Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…
We all need a well-stocked store cupboard…Of things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…I am not surprised by the comments to hear that many of you already have a well-stocked store cupboard…There are however many who still do not especially youngsters or people starting out on their own…
It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…
Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Don’t they always though…haha
Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at Rice…Rice I can hear your thoughts…A column just for rice…?
Did you know? There are more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice (the grass species Oryza sativa) said to exist. But the exact figure is uncertain. Over 90,000 samples of cultivated rice and wild species are stored at the International Rice Gene Bank and these are used by researchers all over the world.
The rice varieties can be divided into three basic groups, long grain, short grain and medium grain. Within the groups, there are also many speciality and aromatic rice…
When I go shopping I pass many rice shops…They all have at least 20 tubs all different kinds of rice, colours and grades…
Of course, I will not be listing all of those but just the most commonly used kinds of rice…
Rice is served as an accompaniment to dishes or can form the base of both sweet and savoury meals.
Long-grain rice is widely used in Indian Cuisine. It is aromatic and when cooked presents as separate, fuffy grains. Brown Basmati is also available.
All-purpose Long Grain Rice…
All-purpose long-grain rices are imported mainly from the USA, Italy, Spain, Surinam, Guyana and Thailand and can be used for all styles of cooking. At one time long-grain rice was exported from India and was called Patna after the district in which it grew.
Long grain rice is a slim grain which is 4-5 times as long as it is wide. When it is harvested it is known as ‘rough’ or ‘paddy’ rice. It undergoes different milling techniques to give different types of rice suited to different uses.
Easy to cook Rice…
This rice has a slightly fuller flavour than regular white rice. It differs in that, unlike regular white rice, which is milled direct from the field, easy cook rice is steamed under pressure before milling. This process hardens the grain, reducing the possibility of over-cooking. It also helps to retain much of the natural vitamin and mineral content present in the milled layers.
When raw the rice has a golden colour but turns white upon cooking. Can be used in the same dishes as regular long-grain, and is especially good in rice salads.
Brown or (wholegrain) long-grain-rice…
This rice has a distinctly nutty flavour. Brown Rice undergoes only minimal milling, which removes the husk but retains the bran layer. Due to this, the rice retains more vitamin, mineral and fibre content than regular or easy cook white rice. The grains remain separate when cooked, like long-grain white, but take longer to soften. The cooked grains have a chewy texture, which many people enjoy. It is also available in the easy-cook form.
This rice has medium -length polished grains which can absorb a great deal of liquid while still retaining its shape. There are several types of risotto rice including the popular arborio and carnaroli. When cooking risotto rice it is necessary to stir regularly and stock should be added periodically throughout the cooking to prevent the rice sticking and burning.
Jasmine or Thai fragrant rice…
Aromatic rice its flavour is slightly less pronounced than basmati. It originates from Thailand. The length and slenderness of the grains suggest that they should remain separate on cooking but it differs from other long-grain rices in that it has a soft and slightly sticky texture when cooked. Good with Chinese and South-East Asian food.
Thai Glutinous Rice( Sticky Rice)…
A staple in the Thai diet but it is growing in popularity in the Western World. It is not as the name suggests high in gluten… this rice is soaked in water prior to cooking for at least 30 minutes or overnight and it is then steamed. Although the grains stay seperate they are rolled between the fingers into a ball and eaten with a spicy dip or fish/chicken and papaya salad…It can also be cooked in coconut milk and served with mango as a dessert.
Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango( Khao Neow Mamuang)
This dessert is almost an iconic Thai dessert…sticky rice soaked in coconut milk with luscious ripe mango. A match made in foodie heaven.
The rice is soaked in water for at least an hour and then just put in the rice and steamed this takes about 15 minutes.
To prepare the milk:
Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as coconut milk will curdle.
Add 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over 1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.
Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice when it is time to serve.
Short grain rice…
There are several types of short stubby polished rice such as pudding rice and sushi rice. These usually have a high starch content and cook into tender grains that cling together and can be shaped easily.
Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all xx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on MeWe
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:
Connect to Carol
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend xx