Rice Should Never Be Boring!
Cultured since 4500 BC, rice is the principal food crop for half of the world's population and is raised on every continent (except for Antarctica). There are thousands of rice varieties - each with their own unique characteristics.
What’s the difference between Jasmine, Basmati, Japanese, Brown, Black, Red, Wild, Pecan, or Arborio rice? Chef Mick has prepared a little rice primer with recipes to help you explore some new rice varieties and keep those taste buds happy!
Most families who are used to eating plain old ‘long grain rice usually prefer Jasmine rice! This is the rice you’ll see in Chinese and Thai restaurants. We offer Lundberg Jasmine Rice sustainably raised by a small family company in California. Jasmine is the variety of rice, not a flavor. Once cooked this rice is very aromatic and slightly sticky with a soft to medium texture. Very versatile, Jasmine rice is great with most foods. It re-heats well and is a nice to have on hand for fast and easy meals. Best cooked in a rice cooker – makes great Fried Rice.
These short grains are slightly ‘stickier’ than Jasmine rice, and offer a mild flavor and soft texture. Serve plain under flavorful dishes, with butter and sea salt flakes, or seasoned with Japanese Furukake seasoning or soy sauce. Japanese cooks are diligent about washing this rice well, and use slightly more water than for Jasmine rice. This is also the best rice for making Sushi Rice.
Highly aromatic, this Southeast Asian rice is light and fluffy with individual grains that do not clump or get sticky. Very long rice grains expand even more in length when cooked. We proudly offer Vigo Basmati Rice imported from India. It is an excellent choice for everyday steamed rice, and also delicious with Indian food, curries and in Saffron-Spiced Basmati Rice. Leftover Basmati is great re-heated or cold in rice salads.
This rice is hulled but not yet milled, so it still contains the rice bran and germ. Brown rice has a medium to firm, slightly nutty texture and flavor and is excellent with hearty foods. Especially delicious prepared with broth rather than water, its heaven-on-earth a little butter, white pepper, and sea salt flakes. We proudly offer Lundberg Brown Rice – raised in accordance with nature by a small family company in California.
This very long, slender, and dark grain is a native of the Great Lakes region, traditionally hand picked from shallow lakes and marshes by the Chippewa Indians. Wild rice is higher in protein, iron, niacin and lysine (an essential amino acid) than other rice varieties. Wild rice is very nutty, firm and hearty in flavor. It re-heats wonderfully; cook one pound at a time and keep covered in refrigerator for up to a week, adding to a wide variety of soups and dishes. Also a great choice as a bed under braised or roasted meats with sauces – try DJ’s Minnesota Wild Rice Bed with roast beef, pork, poultry or seafood.
Brown and Wild Rice Blends
Tasty blends of premium brown rice, paired with a variety of other wild rices raised sustainably by the Lundberg’s in California. These rices make hearty and healthy Rice Pilaf, and are outstanding cooked with broth and finished with a little butter, white pepper, and sea salt flakes.
Tasty long grain white rice from the American south with a captivating pecan-like aroma! Long and fluffy grains that are perfect smothered with meats, seafood or vegetables in flavorful sauce, or serve as a side with a little butter, pepper and flakes of sea salt.
Forbidden Black Rice and Bhutan Red Rice
Unique and highly coveted wild rice varieties from Asia. Black Forbidden Rice was so rare, it was reserved for the emperor, and Red Bhutan Rice is great in both savory and sweet dishes!
Carnaroli and Arborio Rice
The essential ingredient for great Italian Risotto is Italian Arborio or Carnaroli Rice – and it is at it’s best simmered uncovered, rather than steamed. Arborio is the original grain Italians have used for ages, and Carnaroli is a new variety and the most popular today with chefs in Italy and abroad because it makes a creamier risotto. This rice is at it’s best simmered uncovered rather than steamed – and leftover risotto makes a great Risotto Patty. Arborio or Carnaroli Riso is also an excellent choice for Spanish Paella.
A good rice cooker is a worthwhile investment. When used with the correct proportions, they produce perfect rice every time. If you do not own a rice cooker, use a heavy pot with a tight fitting glass lid.