to store the product. Note: Cooked rice needs to be handled properly, Bacillus cereus can develop when the cooked rice is left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacillus cereus can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.
How much Rice do I need in storage? Around 50 lbs. will supply an adult for one year while a child will only need half that amount.
- Raw rice can be ground into flour: Rice flour does not contain gluten.
- Raw rice if soaked can be sprouted in about 30 days
- The grains of fragrant long-grain rice tend to remain intact after cooking
- The medium-grain rice becomes more sticky
- Medium grain rice are generally used for sweet dishes or sushi
- Some varieties of long grain(high in amylopectin) are known a Thai Sticky rice usually great for steaming
- Short grain rice is often used in rice pudding
- Rice can be an ingredient in many dishes such as soups, used to stuff vegetables or wrapped in grape leaves, a side dish with fish, poultry or any other meat.
- As mentioned earlier turn the rice into flour for baking of bread.
- dessert rice pudding
- Rice porridge
- If you soak your rice prior to cooking in some varieties it can improve the texture of the cooked rice due to the expansion of the rice and also this will decrease the cooking time…..which in turns will reduce the stickiness of the rice and also save cooking fuel if this would be a true emergency situation and were cooking on a gas camping stove. Or even if you have a gas/ propane stove at home.
With any food storage items if they are not kept in ideal storage conditions or if kept pass the recommend storage shelf life then consumption is at your own risk.