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How to Cook 10 Common Types of Rice

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

Discover how to cook 10 kinds of rice, from  arborio rice to wild rice.

Discover how to cook 10 kinds of rice, from arborio rice to wild rice.

If you are like my family, you eat rice all the time. It's easy to make, healthy, and delicious with almost anything.

When I bring a bag of rice home from the store, I immediately transfer it to an airtight plastic container for storage. The packaging it come in gets thrown away. Since I've been making some types of rice for many years, I have the instructions memorized. Lately, though, I've been trying out other varieties that I'm not so familiar with—and, once the original wrapping is gone, I can't remember how to cook them.

A Rice-Cooking Reference Guide

As you can see from the directions for the types listed, cooking methods can differ greatly, so I decided to come up with this reference guide to help. It's a lot better than trying to guess what the ratio of water to rice is and what the cooking times should be! Of course, whenever possible, I suggest that you follow the directions that are found on the packaging before consulting this chart.

This list contains 10 common rice varieties and their typical cooking methods. There are thousands of other types around the world.

Just a quick note: Recipes that include rice sometimes require preparations other than those listed here, so it's best to follow the instructions on the recipe.

10 Well-Known Types of Rice

  1. Arborio
  2. Basmati
  3. Black Rice
  4. Jasmine
  5. Long Grain Brown Rice
  6. Long Grain White Rice
  7. Medium Grain White Rice
  8. Parboiled Rice
  9. Short Grain White Rice
  10. Wild Rice
  • The different varieties are listed below in alphabetical order. You'll find type, origins, and uses for each one. You'll also find instructions for the stove top and microwave (if applicable).
  • If using a rice cooker, consult the instructions it came with.
  • All of the directions provided are for 4 servings. Amounts can be increased or decreased to get the desired number of servings.

1. Arborio Rice

Type: Short-grain. Brown arborio rice is also available, but prepared differently.

Origins: Italy, although now grown in other areas.

Uses: Used primarily for risotto and puddings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

How to Cook Arborio Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Place rice, water and butter into a saucepan and heat until boiling.

N/A

Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

Keeping lid on, remove from heat and let sit 10 more minutes.

 

Fluff and serve.

 

Basmati rice gives this Afghan Palau recipe a delicious aromatic flavor.

Basmati rice gives this Afghan Palau recipe a delicious aromatic flavor.

2. Basmati Rice

Type: Aromatic. Brown basmati rice is also available, but prepared differently.

Origin: India/Pakistan, although now grown in other areas.

Uses: Primarily used in main and side dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

How to Cook Basmati Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Rinse and drain rice 2 - 3 times.

Rinse and drain rice 2 - 3 times.

Place rice, water and salt in a saucepan.

Place rice, water and salt in a microwave safe bowl.

Bring to a boil.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Cook for 5 - 10 minutes on full power.

Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 5 more minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and stir. Careful, it's very hot.

Fluff before serving.

Cook for an additional 10 minutes on 50% setting.

 

Remove from microwave and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.

3. Black Rice

Type: Other

Origins: Asia, but now grown in other areas as well.

Uses: Primarily used in main, side and dessert dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups water

How to Cook Black Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Place rice and water in a saucepan.

N/A

Soak rice in water for 60 minutes before cooking.

 

Bring to a boil after soaking.

 

Cover with a tight lid, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

 

Remove from heat, fluff and serve.

 

4. Jasmine Rice

Type: Aromatic. Brown jasmine rice is also available, but prepared differently.

Origins: Asia, primarily Thailand, but also grown in other areas.

Uses: Used in main, side, and dessert dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

How to Cook Jasmine Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Place rice, water and butter into a saucepan and heat until boiling.

N/A

Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes.

 

Keeping lid on, remove from heat and let sit 10 more minutes.

 

Fluff and serve.

 

5. Long Grain Brown Rice

Type: Common. Also available in short and medium grains. Brown rice is rice that is only hulled. The germ and bran remain.

Origins: Asia, but now produced globally.

Uses: Primarily used in main and side dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional)

How to Cook Long Grain Brown Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Place rice, water, butter and salt into a saucepan and heat until boiling.

