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!

The Basics of Making Rice

Mushroom Risotto (Creamy Mushroom Rice)

Vegetable Biryani (Spicy Vegetable Rice Dish)

Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

Tahdeeg or Tahdig (Persian Rice)

Nigerian Fried Rice

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Chef Demetrios Haralambatos is the Corporate Executive Chef of Kontos Foods Inc.