Most commonly consumed, white rice is fluffy and fragrant but has a higher glycemic index. Due to it’s milling process, the germ and bran of the white rice grain is removed, leaving the endosperm which is rich in carbohydrates, providing us with lots of energy! As it only contains the endosperm, white rice is not considered a whole grain.
How to cook: Rinse the rice until water is clear and cook it in a rice cooker. Cook without salt to preserve its fragrance. Water to rice ratio is 1¼ :1.
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Brown rice is associated with many health benefits! It is an unpolished rice which contains all 3 components of a whole rice grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm, hence it contains more fibre than your usual bowl of white rice.
How to cook: Rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking. Water to rice ratio is 2 : 1.
Try this recipe: Seared Tuna Brown Rice Bowl and see four yummy ways to cook with brown rice below:
Best for making desserts thanks to its unique flavour and chewy texture, black rice was reserved for the royals in ancient China. Nutritionally, the health benefits of black rice are outstanding. High in fibre and vitamins B and E, black rice is a great alternative to white rice. It is also high in antioxidants.
How to cook: Thoroughly rinse the rice and soak for 30 minutes before cooking for 25-30 minutes. Water to rice ratio is 2:1. Without soaking, black rice will take around one hour to cook.
Try this recipe: Martin Yan’s Black Rice Pudding
Like black rice, red rice is also high in antioxidants due to its deep colour. A nutritional winner, red rice also known for its high fibre content and is cholesterol free. It is also high in iron and zinc and brings about a lovely nutty flavour once cooked!
How to cook: Rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking. Water to rice ratio is 1½:1. This rice takes longer to cook than white rice but is quicker than brown, so should be ready within 15 minutes.
Try this recipe: Organic Mixed Brown & Red Rice With Cauliflower Risotto
Wild rice is not actually a true grain; it is in fact a type of grass! Like the other variations of rice in this list, wild rice is packed with fibre, B vitamins, and many other minerals. It even contains some protein.
How to cook: Pre-soak your rice for 1-2 hours before cooking. Water to rice ratio is 3:1.
Try this recipe: Asparagus And Wild Rice Salad
Known as the go-to sushi rice, koshihikari is native to Japan and is essential for turning out authentic Japanese cuisine. Short, plump and sticky enough to hold its shape, koshihikari rice is perfect for all types of sushi, rice desserts and other Japanese dishes.
Other short-grain varieties, often marked as “sushi rice” are also available as a substitute if koshihikari is unavailable. However, for a premium dish, koshi is always the top pick.
How to cook: Water to rice ratio is 1:1. Stir with hands, drain, and repeat 2-3 times. Use rice cooker or bring to boil, covered. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until absorbed.
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Native to India and Pakistan, basmati rice is similar to jasmine rice in that is it long, slim and fragrant. Its delicate aroma and light, fluffy texture works wonderfully alongside curry-based dishes.
How to cook: The water to rice ratio is 1 ½ :1. Rinse and soak for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
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Originating from Arborio in Italy’s Po Valley, this short and plump variety is widely known as the risotto rice. However, it also makes a great addition to healthy rice salads, rice cakes and traditional Italian arancini. A similar rice is carnaroli that’s also used for risotto. The difference between arborio and carnaroli, however, is seen in both its appearance and taste. It is slightly longer and thinner than its cousin, with a higher starch content and firmer texture.
How to cook: Sauté 1 cup of rice in olive oil and onion, then add 1 cup stock and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat, stirring, until liquid absorbs. Add 3 cups water, one at a time, ensuring stock is absorbed.
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Photo: Rob Shaw/bauersyndication.com.au