N/A

Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 50 minutes.

 

Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

 

Fluff and serve.

 

Chicken and rice casserole is the ultimate comfort food.  Long grain white rice is what I like to use when I make casseroles.

Chicken and rice casserole is the ultimate comfort food. Long grain white rice is what I like to use when I make casseroles.

6. Long Grain White Rice

Type: Common

Origins: Asia, but now produced globally.

Uses: Primarily used in main, side and dessert dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to Cook Long Grain White Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Bring water to a boil.

Using a microwave safe covered 2 quart dish, combine water and rice.

Add rice and stir to combine.

Microwave, covered, on high for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Reduce power to 50% and microwave, covered, and additional 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff and serve.

While still in the microwave, let the rice sit for about 5 minutes.

 

Remove from microwave, fluff and serve.

7. Medium Grain White Rice

Type: Common

Origins: Asia, but now produced globally.

Uses: Primarily used in main, side dishes and desserts. Also used in sushi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup medium grain white rice
  • 2 cups water

How to Cook Medium Grain White Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Bring water to a boil.

Using a microwave safe covered 2 quart dish, combine water and rice.

Add rice and stir to combine.

Microwave, covered, on high for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Reduce power to 50% and microwave, covered, an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff and serve.

While still in the microwave, let the rice sit for about 5 minutes.

 

Remove from microwave, fluff and serve.

8. Parboiled Rice

Type: Parboiled rice is rice that has been partially boiled in it's husk. It is also known as converted rice. This process makes it retain more nutrients and makes it less sticky.

Origins: N/A

Uses: Used in main, side dishes and desserts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup parboiled rice
  • 2 1/4 cups rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter/margarine (optional)

How to Cook Parboiled Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Combine water, rice, salt and butter in a saucepan.

Combine water, rice, salt and butter in a microwave safe bowl.

Bring to a boil.

Bring to a boil, about 2 minutes on high setting of microwave.

Bring heat down to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Cover and continue cooking on 50% power for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered.

Remove from microwave and let it rest, covered for another 5 minutes.

9. Short Grain White Rice

Type: Common

Origins: Asia, but now produced globally.

Uses: Main, side and dessert dishes. Commonly used for making sushi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup short grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)

How to Cook Short Grain White Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Rinse rice 2 - 3 times with water.

N/A

Add rice, water, butter and salt to a saucepan with a lid.

 

Bring to boiling, cover and reduce to low heat.

 

Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

 

Remove from heat, fluff and serve.

 

10. Wild Rice

Type: Other

Origins: North America, certain varieties from Asia.

Uses: Primarily used in main and side dishes. Also good in soups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (optional)

How to Cook Wild Rice

Stove TopMicrowave

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

N/A

Bring temperature down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered tightly.

 

Turn off the stove and leave the pan on the burner for 30 more minutes, or until it has reached the desired texture.

 

Drain any remaining liquid and serve.

 

Other Sources

  • web.duke.edu
  • ricefest.com
  • usriceproducers.com

© 2015 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 10, 2018:

I appreciate it SP Greaney. I love basmati rice and always find that brown basmati is our family favorite.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 09, 2018:

This is such useful information. Switched to basmati rice myself as it cooks so much faster.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 24, 2016:

I've never had Forbidden red rice, never heard of it. I'll have to look that up. Interesting.

Valene from Missouri on September 15, 2016:

I made some Forbidden red rice once and it had such an unusual flavor. I am not really sure how to properly prepare it as I think whatever I did wasn't right.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 23, 2016:

I like biryani rice too Authenticz. I like the interesting flavor it has and it's really good with certain sauces. Thanks for stopping by.

Authenticz HubPage from North America on February 21, 2016:

I like to eat rice sometimes. But for eating rice you need more cuisines. I cant handle so much cooking. I love biriyani though

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 21, 2016:

Thanks breathing. I think most people like rice and like to try different versions of it.

