All About Rice

Which Rice to Choose?

Chances are you have stood in front of the rice aisle in the grocery store trying to figure out which rice is best for your pilaf dish. Have no fear, we will make you a rice expert in no time!

Rice can be broadly classified by the shape and length of the grain, which is either long, medium, or short grain. It can be further categorized according to colour, texture, and aroma. 

  • Types of Rice

    There are three general types of rice:

    • Long grain rice is four times as long as it is wide and usually produces dry, fluffy grains that separate easily.
    • Medium grain rice is shorter and wider than long-grain and stickier once cooked.
    • Short grain rice is half the size as long grain and almost as wide. It also has a different starch content than long grain rice and, when cooked, is quite moist causing the grains to stick together.


    Did you know: Today there are many more varieties of rice available such as Thai long grain sticky rice or short-grain Japanese rice. Arborio rice is a popular medium-grained sticky rice used in Italian cooking to make risotto because when cooked it gets a creamy texture. You can select the type of rice according to how it is going to be used in your recipe.


    Did you know: Wild rice is not really a rice, but the seed of a water grass. It is dark in colour and has a nutty flavour as well. It is generally available in stores and is paired with other varieties of rice in rice blends.  


  • Colour

    Rice can be different colours: 

    • White – is rice that has been polished (husk, bran, and germ is removed). 
    • Brown – is rice that only has an outer layer (husk) removed. It is light tan in colour, is chewy and has a nutty flavour.  
    • Black – turns purple when cooked. It is very similar to brown rice and has a nutty flavour.
  • Texture

    The starch content of the rice and how it is treated is what determines the texture your rice dish will be: 

    • Parboiled or Converted - is rice that has been soaked, pressure-steamed, and dried. This process gelatinizes the starch to create rice that when cooked is fluffy and separates easily as opposed to sticking together. It also changes the colour of the grain to a light yellow.  
    • Sticky rice – is generally short-grain rice used mainly in Asian dishes and desserts because it is sweet. It becomes stickier as it is cooked due to the high starch content. 


    Did you know: Rice that is sold as quick or instant, is rice that has been pre-cooked and then dehydrated. This type of rice is super easy to prepare but produces rice lacking in quality and flavour.

  • Aroma

    Some rice also has a pleasant aroma which contributes to the dish you are making: 

    • Basmati – a long grain nutty flavoured rice, and very fragrant. 
    • Jasmine – a long grain floral scented rice used in Thai cuisine as it is slightly sticky. 

Rice Cooking Chart

For best results, follow rice package instructions. If unavailable, use the following method:  

  1. Combine 1 cup rice, water or broth (see chart), 1 tsp salt (optional), and 1 tbsp salted butter (optional) in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, and rice is tender (see chart for specified cooking times). 
  3. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.   
1 cup Rice Water or Broth Cooking Time Yield

White, long-grain

2 cups

15 - 17 minutes

3 cups

White, short-grain

1 1/2 cups

15 - 17 minutes

3 cups


2 - 2 1/2 cups

45 - 50 minutes

3 cups

Converted or Parboiled

2 - 2 1/2 cups

20 - 25 minutes

3 cups


3 cups

45 - 55 minutes

3 3/4 cups

Instant, flavoured with seasoned mixes

Follow package directions

See package

See package

Should rice be rinsed before cooking? Unless otherwise stated on the rice package, it is not necessary to rinse rice. Rinsing the rice removes surface starch and other nutrients. However, if rice is bought in bulk, then rinsing is always recommended to ensure that surface debris and impurities, such as insects are removed before cooking. 


  • Raw white rice may be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or freezer in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 years.  
  • Brown rice has a higher fat content than white rice and has a shelf life of up to 6 months so should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to delay rancidity. Flavoured Rice is the same as brown rice, which is up to 6 months. 
  • Wild rice can be stored for up to 1 year on the shelf and will last a little longer in the refrigerator or freezer.  
  • Cooked rice may be kept refrigerated for 2 – 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months.  



For each cup of rice, add 2 tbsp of water or broth. Cover and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until rice is heated through. 

Featured Recipes

  • Medium
    Brown Rice with Hazelnuts and Sage

    Cook Time: 55 minutes

  • Easy
    Asian Wild Rice Salad

    Cook Time: 40 minutes

  • Easy
    Coconut Rice

    Cook Time: 35 minutes

  • Medium
    Creamy Fennel Risotto

    Cook Time: 40 minutes