Rice is an indispensable world crop that should not be missing from your diet

Rice, corn and wheat are the world’s leading food crops.

Did you know that there are more than 120,000 1 types of rice in the world?

The differences between these species are great. Which one is used for risotto and which one is used for sushi?

Red, brown, but also black – are they really healthier and more beneficial for the human body?

Today we will help you find the answer to many questions.

Why consume rice?

Of course, rice is a rich source of carbohydrates, i.e. a source of energy for every body. But it also contains many other nutrients – fiber, selenium, magnesium and B vitamins. Not only for vegans and vegetarians, rice is also a great source of protein.

For 2021, the rice production forecast was set at an incredible 517.1 million tons 2 . It is estimated that for every one billion new human population, an additional 100 million tons of rice need to be produced annually 3 .

Its grains are truly the basis of every world cuisine. In addition, all rice is naturally gluten-free, making it one of the most popular crops for people with celiac disease.

Due to the growing popularity, new and new variations of rice products are also created, such as rice noodles, rice flour, rice starch, but also rice oil and vinegar.

Nutritional values

The nutritional value of rice can be confusing for many people. The values stated on the product labels are valid for rice in its raw state. These numbers change with heat treatment.

Raw white rice
100 g 4
Boiled white rice
100 g 5
Energy value 358 calories 130 calories
Proteins 6.5 g 2.36 g
Carbohydrates 79.2 g 28.7 g
Fats 0.52 g 0.19 g
Fiber 2 g 0 g

Types of rice

It is not easy to quickly find your way around rice varieties, because they are divided into several categories, most often we come across a division according to grain size.

Long grain rice

The core is slender and up to 8 mm long; up to four times longer than its width.

It contains more amylose, so the individual grains do not stick together after cooking and remain separate.
Attention – this property can also be a disadvantage, when cooled, this starch binds to each other much more tightly and the rice can thus harden when there is a lack of liquid (sauce, broth).

White long grain rice in a bowl
source: www.usarice.com

Basmati rice

Basmati has a typical nutty smell and taste. It is often used in Asian cuisine, but it appears just as often in Mediterranean dishes. It can perfectly emphasize the taste of fresh herbs, spring onions and garlic.

How to properly prepare Basmati rice?

  • rinse several times in cold water to remove excess starch from the rice
  • cooking ratio: 1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water
  • rice cooking time: 15-20 minutes
  • suitable for recipes: curry rice , saffron rice, Asian fried or baked rice

Jasmine rice

This exotic rice is a staple of Thai cuisine. It is especially popular for its jasmine to popcorn aroma. It is especially suitable for spicy dishes, its texture very well allows the flavor of the spices to be fully absorbed.

How to properly prepare Jasmine rice?

  • no need to rinse with cold water before cooking
  • cooking ratio: 1 cup rice to 1 ⅓ cup water
  • cooking time for rice: 12-15 minutes, then ideally leave covered for another 10 minutes under the lid
  • suitable for recipes: baked chicken with rice , jasmine rice with shrimp , stir-fried rice with chili

Medium grain or round grain rice

The core is a maximum of 6 mm long; only three times longer than its width.

Cooked grains have a greater tendency to stick together. They are more wet and soft, and therefore ideal for creamy dishes, risotto and rice cakes.
With a lack of liquid, it can clump unsightly when cooled.

Medium grain white rice in a bowl
source: www.usarice.com

Arborio rice

Arborio is often mistaken for short grain rice. Thanks to its properties, it acquires a soft creamy texture during preparation. It also contains more protein than other medium-grain varieties of rice and can absorb flavors very well.

How to prepare Arborio for administration?

  • it is advisable to add at least one spoonful of olive oil to the prepared boiling water
  • cooking ratio: 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water
  • cooking ratio for risotto: gradually add up to 5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
  • rice cooking time: 20-30 minutes
  • suitable for recipes: rice pudding , sweet rice , risotto , for soups

Short grain rice

The grains are usually up to 4 mm long; at most twice as long as their width.

It generally contains a lot of amylopectin. Much lower temperatures are sufficient to release the starch, and therefore the rice grains cannot keep their original shape, they start to soften and stick.
Attention – if the rice soaks up too much liquid, it can turn into mush.

