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Rice - Usage, Storage, Varieties, etc.


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I'm on a rice kick. Not necessarily because I bought a new Zojirushi rice cooker (okay, that's one of the reasons) (but I've been making paellas, risotti, etc. for a long time), but because I find it a bit fascinating. Maybe also because...pandemic? In any event, this is a book (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) I've had for a long time...

 

image.png.341e45789cfd235636075dc5ba26dd9b.png

 

Though mine has what I believe to be the original cover.

 

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In any event, quite an informative book, with lots and lots to read about and learn. Actually, I've recently downloaded two books from our library about rice - neither of which offered any more insight than the above. If anyone has a good rice book for me, I'm all eyes.

 

Be that as it may, my rice infatuation is kinda fun.  I'm up to around a dozen or more different varieties, and I have a feeling there'll be more coming. I just learned about this place, The Rice Factory, where you can order a multitude of different Japanese rices, and they mill them to your spec to order. Pretty cool; no, I'm not about to buy a rice mill...I'll leave that to others (ahem).

 

Now, this is the part where I think @Chris Hennes may want to avert his eyes, or risk having librarian breakdown. It's about the storage and display of various rices, making them easy to get to as I seem to be cooking rice at least once a day. Here's what I've got going so far...

 

816117160_Ricestorage2.jpeg.9d4272d2e7aec5e34fcf1e879f1a8a47.jpeg

 

1807046357_Ricestorage1.jpeg.4182c5093aa03cf1d70e39cab7259a8e.jpeg

 

Not exactly what one would call military grade.  And I have more in the cabinets - 2 other risotto rices, some browns, etc. 

 

I know I can do better - like maybe all the same jars? Like what's with the Weck jars? Like maybe putting the labels on so they're all at the same level, same type, etc.?

 

But really - I got other things to do!

 

What's everyone else's relationship with rice?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Pre-pandemic, we started buying larger quantities of jasmine rice - the type we use most commonly...

20201129_085232.thumb.jpg.598182733f12c1074b1a079cdfbc99b7.jpg

 

Not only do we not run out as fast, but I find the large sack is different than the jasmine available in the smaller 5# bags - it cooks up fluffier using the same technique.  My theory is that the smaller bags sit around longer while most of the sacks we've gotten lately are labeled "new crop".

 

We keep smaller quantities of basmati, sticky and carnaroli which I've used (in a pinch) as a replacement for bomba.

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

I find the large sack is different than the jasmine available in the smaller 5# bags - it cooks up fluffier using the same technique.  My theory is that the smaller bags sit around longer while most of the sacks we've gotten lately are labeled "new crop".

 

Not 100% surprising to me.  But do you "decant" from the large sack into smaller, vacuum sealed packages? It's what I've done with Thai and Basmati rices I've bought in those big sacks. I think it keeps the rice fresher, and also in case of bugs.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Pre-pandemic, we started buying larger quantities of jasmine rice - the type we use most commonly...

20201129_085232.thumb.jpg.598182733f12c1074b1a079cdfbc99b7.jpg

 

Not only do we not run out as fast, but I find the large sack is different than the jasmine available in the smaller 5# bags - it cooks up fluffier using the same technique.  My theory is that the smaller bags sit around longer while most of the sacks we've gotten lately are labeled "new crop".

 

Same large "new crop" sack when I was cooking for more folks. Stacked high at front of markets. We did not have 4-legged poachers so I just kept the sack in the walk-in pantry. with a bowl sitting on top to.o sort of close it since that sack material unravels. 

Edited by heidih (log)
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I buy rices in small quantities as we maintain a fair collection of varieties.    Long grain white, Cal pearl, arborio, camargue (white, red and black), basmati, jasmine.   Because of a recent grain moth infestation, I am religious in moving rice immediately into snap-top glass jars, with smaller quantities in whatever glass container on hand: Canning jars, French working jars with plastic lids.  IMHO, Weck jars are adorable but a PIA to use.  

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You're miles ahead of me, already. My grains, pulses and pastas are in a random assortment of plastic bags, jars and original packaging, divided between (and piled over, around and between) clear plastic totes in an over-stuffed cupboard.

 

It's 18 months now since we moved into this apartment, so "once we're settled" is starting to wear thin. I should really get that sorted.

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"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Personally I am against too much uniformity in storage. When I started cooking in my twenties I used to frequent flea markets in New Mexico and picked up a variety of various older canning jars. I still use them. I've saved glass jars that appealed to me ever since, and probably own a more eclectic bunch than I even need. I do have a basic label-maker, which has pretty much replaced many of the cockeyed labels of my past. Too matchy-matchy? Not a good look, as far as I'm concerned. 

