10 Types of Rice and How to Cook Them

type of rice

Perhaps you've already thrown out the packaging for your bag of rice. Or, maybe you're unsure what the best method of cooking is, rice cooker or pot? Below, you'll learn about ten popular rice types and how to cook them.

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Types of Rice

Rice typically falls into two categories – long-grain or medium-to-short-grain, each offers a unique texture and appearance to dishes. The primary difference between the two is the amount of dry starch versus sticky starch in each option.

  • Long-grain

Long-grain rice has a higher amount of amylose (dry starch), which helps it become firm rice with a fluffy texture and separate grains once cooked. This type of rice typically grows in tropical or subtropical regions.

  • Medium-to-short-grain

In comparison, medium-to-short grain has a larger amount of amylopectin (sticky starch), so it sticks to itself and offers a soft texture when cooked. Medium-to-short-grain rice grows in colder regions like the mountains.

Specific Rice Types and Cooking Methods

While each rice provides a slightly different flavor and appearance, they all share one thing in common. It’s best to rinse each type of rice (except for arborio) before cooking. 

  • Arborio Rice

If you've eaten risotto, you've likely had arborio rice. It's a short-grain rice used for Italian dishes. Arborio is one type of rice meant to stay al dente when cooked. This is one type of rice you should not rinse off the starch, as it helps create a creamy consistency in dishes.

Arborio Rice

You can cook arborio rice in a rice cooker using a 1:1.5 ratio of rice to water.

  • Basmati Rice

Basmati is a long-grain rice revered for its fragrant aroma and flavor. It's common to see basmati rice in Indian, Pakistani, and Mediterranean dishes, like biryani.

Basmati Rice

Add one cup of basmati rice to 1.25 cups of water in a pan. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, and let sit with a cover for five minutes (no heat).

  • Black Rice

Black rice (aka forbidden rice) is available as medium-grain or short-grain rice. It has a rich flavor and is purple once you cook it. Use black rice to create sweet sticky rice.

Black Rice

It’s best to cook black rice on the stovetop. Use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Soak for 60 minutes, then simmer for 30 minutes and fluff before serving.

  • Bomba Rice

This Spanish rice is short-to-medium grain and has enough bite to withstand recipes that call for a larger amount of liquid without turning into mush! Try bomba rice when creating a paella rice recipe.

Bomba rice

You'll need a 1:3 ratio of rice to water for this rice variety. Add it to a pan, bring the rice to a boil, and simmer it for 15 minutes.

  • Brown Rice

Surprisingly, brown rice is not a rice type. It has not been processed, so it's fiber and nutrient-rich. You can use brown rice for an array of healthy meals.

Brown Rice

Try using a rice cooker for making brown rice, like the 5.2QT Multifunction Cooker. It features a specific setting for brown rice, so you know you’ll have a perfect batch every time. Add a 1:2 ratio of brown rice and water, press the brown rice button, and let the machine go to work! You can also use this versatile rice cooker to create stews, noodle dishes, cakes, and more.

  • Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice features a delicious floral aroma. When cooked, it has a tender consistency. It's a medium-to-long grain variety that is excellent for fried rice and congee.

Jasmine Rice

For every cup of rice, use 1.75 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil in a pan, then simmer for 40 minutes. Allow the rice to sit covered and off the heat for 10 minutes.

  • Parboiled Rice

Parboiled rice is healthier than white rice, as it has fewer calories yet more protein and fiber. It has been partially boiled while in the husk, which allows it to maintain more nutrients. This option is not the same as instant rice, so you'll need to cook it fully. It's great for casseroles and fried rice.

Parboiled Rice

Cook one cup of parboiled rice with 2.25 cups of water in a saucepan by bringing it to a boil and then simmering for 20 minutes. Allow it to sit covered off the heat for five minutes.

  • Red Rice

Red rice is a short-grain variety that turns into a brownish-red hue when cooked. Many varieties of red rice are available, from Thai red rice to Bhutanese red rice. It's a great option for salad and gumbo.

Red Rice

As there are many varieties, the exact cooking instructions will vary. However, a good rule of thumb is one cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. You can use this ratio when cooking red rice in a rice cooker.

  • Sushi Rice

There's nothing like homemade sushi! This type of short-grain rice has a tacky consistency when cooked. You can eat it as-is or use it in Japanese dishes like sushi rolls, hand rolls, or poke bowls.

sushi rice with salmon

You’ll want to pull out a Japanese rice cooker for this one, like the Japanese Instant Rice Cooker from Comfee. This rice cooker can cook 10-20 cups of rice at a time, so it's a great option for meal prep for the week or for those with large families. Add one cup of rice for every two cups of water and let the rice cooker perfectly cook a batch of sushi rice!

  • Wild Rice

You would never guess that this "rice" is a grass.This is the only rice that is native to North America. Wild rice offers a delicious chewy consistency, perfect for stuffing and soup.

Wild Rice

You will need a 1:2 ratio of rice to water when cooking wild rice in a rice cooker. It should take about 50 minutes to cook.

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