White short grain rice in a bowl
source: www.usarice.com

Sushi rice

As the name itself suggests, this is rice suitable for preparing sushi. It’s sticky and malleable. It is also commonly used as a thickener for soups, sauces or pudding.

How to properly prepare Sushi rice?

  • rinse several times in cold water to remove excess starch from the rice
  • cooking ratio: 1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water
  • rice cooking time: 20-25 minutes
  • suitable for recipes: sushi , poke bowls , rice pudding

What are the differences in mineral, vitamin and nutrient content?

Long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain rice hardly differ from each other in nutritional values. The biggest difference between these types is the content of a specific type of starch – amylose or amylopectin. Amylose only breaks down at higher temperatures, so the grain holds its shape better.
In terms of mineral content, the longer the grain, the greater the amount of minerals.

Cooked long-grain rice
100 g 6
Medium grain cooked rice
100 g 7
Boiled short grain rice
100 g 5
Energy value 130 calories 130 calories 130 calories
Proteins 2.69 g 2.38 g 2.36 g
Carbohydrates 28.2 g 28.6 g 28.7 g
Fats 0.28 g 0.21 g 0.19 g
Fiber 0.4 g 0 g 0 g
Calcium 10 mg 3 mg 1 mg
Magnesium 12 mg 13 mg 8 mg
Potassium 35 mg 29 mg 26 mg

Rice is further divided according to the degree of milling.

Coarse rice

This rice is completely unprocessed, i.e. in the husks. In this state, it is indigestible to the human body and unusable for consumption.

Whole grain rice

It undergoes milling, which removes the indigestible husk, but leaves the other layers of the grain intact. This rice is thus a healthier substitute for white rice.

The whole grain has a much higher nutritional value. Preserved bran and sprouts contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whole grain rice also has a low glycemic index; it is therefore very suitable for people who need to keep their blood sugar under control.

You can safely replace long-grain and medium-grain white rice in recipes with whole-grain rice. In general, whole grain rice needs a longer cooking time – between 30 and 50 minutes.

What types of whole grain rice do you (not) know?

Red rice, brown rice, black rice (sometimes also called purple or forbidden rice) – all these types are whole grain, only with a different pigment (color) of the unremoved layers of the grain.

Which is the healthiest? All.

Whole grain brown black and red rice
source: theveganatlas.com

Brown rice regulates blood sugar levels and contains really high amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Red rice gets its color from an antioxidant called anthocyanin; the latter has the ability to suppress the negative effects of free radicals in the body.

Black rice has even more anthocyanin in the bran than red rice. It also contains more vitamin E.

They all have their own benefits, so whichever variety you choose will be a healthier option than white rice.

Black rice
100 g 8
Brown rice
100 g 9
Red rice
100 g 10
Energy value 353 calories 367 calories 356 calories
Proteins 7.8 g 7.5 g 8.9 g
Carbohydrates 76 g 76 g 76 g
Fats 2 g 3.2 g 3.3 g
Fiber 9.8 g 3.6 g 11 g
Iron 1 mg 1.3 mg 1.1 mg
Potassium 157 mg 250 mg 156 mg
Sodium 78 mg 5 mg 67 mg
Calcium 0 mg 9 mg 0 mg

White rice

Ground rice after removing the outer husk, bran and sprouts. During production, it is bleached, polished and oiled – it is refined. This processing increases the sustainability of the shape during cooking and the shelf life of the product, but it depletes the rice of health-promoting substances.

We can often find that manufacturers enrich white rice; after processing, they replace some vitamins and minerals.

Whole grain brown rice
boiled / 100 g 11
White refined rice
boiled / 100 g 5
White enriched rice
boiled / 100 g 12
Calcium 3 mg 1 mg 1 mg
Magnesium 39 mg 8 mg 8 mg
Potassium 86 mg 26 mg 26 mg
Zinc 0.71 mg 0.4 mg 0.4 mg
Niacin 2.56 mg 0.4 mg 1.49 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.123 mg 0.059 mg 0.059 mg
Thiamin 0.18 mg 0.02 mg 0.164 mg

Cooking rice

The most important points to cook the perfect rice:

  • rinse with cold water – only applies to some species
  • the right ratio of water to amount of rice
  • cooking time

You can cook in a pot, in the oven and very simply in a rice cooker.