 

Rice. My comfort food. I usually have on hand three or four kinds. For sushi or Chinese stir fry I'm very happy with the Kokuho Rose. I like Carnaroli for rice pudding, some soups and risotto, but I haven't tried lots of different brands; most seem good to me. Most supermarkets stock only Arborio, which is fine in a pinch. My reliable gourmet/cheese/pasta shop often has a wide variety of esoteric Italiian rices, but lots I haven't tried.

 

My mainstay for long-grain has been CA grown Lundberg organic white basmati. Often we have to settle for their regular non-organic as it the organic isn't always easy to come by, but the organic actually seems to taste a little better. I love the smell. I've tried various other basmati rices, some from India, but they have seemed dull in comparison. Maybe they have been on the shelves to long? I like if for curries, Mexican dishes, rice salads and any kind of beans and rice. I've tried Jasmine rice, since that makes sense for lots of Asian dishes, but I just like the basmati better. 

 

I can't quite get a handle on the Carolina rice varieties. Gold or not gold? Aromatic or not? Is it long-grain or medium? Really happy to entertain any suggestions about the differences, your favorites brands, purveyors, etc. The prices can be steep, so what about value? Seems like it would be nice to use it with Red Beans or any kind of southern style shrimp 'n' rice.   

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

Not 100% surprising to me.  But do you "decant" from the large sack into smaller, vacuum sealed packages? It's what I've done with Thai and Basmati rices I've bought in those big sacks. I think it keeps the rice fresher, and also in case of bugs.

There are actually 2 bags in the large sack.  The outer woven one is really just to protect the inner one.  The inner bag is a translucent plastic bag.  We keep a large glass jar in the pantry which is what we go to on a regular basis.  Once it gets low, we refill it from the big bag, and then reclose the big bag's inner bag tightly with a twist tie.  The big bag actually sits on the floor in the middle of the living room, right up against the tent where it's out of the way.

 

20201129_122032.thumb.jpg.f002e86d73660a45b86908e1808f9fe5.jpg

Edited by KennethT (log)
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I am a rice person too... have lots of varieties on hand. One that I am particularly fond of is the Anson Mills Carolina Gold, it is a very tasty, heritage rice.   https://ansonmills.com/products/23   I buy it 10 lbs. at a crack and keep it in the freezer.  😋 

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About two years ago while on a manic spree, I went container crazy trying to organize my kitchen. For smaller amounts of stuff, I find the Oxo pop containers to be a good solution, though the plastic is brittle and will shatter if dropped. (I had a couple arrive broken from Amazon.) But for storing larger quantities of rice, the undisputed baller option are paulownia wood storage containers. They're shamefully expensive, but the quality is obvious and they're super beautiful. I shouldn't have bought them. But bought them, I did so... might as well post them in the thread on rice storage. Here's my little rice corner:

 

D17C0845-8E37-4D33-BDD8-3969CBC1B188.thumb.jpeg.f3523c46b355310477953cc16bba033e.jpeg

 

And a better look at the box stack:

 

C56FC809-CE02-4086-B81C-6D03CBE66A33.thumb.jpeg.6475dcc8f7d654a1e2d92687ce15485b.jpeg

 

And here they are unstacked.

 

257451C7-609D-4FDE-92E6-23D48BA1F6C4.thumb.jpeg.4a2e5795697db68d48e5e2c8687e5d77.jpeg

 

The small one really is too small. It holds approximately 1kg of rice and even less with the lid scoop in. I usually use it for wild rice, since I seldom have much of it on hand. The larger ones contain short grain sushi rice and basmati. The pictures don't do them justice. Again, I shouldn't have purchased them. Again, they're absurdly expensive for food storage containers. Did I mention that I was on a manic spree? Anyway, they hold rice just fine. It's always fresh and fragrant when the lid is opened. The wood has a luminous appearance and luxurious texture, and the fit/finish is superb. But are they really any better than just using a Cambro? It's hard to say -- which is awful considering the price tag. But they sure are purdy. IMO, polycarbonate Cambros are the best solution for storing larger quantities of rice (or anything, really). They're the industry standard in restaurants for a reason. 

 

As for the rice itself, I've tried a lot of varieties over the years and have discovered the my favorites are the aforementioned sushi and basmati rices, the former for its texture and the latter for its fragrance. I want to like Carolina Gold more than I actually do, though the rice "grits" are an interesting product. There's just something about the texture of Carolina Gold that I don't love. If you're never had CG rice, the Brock / Anson Mills recipe for Hoppin' John is good enough to justify a special order from AM. 

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1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

About two years ago while on a manic spree, I went container crazy trying to organize my kitchen. For smaller amounts of stuff, I find the Oxo pop containers to be a good solution, though the plastic is brittle and will shatter if dropped. (I had a couple arrive broken from Amazon.) But for storing larger quantities of rice, the undisputed baller option are paulownia wood storage containers. They're shamefully expensive, but the quality is obvious and they're super beautiful. I shouldn't have bought them. But bought them, I did so... might as well post them in the thread on rice storage. Here's my little rice corner:

 

D17C0845-8E37-4D33-BDD8-3969CBC1B188.thumb.jpeg.f3523c46b355310477953cc16bba033e.jpeg

 

And a better look at the box stack:

 

C56FC809-CE02-4086-B81C-6D03CBE66A33.thumb.jpeg.6475dcc8f7d654a1e2d92687ce15485b.jpeg

 

And here they are unstacked.