TANJIM ARAFAT SAJIB from Bangladesh on February 20, 2016:

Rice is a very good food. Especially in the Indian subcontinent people live on rice. So I love rice very much. But even I was unaware that there is so much variety of rice and their cooking procedure was completely unknown to me. The author has beautifully described all the types and their cooking procedure. So any rice lover can take advice from this post and make own desired type. Also now you have got many different options for different parties. You can amaze them may making these different types of rice. Obviously this will be a great pleasure to amaze them!!

Authenticz HubPage from North America on February 01, 2016:

Glimmer, I like rice too. Last night i ate one kind of brownish rice.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 01, 2016:

Thanks Authenticz - Rice is one of my favorites and I like all of the variations.

Authenticz HubPage from North America on February 01, 2016:

wow! Awesome!. With simple rice, great innovations.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 04, 2015:

Hi vwriter - You really should give Jasmine and Basmati a try. They definitely taste different than long grain white rice. More flavorful. They also taste different from each other. If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant, you've had basmati rice. Nuttier flavor and different texture too. Enjoy your rice and thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

vwriter from US on May 04, 2015:

My hubby and I have been eating more rice as well. I've been tempted to try Jasmine and Basmati because I have seen them in the store. I'm wondering as to the taste. Is it different from white long grain rice.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Thanks for reading and commenting vasantha T k. I really appreciate it and am happy you found the article helpful. Have a nice day.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2015:

Hi Vellur - I agree that brown rice doesn't get as soft, but sometimes that added texture is nice. Glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for reading and commenting.

vasantha T k from Bangalore on April 22, 2015:

Good tips given for cooking the different types of rice. Nice.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 21, 2015:

Very useful guide on cooking different varieties of rice, thank you for sharing. Brown rice is healthy but it takes so long to cook and it does not get soft enough like white rice! Great hub, voted up.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 16, 2015:

Like you, I am amazed at all of the rice varieties out there. These are just a few of them. Glad you stopped by to check out this article. Have a great day!

Anne Harrison from Australia on April 14, 2015:

I'm always amazed when wandering through markets in Asia at the sheer variety of rice available - something we definitely don't have here. Thanks for the instructions, I've often wondered about how to cook both black and wild rice, Anne

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 12, 2015:

Hi aviannovice - Nice to hear from you again. We are enjoying more and more rice varieties and it hasn't been that long since I realized there were brown versions of most of these types. It makes dinner a little more interesting. Thanks so much for reading. Our birds are singing loudly and coming back strong after a very cold winter here.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 07, 2015:

I used to eat white rice a lot, but prefer the browns due to their healthfulness. I think I would like to try some of the other varieties, like the Asian rices. Thanks for enlightening us with the proper ways to cook all these different rices.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 07, 2015:

Anytime, Glimmer Twin. I would love to try it sometime.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 07, 2015:

Thanks for reading and the vote Kristen! I appreciate it. Jasmine is a really nice aromatic rice. We really like it for a change of pace because it has that subtle flavor.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 04, 2015:

Great hub, Glimmer. Some of the rices I had and others I haven't like jasmine rice. Great tips for cooking rice. Voted up for useful!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 04, 2015:

Happy Easter to you too Thelma and thank you for checking out my article on rice. You and I both like all the different types of rice. It's amazing how versatile it is.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 03, 2015:

Great hub! I love eating different kinds of rice like the basmati, long grain and jasmine rice. Thanks for sharing this very useful and informative hub. Happy Easter!

Sudipa from India on April 02, 2015:

Yes, it has a wonderful flavor and is long grained. Glad to know you know about it.

Sudipa from India on April 02, 2015:

Yes, it has a wonderful flavor and is long grained. Glad to know you know about it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 02, 2015:

Thank you hiya-writer - I love basmati rice and I believe that is normally served in the Indian restaurants here in the US. My daughter likes to eat rice for breakfast too. I appreciate your kind comments. Have a nice day!

