Jasmine rice (kao hohm mali in Thai) is a slender, long-grained, aromatic white rice, which clings together slightly when cooked. Grown predominantly in Thailand, where it is the preferred variety, it is also known as jasmin rice, fragrant rice, scented rice, and aromatic rice. Many countries, including the USA have tried to grow this variety of rice, because it is so popular, but without much success.
Thai jasmine rice is not genetically engineered. Only genuine Thai jasmine rice can be labeled Thai Hom Mali Rice and this must be printed on the bag with the authority certification.
Jasmine rice is distinguished by a water milling process that leaves the grains silken to the touch. When uncooked the grain is translucent, but when cooked it becomes opaque and white. The grains are similar in size to long-grain rice but cook moist and tender like a medium-grain rice. Fragrant when cooked, the name in Thai kao hohm mali, literally translates as ‘smelling like jasmine flower’.
Jasmine rice is prepared without salt. Accompanying dishes are therefore spicy and salty to counterbalance the tastes.
The secret to cooking perfect jasmine rice lies in the quantity of water used. When cooking on the stovetop in a pot, measure holding your finger on top of the rice — the water should reach just below your middle fingers first joint. All the water should be absorbed during cooking, leaving the rice firm and fluffy. Allow the rice to set for 15 minutes before serving, keeping the pot covered. This will allow the rice to thoroughly cook through and still retain its shape and texture.
Jasmine rice is easy to digest because the starch is easily converted into glycogen which fuels muscles. White rice has B vitamins and some protein with no gluten, a small amount of phosphorous, zinc, selenium, copper, iodine, and fiber. It is salt-free and also has no extrinsic sugar.
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