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Posted in Grains and Cereals  
Rice 

Rice is a cereal grain that is one of the most popular foods in the world; its versatility is unsurpassed by any other food.

Rice is the principal energy source for a major part of the world’s population.

Rice can be made a part of any meal in recipes for soups, salads, main dishes, and desserts. It’s an easily prepared, economical base for any recipe. The neutral flavour of rice blends well with all foods. From meats and dairy products, to fruits, nuts and vegetables, rice adds nutrition, texture and flavour to any dish it accompanies.

Rice is consumed both with its bran coating and without. White rice, of which there are many types, is the generic name for bran-free rice. There are three types of rice with intact bran (whole-grain rice): wild rice, brown rice and the far less popular black rice.

Brown rice has a nutty taste and chewy texture. It’s healthier than white rice because of its higher fiber content, white rice, however, has a much longer shelf life, cooks faster, and produces fluffier grains.

Wild rice has a hard, almost woody texture along with a nutty taste and has similar health benefits as brown rice. Also, wild rice has the lowest calorie content of all rices.

Rice can be cooked whole and served with stir-fries, sauces, and curries, or made into flour, wine, cakes, vinegar, milk, flakes, noodles, paper, and tea.

Rice flour does not contain gluten and is suitable for people on a gluten-free diet.

Buying
Rice is available at all supermakets in varying pack sizes and brand names. Supermarkets stock most types of rice, the more obscure types could proberly be found in health stores.
Storing
Uncooked Rice
Uncooked rice should be stored in a cool environment that is moisture free. Rice absorbs strong aromas from foods such as onions or garlic. It is therefore important to store your rice in areas separate from those food items with strong odours. Store your rice in securely sealed containers that will keep out excess moisture and that will eliminate the risk of infestation by insects or damage by other pests (rodents). Avoid temperature extremes.
Brown rice has a high oil content in the attached bran which is extremely susceptible to oxidation. Brown rice has a shelf life of only six months due to this oxidation process. Storing brown rice in a refrigerator will extend the shelf life.
White rice, if stored properly, has an almost indefinite shelf life.
Milled rice, which includes white, parboiled or pre-cooked rice will keep almost indefinitely when stored in your pantry.
Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly-closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants and in an area where insects or other pests will not be a problem.
Cooked Rice
Cooked rice must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by food borne bacteria. Hot cooked rice should be cooled as quickly as possible. This can be done by transferring it to a shallow pan of water or by placing the pot of cooked rice in a sink with a shallow amount of cold water. Cooked rice should be cooled to room temperature in two hours or less to avoid bacterial contamination.
Cooked rice, after it has been properly cooled, should then be placed in a sealed container, properly dated and then refrigerated as soon as possible. Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days for use at a later date. The cooked rice may be reheated later on top of a stove, in a steamer or in the oven.
Varieties and forms of Rice

Varieties of rice are roughly grouped as long grain, medium grain, or short grain according to their cooked length and width. Long-grain rice is about four times as long as it is wide, medium grain is twice as long, and short grain is almost round.

The manner in which they cook is largely defined by the ratio of two starches that (in part) constitute rice: amylose and amylopectin. The former does not break down (gelatinize) when heated; the latter does. Rice with a high percentage of amylose, then, is long, firm, and discrete when cooked; rice with a lower percentage (and thus more amylopectin) is shorter and starchy, or “sticky.” For comparison’s sake, long-grain rice contains between 23 and 26 percent amylose, and medium-grain rice contains between 18 and 26 percent amylose.

Most types are sold as either brown or white rice, depending upon how they are milled. Brown rice retains the bran that surrounds the kernel, making it chewier, nuttier, and richer in nutrients. White rice lacks the bran and germ, but is more tender and delicate. It’s less nutritious than brown rice, but you can partially compensate for that by getting enriched white rice.

Cooking

Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming, and absorbs water during cooking. It can be cooked in just as much water as it absorbs (the absorption method), or in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving (the rapid-boil method). Rice is sometimes quickly fried in oil or fat before boiling; this makes the cooked rice less sticky, and is a cooking style commonly called pilaf by American chefs or biryani (Dam-pukhtak) in India, Pakistan, and Iran.

For best results, always follow package directions. When directions are not available, use this easy method:

Stove top and Microwave method
Uncooked Water Cooking Time Yield
Regular-milled long grain 1¾ cups 15 minutes 3 to 4 cups
Regular-milled medium grain 1½ cups 15 minutes 3 cups
Regular-milled short grain 1¼ cups 15 minutes 3 cups
Brown 2¼ cups 45 to 50 minutes 3 to 4 cups
Parboiled 2 cups 20 to 25 minutes 3 to 4 cups
Precooked, flavoured or seasoned mixes Follow package directions varies varies

Stove top method

  1. Add water as per chart above to pot

  2. Bring water to boil

  3. Add 1 cup rice

  4. 5 ml salt

  5. 15 ml butter (optional)

  6. Stir once or twice

  7. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until most of the water is absorbed

  8. Fluff with fork.

Microwave method

  1. Combine 1–cup rice and water as per chart above, 5ml salt, 15 ml butter (optional) in a 2– to 3–quart deep microwave baking dish

  2. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 minutes or until boiling. Reduce setting to MEDIUM (50% power) and cook 15 minutes (20 minutes for parboiled rice and 30 minutes for brown rice)

  3. Fluff with fork.

Rice cooker method
Uncooked Rice Water Cooking Time
Long Grain White 1 cup 2 cups 20 minutes
Long Grain Brown 1 cup 2 cups 20 minutes
Long Grain Parboiled 1 cup 2½ cups 25 minutes

Rice cooker method

  1. Combine rice and water as per chart above

  2. 5 ml salt

  3. 15 ml butter (optional)

  4. Stir once or twice

  5. Cover tightly and cook until most of the water is absorbed

  6. Fluff with fork.

Reheating rice – When rice is reheated, it tastes as it did when first prepared. For each cup of cooked rice, add 30 ml liquid. Cover and heat on top of stove or in oven until heated through (about 5 minutes). In a microwave oven, cover and cook on HIGH about 1 minute per cup. Frozen rice may be cooked 2 minutes on HIGH power for each cup. Fluff with fork.

Rice Tips
  • Measure the amounts of rice and liquid.

  • Time accurately.

  • Keep lid on tightly during cooking to prevent steam from escaping.

  • If rice is not quite tender or if liquid is not absorbed, cook 2 to 4 minutes longer.

  • If cooked rice is crunchy, add additional liquid, cover tightly and cook until grains are tender.

  • If more separate grains are desirable, sauté rice in a small amount of butter before cooking, then add liquid and cook as directed.

Matches well with
Health Benefits
Assorted Rice 

Rice is a complex carbohydrate, an important part of the human diet, used to fuel the body. Complex carbohydrates are stored in muscles and released as energy when needed. Nutritionists recommend that over half the calories we consume should come from complex carbohydrates.

Rice protein, when compared to that of other grains, is considered one of the highest quality proteins. It has all eight of the essential amino acids, necessary building blocks for strong muscles. Rice is also a good source of other essential nutrients – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. Rice is healthful for what it does not contain as well. It has no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium. This along with being non-allergenic and gluten free, makes rice especially well suited for persons with special dietary needs.

Category: Ingredients

Sub-Category: Grains

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