  • You pour rice into the rice cooker, add the correct ratio of water and select a specific program. The device will automatically set the cooking time according to the amount of rice and the selected setting. A quality rice cooker can also prevent the bottom layers of rice from burning, so it is truly independent and does not need your assistance. Before choosing a suitable helper, do not forget to read a large comparison test of rice cookers .
  • Cooking rice in the oven is also very popular. Not only will you save space on the hob, but the steamy environment of a closed oven is a good replacement for the function of a rice cooker. You don’t burn rice in the oven as easily as in a pot. With this preparation, you can bake the rice in the oven in one baking dish right along with the main course. This way the rice will absorb all the spices, juices and flavors.
  • You can successfully prepare any type of rice in a pot, with the correct and careful procedure. While short-grain white rice varieties are not suitable for the oven; it boils quickly. However, you can prepare rice without any worries with just a rice cooker.

How to cook rice – help table

BASMATI white long grain 20-30 15-20 set himself Yes 1 / 1 ½
JASMINE RICE white long grain 20-30 12-15 set himself No 1 / 1 ⅓
ARBORIO white medium grained 25-35 20-30 set himself No 1 / 2
VALENCIA white medium grained 30-35 20-25 set himself Yes 1 / 2
SUSHI RICE white short grain not recommended 20-25 set himself No 1 / 1 ½
RICE BOMB white short grain not recommended 25-30 set himself No 1 / 1 ½
RED RICE whole grain 55-65 40-50 set himself Yes 1 / 2
BLACK RICE whole grain 60-70 45-55 set himself Yes 1 / 2
BROWN RICE whole grain 45-55 30-40 set himself Yes 1 / 2

Rice products

Rice flour is made from raw milled rice. It is used to make other rice products, but also as a basic ingredient for cooking and baking; gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.

Rice starch has a similar use, which is mainly used as a thickener, for example, in sauces, but also as a healthier variant of starch in infant formula.

Rice noodles are made by the “wet” method from rice flour. There are flat and round variants, short and long, for main dishes and soups. In some cases of production, cornstarch or tapioca is also added to the noodles, in order to achieve a more chewy or gelatinous appearance. Rice noodles are one of the basic side dishes in Asian cuisine .

Rice paper, made from rice flour, extremely thin to translucent. It is an indispensable raw material for the production of world-famous spring rolls .

For people with lactose intolerance , rice milk is a great option. This milk is one of the least allergenic among plant-based milks – even less than soy milk.

Rice oil is a by-product of rice production. Rice bran oil is a source of vitamin E and so-called “good fats”. It is suitable for cooking/frying at high temperatures.

Interesting facts about rice

Rice is indeed the world’s most important crop for human nutrition 13 . In Asia, per capita consumption is over 100 kg per year. In Africa, rice is the fastest growing staple food. For the poorest population of South America, it is a greater source of protein than meat or milk.

The earliest archaeological evidence of rice cultivation comes from China from 7,000-5,000 BC.
Traditionally, fields are flooded during rice cultivation. A seemingly simple method prevents the growth of weeds and the action of pests at the roots. Rice production is thus suitable for countries with high rainfall because the growth of rice is directly proportional to the availability of water.

Rice is mainly grown as an annual plant, but in some tropical regions it also survives as a perennial and produces crops for up to 30 years 13 . The plant grows to a height of 2 meters.

One engineer’s passion project – how to grow rice using modern technologies?

日産自動車の技術者によるボランティア活動から生まれた 「アイガモロボ」始動!

The video above is from the rice plantations of Japan where ducks have been used to protect the crops for centuries. However, as rice production increases, the number of ducks is no longer sufficient to eliminate pests. With its floating motion, the robot helps keep the field free of insects and weeds – and without chemicals.

Are we looking at the technology of the agricultural future? Fascinating, but at the same time completely real possibility of how to grow rice effectively in the future with the help of small robots.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)