Learn About Rice

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Rice?

Rice is a grain that grows from specific kinds of grass plants.  Rice comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors, all due to the many varieties.  In many cultures, rice is considered a staple to almost every meal and is cooked in large quantities.

What Are the Different Grains of Rice?

  • Long-Grain
  • Medium-Grain
  • Short-Grain


Long-grain rice is long, thin rice.  Once cooked, these rice grains typically separate from one another.  Common long-grain rice includes jasmine, basmati, and long-grain varieties of white or brown rice.


Medium-grain rice is shorter and wider than long-grain rice.  Once cooked, medium-grain rice may stick together slightly and is chewy.  A common variety of medium-grain rice is arborio.

Learn About Rice
Assorted grains of rice in wooden spoons.


Short-grain rice is the shortest and widest grain of rice.  Once cooked, the rice sticks together.  Rice used in sushi is a common type of short-grain rice.

How Do You Eat Rice?

Rice is eaten cooked, but it may be toasted before cooking.  It is boiled in water or stock until cooked.  Rice is a common side dish on its own, but is popular topped with thick curries.  Rice may be plain, heavily seasoned, or cooked with vegetables or sauces.  It is part of some popular breakfast cereals when it is puffed.  Rice is used in risotto, chicken and rice recipe variations, and fried rice.  These grains are also used in salads, sushis, and in some desserts like rice pudding.  While rice is typically enjoyed as it is, it is also the ingredient of rice wine vinegar, rice flour, and even rice milk.

Where Can You Buy Rice?

Rice is found in the grains and pasta aisle of the grocery store.  Specific kinds of rice may require a trip to an international grocery store or a specialty food store.

How Do You Store Rice?

Store dry rice in a sealed, airtight container in a cool, dry place.  Cooked rice must be stored properly to prevent the spread of bacteria.  When storing cooked rice, cool rice quickly and immediately refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a few days.

Fun Fact About Rice

Rice is so diverse that there are over 40,000 kinds!

Did You Know?

The Great Wall of China is held together today by its mortar, which contains sticky rice.

Recipes Using Rice

Watch Our Cooking Video On How To Make White Rice and Peas

white rice with peas kids cooking
How To Make White Rice and Peas Cooking Video

Authentic Mexican Red Rice Video Cooking Lesson

How To Make Authentic Mexican Red Rice
Authentic Mexican Red Rice Video Cooking Lesson

Easy Rice Pudding

Cook and drain white rice. In a saucepan, combine cooked rice, milk, sugar, and vanilla. After about 18 minutes, stir in more milk and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in butter and nutmeg.

Red Beans and Rice

Beans and rice are a classic pairing. Soften an onion, a green bell pepper, and garlic in a large pot. Add long grain white rice, kidney beans, chicken stock, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid evaporates. Serve with fresh cilantro over the top.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Create a delicious chicken and rice recipe in the form of soup. Start by softening onions and carrots in a stock pot. Add garlic and chicken broth and bring ingredients to a boil. Once the liquid boils, add rice and seasoned diced chicken. Simmer ingredients for about 20 minutes. Add fresh oregano and parsley before serving.

Easy Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf makes for a tasty side dish. Start by cooking an onion in a saucepan with olive oil. Add minced garlic and rice, toasting the rice briefly. Add in chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 16 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas and fresh oregano, and allow the rice to sit with the lid on for about 10 minutes.

Cheesy Beef and Rice Skillet

Make a delicious meal with simple ingredients. Cook and drain white rice and set aside. Brown ground beef, onions, salt, and pepper in a skillet and drain. Add rice, beef broth, chopped jalapeños, corn, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the liquid evaporates. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese.

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