Chef Demetrios Haralambatos
As a young child growing up with my mother and grandmother, rice was made two ways. Every day we would eat rice pilaf with each dish, and as a special treat, once a month they would make rice pudding. My sisters and I loved the dessert. Once I began working as a cook, I discovered an expanded realm of rice, and there was an abundance of new aromas, flavors, and textures.
There are several different types of rice, and they fall into three main categories. Long-grain rice has kernels that are significantly longer than they are wide, which makes for a light and fluffy rice. Medium-grain rice is shorter and stickier than long-grain rice, though not as sticky as short-grain rice.
Because of the unique nature of different types of rice, they cannot always be used interchangeably in a recipe. Here are a few examples and how to cook them:
|Type of Rice||Liquid (Stock or Water)||Uncooked Rice||Cooked Rice Yield||Cooking Time|
|Arborio rice||4 cups||1 cup||2 cups||50 minutes|
|Basmati rice||1½ cups||1 cup||3 cups||20 minutes|
|Brown long-grain rice||1¾ cups||1 cup||2½ cups||45 minutes|
|Brown medium- or short-grain rice||2 cups||1 cup||3 cups||50 minutes|
|Converted/parboiled rice||2¼ cups||1 cup||3½ cups||20 minutes|
|Jasmine rice||1¾ cups||1 cup||3 cups||20 minutes|
|Sushi rice||1¾ cups||1 cup||3 cups||20 minutes|
|Texmati rice||1¾ cups||1 cup||3 cups||20 minutes|
|White long-grain rice||2 cups||1 cup||2 cups||20 minutes|
|White medium-grain rice||1½ cups||1 cup||3 cups||15 minutes|
|White short-grain rice||1¼ cups||1 cup||3 cups||15 minutes|
|Wild rice||2 cups||1 cup||2½ cups||50 minutes|
Should you wish to make a greater quantity of rice, the water to rice ratio should stay the same. On another note, I do not recommend cooking a blend of “white and wild rice” or “wheat and wild rice.” As you can see in the table above, each has different cooking times. I would start the wild rice with the required quantity of water. Then, when the remaining cooking time of the wild rice matches that of the white or wheat rice, simply add the other rice, stir once, then continue to cook until the time is up.
Dressing up plain cooked rice can turn an average meal into something beautiful and flavorful. Explore different ways of making rice, and treat your family to dishes from other cultures. For some inspiration, check out the following recipes. Good cooking, and good eating!
Chef Demetrios Haralambatos is the Corporate Executive Chef of Kontos Foods Inc.