All About Rice

Being Asian, it’s impossible to talk about food without talking about rice.

Rice is the staple of the entire region. You cannot run away from the fact that it is everywhere, it’s part of our breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. It’s the vehicle that carries all the wonderful tastes of Asia into our mouths, it’s part of just about any local meal we can think of.

So we thought we would give it some respect and do a short description of rice- what’s available out there and what we use most commonly.

 

  • JASMINE RICE

Originally from Thailand, it’s probably the most popular and common rice used in all Asian cooking. As the name says, it gives a distinctive floral Jasmine like fragrance when cooked.

Great at soaking up any kind of gravy and curries!

1 Cup of Jasmine Rice has about

  • 240 calories
  • 5 grams fat
  • 45 grams carbs
  • 3 grams protein

 

  • BASMATI RICE

Originally from India & Pakistan, it is a long grain rice with skinny grains that remain separate from each other. This allows sauces and curries to stick to each grain more! More yum per spoon full! Most commonly found in Bryanis.

1 Cup of Basmati Rice has about

  • 190 calories
  • 6 grams fat
  • 40 grams carbs
  • 5 grams protein

 

  • BROWN RICE

You get this by removing the outer husk  but keeping the bran layer of rice. The bran is where all the good stuff is. Hence, it’s now considered the healthier type of rice to be consumed. However, it tastes different from the 3 types of rice mentioned above. Texture is harder and not as fluffy. You also will need more water and time to cook this rice.

1 Cup of Brown Rice has about

  • 215 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 44 grams carbs
  • 5 grams protein

 

  • RED CARGO RICE

Similar to Brown Rice, Red Rice is also processed by removing the husk but keeping the bran. It’s red coloring comes from the fact that it contains more anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a type of compound that has antioxidant effects. Flavor wise. Like brown rice, it’s got a nutty flavor to it and takes longer to cook.

1 Cup of Red Rice has about

  • 455 calories
  • 8 grams fat
  • 102 grams carbs
  • 15 grams protein

 

 

  • BROKEN RICE

This Vietnamese product is basically a by-product of the milling process. These leftovers are put together and called broken rice. Just regular rice, but smaller grains. Staple of Vietnam, not widely available around the region.

Nutritional values would be the same as white rice.

 

  • BLACK RICE

Traditionally known as Forbidden Rice, this type of rice used to be reserved for royalty. Today, it is available off the shelf, but at a premium.

It has a mild earthy flavor and dense to the bite, almost like brown rice.

The nutritional profile of this rice is actually quite impressive as you can see below. In addition, it also contains high concentrations of iron, phosphorous, zinc and anti oxidents. All these have beneficial effects on heart health, digestion, diabetes, weight loss and chronic disease. Be warned though, a cursory check on line showed that it is at least 50% more expensive than Jasmine Rice!

1 bowl (210g) of Black Rice has about

  • 300 calories
  • 1 gram fat
  • 68 gram carbs
  • 6 grams protein

 

  • STICKY RICE/ GLUTINOUS RICE

A staple of Laos, this rice is only steamed, never boiled. It is a different breed of rice. This breed naturally has a higher starch content, making it sticky when steamed. It is used as part of the main course but is also used to make desserts. Chinese or Peranakan dumplings and Thai sticky rice with mango are all made with this rice. Yums!

Despite its name, it is actually gluten free!

1 Cup of Glutinous Rice/ Sticky Rice has about

  • 170 calories
  • 33 grams fat
  • 37 grams carb
  • 5 grams protein

 

  • SUSHI RICE

Not to be confused with Glutinous Rice, Sushi Rice is a different breed of rice altogether.

This rice has particularly short and round grains, and is firm and chewy when cooked. Aside from making sushi, it is also used for daily meals together with other dishes.

1 Cup of Sushi Rice has about

  • 246 calories
  • 6 grams fat
  • 3 grams carb
  • 11 grams protein

 

 

SPECIAL MENTIONS

  • MATTA RICE

This rice originates from Kerala, India. It is also known by many other names – Rasematta Rice, Palakkadan Matta Rice or Kerala Rice. It is eaten as plain rice or processed to make things like appams and murukku. The yellowish grain has an earthy flavor.

However, the main thing is the nutritional aspects of this rice seems to almost match Black Rice, but more affordable. Benefits include- controlling cholesterol, diabetes, heart health, high levels of vitamin A, B & B6, calcium & zinc.

1 Cup of Matta Rice has about

  • 180 calories
  • 0 grams fat
  • 42 grams carb
  • 3 grams protein

 

  • CAULIFLOWER RICE

For those of you who insist on going on a low carb diet, Cauliflower Rice would probably be the way to go. It is easy to make, and a cheap substitute for rice. It also can be made faster than regular rice. It’s an easy way to get the kids to eat their greens without them knowing!

Also, you can incorporate this into other things like mashed potatoes. There are lots of recipes available on line. However, the basic message is that you can replace rice with cauliflower.

1 Cup of Cauliflower Rice has about

  • 47 calories
  • 85 grams fat
  • 8 grams carbs
  • 14 grams protein

 

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