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Guide To Rice Grains

Use our grain guide to help you enter the world of perfect rice
Knowing Rice Is To Become The Rice

Get Into The Grain Of It

Everyone at Yum Asia loves rice, and chances are, you do too. It can be a perfect side dish to so many things, but can also serve as the base of a full meal. You can flavour it in an almost infinite number of ways, or enjoy its inherent grainy perfume. However, there are numerous types of rice to start with, and staring down bags and boxes of white, brown, jasmine, basmati, sticky, and so on can be overwhelming. So we have created this guide to the different kinds of rice and how they can be cooked in our rice cookers.

Rice is a daily staple for nearly half of the world’s 7.8 billion people according to the International Rice Research Institute. The majority of it is consumed in Asia but it is now strongly trending upwards in other countries, including the UK, Europe and the U.S. It’s gluten-free (yes, even “glutinous” rice) and simple to cook if you know the basic varieties and have a good quality rice cooker in your kitchen. So refer to the below and go ahead and eat more rice because, let's face it, 3 billion people can’t be wrong!


Start Here!
The Four Characteristics Of Rice

Size/Length, Texture, Aroma and Colour 

Short, Medium and Long

Length and Shape

Rice is often characterized as one of three varieties - long grain, medium grain, or short grain rice. These varieties refer to the length and shape of the grain. Simply speaking, long grain rice will have a longer cylindrical shape, whereas short grain rice will be shorter and wider.

Long Grain White Rice

Long Grain Rice - This rice has milled grains that are at least three to four times as long as they are wide. Due to its starch composition, it is separate, light and fluffy when cooked.


Medium Grain Rice

Medium Grain Rice - When compared to long grain rice, medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel. Since the cooked grains are more moist and tender than long grain rice, the rice has a greater tendency to stick together.


Short Grain Rice

Short Grain Rice - Featuring grains that are less than twice as long as they are wide, this rice is short and best for sushi. It has a sticky texture when cooked.

Rice Isn't Always All White


Rice is naturally brown after harvesting, but once the nutrient-rich outer layer of bran is removed, it is white in colour. Red rice, black rice, and purple rice all feature unique pigmentation in the bran. For these colorful rice varieties, the bran layer usually remains for added visual appeal and added nutritional value.

Polished Rice

Polished Rice - The term “polished” simply refers to white rice that has had its outer brown layer of bran and germ removed. Rice that has shed its bran layers can also be referred to as "milled rice."


Brown Rice

Brown Rice - This healthy rice sheds its outer husk and retains its bran and germ layers that give it a characteristic tan colour. Though brown rice takes a little longer to cook than white rice, the nutrient-dense layers are rich in vitamins and minerals.


Forbidden Black Rice

Forbidden Rice - High in nutritional value, this rice is also known as black rice and has a mild nutty flavor. Slightly sticky when cooked, it is used in a variety of Chinese or Thai dishes, including Chinese black rice cake and mango sticky rice. Mix it with white rice, and it also adds colour to any rice pilaf or rice bowl.

Black Wild Rice

Wild Rice - Wild rice grains are harvested from the genus Zizania of grasses. High in protein, wild rice adds a colourful, exotic flair to any rice dish. Serve it with stir frys, mushroom soups, or casseroles for something new.

Another Important Sense To Consider


Aroma is another factor to consider when cooking with rice. Certain rice varieties give off pleasing fragrances while being cooked. Add a sensory element to your guests' dining experience with these rice types.

Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice - Basmati rice is a type of long-grain rice that is popular among Indian cuisine and other ethnic dishes. Cooked basmati rice imparts a subtle nutty or popcorn-like flavor and aroma.


Jasmine Rice

Jasmine Rice - Jasmine rice, sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice, is a type of long grain rice with a long kernel and slightly sticky texture when cooked. Use it to infuse a subtle jasmine flavor and aroma into your dishes.

From Sticky Rice To The Dreaded Parboiled!


When cooking rice dishes, you'll want to think about the desired texture of the rice. The starch content varies from rice type to rice type. It will affect whether rice is sticky or light and fluffy.

Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice - Also known as sweet rice, sticky rice is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is used in many traditional Asian dishes, desserts, and sweets. When cooked, sticky rice is especially sticky and is often ground into rice flour.


Parboiled Rice

Parboiled Rice - This “rough” rice has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling that gelatinises the starch in the grain. This process produces a more separate grain that is light and fluffy when cooked. Converted rice is a type of parboiled rice that has been further pre-cooked, which ultimately allows you to whip up dishes of rice even faster but should never be used in a rice cooker!!


Parboiled rice (also called converted rice and easy cook rice) is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk and is NOT suitable for use in any of our rice cookers. As this rice is already partly cooked (and not pure uncooked raw grains) they do not work with our fuzzy logic rice cookers. This type of rice should only be used for rapid boiling or microwave cooking which, in our opinion, destroys the characteristics of rice that makes it so tasty!