Like White on Rice (Green, Red, and Black, Too)
From risotto to rijsttafel, pilaf to paella, biryani to baby cereal, rice has a place on the table in almost every country in the world. It’s the planet’s most widely consumed grain, and one of the first cultivated crops. Rice ushered in the agricultural era and filled bellies when other sources of nutrients were hard to come by.
It’s a crop that is grown in many regions of the world, from Arkansas to Zimbabwe, with countless variations in size, color, and flavor. There are an estimated 40,000 different types of cultivated rice in the world, but at Sun Basket we stick to these five that complement our favorite flavor profiles.
For tips on cooking rice, check out our video here.
Basmati: Usually used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, this rice offers a blank slate for additional seasoning. Fluffier and lighter than its jasmine counterpart, this long grain rice is perfect for soaking up flavorful sauces like the red curry in our Spicy Thai-Style Beef with Broccoli.
Bhutanese Red: This red medium-grain, partially milled rice from Bhutan turns light pink when cooked. Sometimes we like to shake things up and pair an Asian rice, like this one, with flavors and ingredients from other places to create new ways of thinking about food beyond the borders of a single cuisine.
Forbidden: Also called black rice, this rice gets its color from an antioxidant called anthocyanin, the same nutrient found in blueberries, eggplant, and other deep blue and purple foods (this rice has more antioxidants than blueberries!). We use this variety to lend nutty, earthy notes and a depth of flavor to our dishes.
Jade: This white rice from China is dyed with bamboo juice, and not only has a beautiful hue but, the added bamboo juice is packed with nutrients. In the forests of China, bamboo trees are considered the 'tree of life' by those who harvest them. This specialty rice adds nutrients to many of our Asian-inspired meals.
Jasmine: Widely eaten in Southeast Asia, jasmine rice is aromatic, with floral notes and a slightly sticky texture. Its distinct flavor makes it great as a stand-alone side in our Lemongrass Chicken Stir Fry.