Rice Guide


Rice is one of the most used grains on the planet. It’s a staple food for a large portion of the world’s population with hundreds of varieties. When selecting rice, enthusiasts will look carefully for the colour, fragrance, flavour and texture.

Rice Guide
  • In India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, rice eaters prefer drier and fluffier rice varieties such as basmati.
  • In China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, rice eaters prefer to eat jasmine rice as it is softer.
  • Also in China, but more traditionally in Korea and Japan, short grain rice such as sushi rice is used. When cooked it maintains its shape but will stick together due to the high level of starch.
  • In Laos, Cambodia, northern Thailand and north east Vietnam, communities use glutinous or ‘sticky’ rice to accompany their meal. This rice is also ideal for steaming in banana leaf parcels or making an array of desserts.

How To Prepare 

It’s recommended to wash rice before using it in Asian cookery for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gets rid of excess starch, reducing the risk of your rice becoming gluggy. It also removes any dirt or impurities, which we obviously don’t want to eat! Washing, rinsing and draining the rice until the water runs clear means you’re ready to cook it. We like to do this in a deep bowl (using cold water) and repeat the process 3-4 times until the washing water is no longer cloudy.

Cooking Rice (The Absorption Method)

For long grain rice, the first cup you use will require 2 cups of water. Each cup of rice after that will need only 1.5 cups of water. Fill a pot with rice and water and bring it to the boil. Give the rice and water a stir (ensuring nothing is stuck to the bottom) and place a fitting lid on the pot. Reduce the heat to low and cook for approx. 15 minutes. Turn the stove off and let the rice stand covered for a further 15 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time! When ready to serve, fluff up the rice using a fork or chopsticks. Do this slowly to ensure you don’t break the rice.

Before cooking short grain rice, you need to soak the rice in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. For cooking, the first cup of rice you use will need 1.5 cups of water. Each cup of rice after that will require 1 cup of water. You can use the same method and timing of cooking as the long grain rice.


For glutinous or sticky rice, you’ll need to soak it in cold water overnight or for at least 2 hours before using. Drain the rice and place in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Steam for 30-45 minutes, stirring or turning the rice over half-way through the cooking process.