I am reposting this series on Store Cupboard Basics for those who are new readers of my blog and also because the fears of a global food crisis are growing due to the shock of the war in Ukraine, climate change and rising inflation.
Although I don’t advocate excessive stockpiling… it’s just wrong…but with food prices climbing, the U.N. is warning of crippling global shortages …it is good to have a selection of canned meats/fish, rice, and beans. Oats, dried fruits, nuts, whole spices etc. may also be good options to add to your store cupboard as they add variety to your daily menu.
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…It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…
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 something I love to eat “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 of 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 rice is 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 from sticking and burning.
Please click the highlighted link for the recipe for the above Risotto rice cake with chestnuts and Brussel sprouts.
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 during cooking but it differs from other long-grain kinds of rice 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 separate 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
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a lovely week x