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
(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.
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