Plain rice is nice, but is wild better?
Confused about rice? There seems to be so many varieties. What is long-grain? How about wild rice? Converted? What is all of this?
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth
- Dash white wine
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup onion chopped
- ¾ cup chopped green onion
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled, deveined
- 4 cups cooked long grain white rice cold
- 2 large eggs beaten lightly
- ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
- In a small bowl, stir together broth, wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. In a large skillet or wok heat vegetable oil over moderately high heat until very hot. Add onion, green onion, ginger, and shrimp, cook for 1 minute, and transfer to another container. Add rice to skillet and cook until crispy. Add onion mixture to rice in the pan and make a “well” in the center- add the eggs, and cook until scrambled. Add the peas and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until crispy. Add broth mixture and stir to mix well.
Rice is a staple food in most parts of the world, and for good reason: add some vegetables, meat, and some simple seasonings and you have a tasty, satisfying, and nutritious meal.
- Long-grain rice: Easy to prepare, this rice is fluffy and dry and will separate easily when cooked and because of its low starch content it is a choice for stuffing, pilafs, casseroles, stir frys, salads, or side dishes.
- Medium-grain rice is shorter and plumper than long-grain, and works best in soups and stews. It is the main ingredient in cold rice cereals and when cooked, the rice tends to remain moist and tender, with a moderate stickiness, clinging together more than long grain.
- Short-grain, or sticky rice, is frequently found in Asian recipes because it is easier to eat with chopsticks. Through either steaming or baking, cooked short-grain rice tends to stay moist and becomes gummy because of its high starch content. It tends to be softer than long and medium grain and is used for sushi, stir-frys, and rice puddings.
- Jasmine Rice: Also known as Thai fragrant rice, jasmine rice is most popular in Asian recipes because the taste of Jasmine rice enhances traditional oriental spices. It is ideal for curries, stir-fry, pilafs and salads. The long grains cook to a soft, slightly clingy texture.
- Brown rice: Rice kernels that have been processed to remove the outer hulls, but not the nutritious bran layers covering the kernel. Because the bran is not milled away, brown rice contains four times the amount of insoluble fiber of white rice. 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. Brown rice takes about twice as long to cook as white rice.
- Instant Rice: Rice that has been processed, pre-cooked, and then dehydrated; it is enriched by adding nutrients to the rice kernels and requires a cooking time of only a few minutes rather than the lengthy time required for uncooked or raw rice.
- Converted rice: Long-grained white rice that has been steam-processed prior to being hulled, enabling the nutrients within the bran to be absorbed prior to de-hulling the rice kernel. It tastes a lot like white rice, but it has more nutrients and is beige in color. When cooked, it is fluffier and more separated than regular white rice.
- Enriched Rice: White rice that has been coated with nutrients, such as iron, niacin, thiamin, and folic acid, which were lost when the rice was initially processed. Despite replacing some of the vitamins and protein, enriched rice is not as nutritious as whole grain brown rice.
- Arborio rice; Arborio is the variety of rice that is most often used to make risotto. Originally developed in Italy, this rice has a higher than normal amount of soluble starch. It is used when a creamy sauce is needed in a recipe such as risotto or soup. The starch is released during cooking which makes a smooth and creamy texture.
- Baldo rice was originally developed in Italy, also, and is closely related to Arborio. It is used in many Italian recipes and is highly popular in Mediterranean Countries. It is sticky rice with a compact structure perfect for rice molds. With its shorter grains, Baldo rice has a quicker cooking time than other varieties.
- Basmati rice is an aromatic rice originally developed in India. When cooked, these rice grains not only swell but also elongate 2 to 3 times their normal length, and through steaming, boiling, or baking, this rice remains fluffy and dry and the grains do not stick together. Basmati rice smells like popcorn and has a delicious, nutty flavor. It can be used for almost any kind of recipe, but is most often found in Middle-Eastern dishes such as curry.
- Mochi Rice: An Asian rice that is glutinous, short-grained, and sticky-textured. High in starch, this rice is most often used to make foods like rice cakes (also know as mochi) and sushi rolls. Mochi is also used to make confections, crackers, rice balls, puddings, and molds.
- Wild Rice: is not actually rice, but rather a seed from grass that grows in marshes. More than half of the wild rice that is consumed is blended with other kinds of less expensive rice. Wild rice usually requires more time to cook than regular rice.