Kamis, 17 Maret 2011

How to Select Rice For Better Results in the Kitchen

There are many varieties of rice and they can all be quite useful when used in the right circumstances. The huge number of rice variations globally is enough to give one a headache when you think about it. In fact, just the variations in a store can have you wondering if most of them are even rice. The basic ones you probably know are the white and brown rice, long grain, medium, short and so on. Some people use a different variety of grain for meals like the risotto and paella. To understand which variety to use for what, it is important that you be exposed to a sizable number of grain varieties. This will make it easier for you to choose the kind of grain you will use for excellent results when making any of the different rice dishes or foods that require some variety of grain.

1. The Length of the Rice

One of the criteria for classifying grain is its length. This also determines how much use it gets in some meals. In terms of length, rice is divided into short, medium and long. The short grain rice tends to cook together and can often stick together after cooking because of the amount of start present. The amount of starch it has can be reduced by simply washing it properly before cooking and steam-cooking it. Short grain rice is often best used for sushi, risottos, desserts and stir-fry recipe. Examples of short grain rice include Arborio, Bahia, Baldo, bamboo rice, Bhutanese red, Bomba, Carnaroli, Pearl, Roma, Sushi, sweet rice and others. Rice with medium length is often firmer, cooks well, doesn't stick together during cooking but is more likely to do so when cooled. Examples of these include Black Japonica, Chinese Black, Indonesian Red, Italian Black, Thai Red, Valencia and Venus Black rice. The long grain doesn't have as much starch as the short grain and medium grain rice. It is fluffy after cooking and doesn't stick together. So, for your main cooking, you might want to use the long grain rice. Examples include Basmati, Carolina, Himalayan Red, Indian Red, Jasmine, Kasmati, Pecan, Thai Black, Texmati, Surinam, Wehani and Wild.

2. The Color of the Rice

You can also make the choice of your grain based on the color. Grain often comes in two colors: the brown and white colors. The white is often the refined and processed form of the brown. The brown often contains the kernel and bran. It is important for you to know that brown is not just brown in color. It can also be a shade of yellow, red, and in some cases, green. Bamboo rice for example has chlorophyll added to it to give it its green color. However, once the bran is removed, the rice will become white. Another thing to note is that the flavor of white and brown grain differs. Brown grain often tends to have more nutrients than the white because of the bran. However, in the US, other nutrients are often added to white grain. For example, white grain tends to have thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron which add more nutritional value.

3. Rice Quality

The quality of the grain is also a factor. There are about four categories of quality. These include top quality, standard, household and broken grain. The Top quality rice often has no more than 5% of it broken. Standard has about 15% broken; Household has between 25%-40% broken and broken grain has above 40%. The last cannot often be used for anything other the making of rice flour.

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