Rice The Staple Food

As the staple food for most Asians, rice is no longer new to the rest of the world. It is often used in making savoury and sweet snacks, for example rice noodle, dim-sum, rice cakes and rice pudding. A soupy variation of rice - rice porridge, is cooked with much more water. It is often fed to infants as a preparation to eating solid food, or those who are recovering from sicknesses. But it has now evolved into a main dish with various ingredients and flavours.Here are just a few facts about the crop, and you will also find many authentic rice dishes in the rice recipe section.

There are various rice cultivars, classified by the shapes and texture of the grain. Long-grain rice are relatively less sticky than the short-grain cultivars. Japanese mochi rice and Chinese sticky rice are two of the short-grain examples. The Chinese use sticky rice (more commonly known as "glutinous rice") to make rice dumpling (zongzi) for Duan Wu Festival, and tang-yuan - a traditional soup for the winter festival. Other short grain rice include the Japanese table rice, and Japanese sake rice.
(Ref:International Rice Research Institute)

For the Indians, there are the long-grained Basmati (very popular in the UK), long and medium-grained Patna rice and short-grained Masoori.

In some South East Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, there are also some naturally coloured varieties that are commonly used for cooking coconut milk rice and fish rice. The Thai fragrant rice is also a popular choice amongst the Asians. Rice was traditionally bolied or steamed on wood fire or hob, but it needs constant attention and burns easily. Then there was the great invention of the electric rice cooker, which has eased the lives of many Asians, particularly the Orientals. The traditional Chinese are known to have large family, as well as a few generations living in the same house. Therefore cooking large amount of rice on wood fire was never an easy task (a typical Chinese family will have rice for both lunch and dinner, sometimes even breakfast).

However, if you are cooking for yourself, or do not eat rice very often; there is no need for a rice cooker. Most instructions printed on a rice packet sold in non-Asian countries, are not what we would call the proper way of cooking rice. You will discover much easier ways to cook boiled rice with better texture, from our rice recipes.

If you have any rice recipe or rice-related cultural fact or story to share with us, please feel free to contact us.