Sudipa from India on April 01, 2015:

Rice is the staple food in India. In fact I have rice twice in a day, which might be surprising for many, but that's what we have followed since childhood. Medium grain white rice is my favorite. Very well written informative article.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 30, 2015:

I like white rice too peachpurple. It's the one we eat the most here. Thanks for reading and commenting.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 29, 2015:

i prefer plain white rice, easy to cook and cheaper than brown rice.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 29, 2015:

I appreciate it Audrey! Thanks so much for your kind comments and for sharing. Now I just need to come up with some more rice recipes!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 29, 2015:

Hi prestonandkate - Glad you enjoyed the list. Thanks for stopping by!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 29, 2015:

Oh RTalloni - That sounds really good. Does the lime juice add a nice zing to it and is the texture the same? My daughter would go wild about that. Thanks for the tip!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 29, 2015:

Oh RTalloni - That sounds really good. Does the lime juice add a nice zing to it and is the texture the same? My daughter would go wild about that. Thanks for the tip!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 29, 2015:

kschimmel - We have 4, but our brown rice is almost out. You are right, it is so versatile and easy to cook. Thanks for reading and commenting. Enjoy your day!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 28, 2015:

What a marvelous hub about rice! You've done an outstanding job. Thanks so much and will share.

Preston and Kate from the Midwest on March 28, 2015:

Great resource!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 28, 2015:

Hi Rose - I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading. We had rice as a side for dinner tonight and it was the type I had already memorized. :-) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

RTalloni on March 28, 2015:

Very useful--thanks for the information and tips. Just this week I cooked 2 cups of jasmine and replaced 1/4 cup of the water with lime juice to use in a Mexican meal. I'll be doing it again!

Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on March 28, 2015:

Great info! I have at least three kinds of rice in my pantry right now. So versatile!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2015:

Thanks for putting together this fabulous resource!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 28, 2015:

Good morning Bill. Thanks for reading. I knew there were a number of types of rice, but definitely not thousands! We eat rice all the time in our house and when our dogs have tummy troubles they get it too. I appreciate you stopping by and hope you are planning a fun vacation for the upcoming summer!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 27, 2015:

Hi Glimmer. Great information. I had no idea there were so many different types of rice. We eat rice often and our shih tzu loves rice and chicken treats. Great job. Have a great weekend.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

Thanks so much Larry. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate you stopping by. After all these nice comments I think I feel like making rice for dinner tonight.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

I like cooking my rice on the stovetop poetryman, but some rice can be cooked in the microwave. I will say I don't think it tastes as good and sometime the texture isn't the best when using the microwave. I do appreciate your kind comments and vote. Thanks so much!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

Nice to see you breakfastpop. I really came up with this idea because I always toss my rice packaging and kept forgetting how to cook it. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

Thanks for stopping by Bill. I haven't written in a while so it's nice to see old friends. I had no idea chickens eat rice. I know chicken is really good with rice (apologies to your chicken friends). I appreciate your kind comments and keep cooking rice! It's the best.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

pstraubie - I knew there were a number of different types, but not as many as I came across when researching this hub. I only highlighted the more common ones. My family really likes rice so it's fun to change it up a bit with the different varieties. Many thanks for the angels and for the share and votes! Have a great day!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 26, 2015:

Hi purl3agony - Brown rice is yummy and my daughter really likes it which is good because she is a very choosy eater. It has a nice nutty flavor. I like to jazz up some dinners with the aromatic rices. It's amazing how different they taste. Thanks so much for reading and pinning!

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on March 26, 2015:

Love rice. There are so many. Great read!

poetryman6969 on March 26, 2015:

Very detailed, very interesting article. I did not know that any kind of rice could be cooked in a microwave.

Voted up.

Breakfastpop on March 26, 2015:

I appreciate this info. I love rice, so now I have the perfect cooking guide. Up and useful.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2015:

This is just about everything a person could want to know about rice, all rolled up in a neat, tidy online cookbook....and it's free. Thanks for the great tips. We eat a ton of rice around here, and, a little known fact, chickens love rice as well. :)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 26, 2015:

Thanks for the heads up, Glimmer. I had NO idea there were so many kinds of rice. Black rice? Who knew?

Now of course I have to go in search of these and give them a try.

Awesome as usual.

Pinned to Awesome HubPages Voted up++++ and shared

Please know that Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Donna Herron from USA on March 26, 2015:

Wonderful! My husband is on a brown rice kick, and wants to try other rices too. This hub is perfectly timed for us. Pinning so hubby can decide what he wants to try next :)