September means National Rice Month, the time of year when we take a moment to reflect on how this simple grain in all its varieties plays such a pivotal role in our culinary lives. There are few foods in the world that have established themselves as a weekly staple of family life to the extent that rice has. From basmati to jasmine, brown to white, rice is without a doubt a phenomenon worth celebrating. So let’s take this opportunity to look at how to make the most of your chosen rice with some useful tips and easy hacks.

Rice Varieties: Exploring Different Types of Rice

To prepare rice to perfection, it’s important to get to know your varieties. There are said to be over 120,000 varieties of rice in existence in the world, and each variety has its own unique flavor, texture and cooking requirements. Let’s take a look at the four most popular grains and how best to prepare them.

out of the bag blog

1. White Rice: A Staple in Many Cuisines

White rice, the most widely consumed type of rice, is milled to remove the bran and germ. It has a soft, fluffy texture and a mild taste that pairs well with a variety of flavors, as evidenced by this recipe for Spicy Seafood Salsa

How to Prepare White Rice

Although white rice is easy to prepare it’s also easy to get wrong. That’s why it’s important to follow a few basic principles.

  • Water to Rice Ratio: Perhaps the easiest mistake to make when preparing rice is to get your water to rice ratio wrong. As a rule of thumb, 1 cup of white rice requires 2 cups of water for the optimal finish.
  • SuccessⓇ Boil-in-Bag: For our Boil-in-Bag product range, you’ll need 4 cups of water per bag or rice. Always consult the instructions on the package to be sure.
  • Choosing a pot: Make sure you use a pot that is big enough to allow the rice to circulate as it’s boiling. Using a pot that is too small will lead to undercooked rice.
  • Bring water fully to the boil: Adding rice before the water has fully started to boil will affect your cooking time.
  • Simmer: Once boiling, it’s important to reduce heat to a simmer to avoid overcooking.
  • Cooking time: White rice usually takes 10-12 minutes to cook, but it’s important to consult the packaging for instructions as this may vary. 
  • Cooling: Once cooked, leave the rice to sit for a couple of minutes so that it absorbs the remaining water.
  • Fluff: With a fork, gently sift through the rice. This process is known as ‘fluffing’.

2. Brown Rice: Nutritious and Fiber-rich

Known for its earthy, nutty flavor, the key difference between brown and white rice is that for brown the outer bran hasn’t been removed. The cooking process is similar, although there are a few important differences.

  • Rinse before boiling: Doing so prevents the rice from clumping.
  • Cook for longer: As brown rice is a whole grain, it needs a little more time than white. Always check the instructions on the packaging to be sure.

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on brown rice, why not try your hand at this Cumin Rubbed Chicken with Artichoke Salsa for a meal that’s both delicious and satisfying.

Cumin Rubbed Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and Brown Rice
Cumin Rubbed Chicken with Artichoke Salsa

3. Basmati Rice: Fragrant and Flavorful

Basmati rice is a long-grain variety known for its distinct fragrance and delicate flavor, as this Mediterranean Rice Bowl with Air-fryer Chickpeas demonstrates.  Easy to make and packed with fresh vegetables, this meal simply won’t disappoint!

Quick Tip

When cooking basmati rice, you can follow the same process as you would for white, but reduce the rice to water ratio to 1 cup rice/1 ¾  cups of water. 

4. Jasmine Rice: Aromatic and Delicate

Jasmine rice, commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine, has a subtly sweet aroma and a tender texture. It is often served with stir-fries, curries, and grilled dishes, complementing their flavors with its fragrant essence.

Kitchen Tip

For jasmine, it’s  best to reduce the rice to water ratio to 1 cup rice/1 ½ cups of water. This will help you achieve optimal fluffiness!

Snack Hacks with Rice

For this National Rice Month, let’s explore the endless possibilities for rice. Not only is it the foundation of many of your family’s favorite meals, but it can also be perfect for creating wholesome, homemade snacks to take with you on the go. Make the most of the pleasant autumn weather and organize a picnic for loved ones and friends. These Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites made with SuccessⓇ White Rice are savory and fun to pass around, just don’t be surprised if they’re the first thing you run out of on your picnic!

meatloaf bites
Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites

Adding Crunch to Rice Meals with Beans

Some ingredients are just a match made in heaven, and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to combining rice with beans. Something about the soft, delicate texture of rice makes it perfect for pairing with chunky, flavorful beans. If you’re looking for a neat way to pair up your grains and beans, this recipe for Mexican Rice and Beans is a surefire way to make your kitchen creativity the talk of the table!

Cooking with Leftover Rice: Essential Hack

Too often is leftover rice discarded needlessly. The meal may be over but that doesn’t mean that your extra rice can’t live to fight another day. There are countless ways to repurpose leftover rice, from salads to soups to tacos like these Bacon and Ranch Rice Walking Tacos. All you have to do is keep two important steps in mind.

  • Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to one week in a sealed container.
  • Reheating: Success® Rice can be reheated in the microwave. Just add a small amount of water and microwave until warm, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Bacon and Rice Walking Taco
Bacon and Ranch Rice Walking Tacos

Hooray for National Rice Day!

Now that you’re fully briefed on how to best prepare different rice grains and have some exciting new recipes to try out, it’s time to gather friends and family around and celebrate this National Rice day in style with SuccessⓇ Rice!