 

257451C7-609D-4FDE-92E6-23D48BA1F6C4.thumb.jpeg.4a2e5795697db68d48e5e2c8687e5d77.jpeg

 

The small one really is too small. It holds approximately 1kg of rice and even less with the lid scoop in. I usually use it for wild rice, since I seldom have much of it on hand. The larger ones contain short grain sushi rice and basmati. The pictures don't do them justice. Again, I shouldn't have purchased them. Again, they're absurdly expensive for food storage containers. Did I mention that I was on a manic spree? Anyway, they hold rice just fine. It's always fresh and fragrant when the lid is opened. The wood has a luminous appearance and luxurious texture, and the fit/finish is superb. But are they really any better than just using a Cambro? It's hard to say -- which is awful considering the price tag. But they sure are purdy. IMO, polycarbonate Cambros are the best solution for storing larger quantities of rice (or anything, really). They're the industry standard in restaurants for a reason. 

 

As for the rice itself, I've tried a lot of varieties over the years and have discovered the my favorites are the aforementioned sushi and basmati rices, the former for its texture and the latter for its fragrance. I want to like Carolina Gold more than I actually do, though the rice "grits" are an interesting product. There's just something about the texture of Carolina Gold that I don't love. If you're never had CG rice, the Brock / Anson Mills recipe for Hoppin' John is good enough to justify a special order from AM. 

Maybe the smaller one could be used as a sushi mold? I can't quite make out how the lid is designed.

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4 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

 I've tried Jasmine rice, since that makes sense for lots of Asian dishes, but I just like the basmati better. 

 

I can't quite get a handle on the Carolina rice varieties. Gold or not gold? Aromatic or not? Is it long-grain or medium?

 

The Jasmine rice is a long-grain sticky (one of the few) which (as you pointed out for a different reason) makes it perfect for some Asian food and the use of chopsticks. Well that, it's aroma, and it's flavor as well.  And Basmati is fine stuff; if I'm making Indian-style curries, that's what I want.

 

The real Carolina rices (Anson, Geechie, et al.), are imo and as @btbyrdpoints out, great for certain dishes - but I also want to like them more than I do. Perhaps it's the fact that they've been "rescued" and I feel good buying them and help preserving that tradition. And the name "Carolina" vis-a-vis rice here in America, has sort of come to be synonymous with our long-grain rices which cook to a dry, separate texture. You see it on many rices...

image.thumb.png.731cd6771ed11651545c91d264077b8a.pngimage.thumb.png.441c2538f53b82a86d66eabde731c7b9.png

But they're not from the Carolinas. Grown in the USA - like maybe Arkansas?

 

As far as brands, I'm still in the early stages of trying different ones. I am currently enjoying the Elephants brand in @KennethT' post.  

Really liking the Japanese short-grains (like the Koshihikari for white, the Tamaki Haiga from California for not quite white not quite brown), and can't wait to try some of the freshly harvested and milled from the company I linked to above. It looks like they'll have the 2020 Japan harvest sometime in January.  When cooked right, they have an amazing texture, holding together on the way to your mouth, and then each grain become separate and distinct with just the right amount of chew. They work when making stuff like this:

 

217592131_Onigiri109-02.jpeg.e8904d92cd2e32b80ebc303923d1f69f.jpeg

 

One rice not currently in my pantry is the Carmague red...but might be soon.

 

You have some great storage there, @btbyrd; nice job!

 

 

 

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Since a cancer episode some years ago scared me into being macrobiotic (briefly) I've been in love with short grain brown rice, with the only issue being a huge one. Is it fresh? I can, or could before the pandemic, get Lundberg organic short grain brown rice from a bin at my local market, and that was usually fresh. Buying a small plastic bag of it is generally a regrettable experience as I'd say 50% of the time it doesn't smell fresh. That's my other option as that is what Earth Fare, the local Whole Foods substitute, carries.

 

Now to reveal myself as a rice barbarian, I cook it with more water if I'm making sushi, and less if I'm going to use it to eat with a stir fry. I love ALL the other rices, but can't justify buying them as I'm increasingly cooking for only one person - me. And I like my rice to be fresh.

 

I am already interested in the rice resources here. They may shift my rice habit. As for storage, @btbyrd's boxes are gorgeous! And I appreciate @weinoo's mismatched jars. I think they are excellent.

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gayle28607

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3 minutes ago, Gayle28607 said:

with the only issue being a huge one. Is it fresh?

 

With brown rices, this is so true.  As you can see (smell?), they go rancid. And not that slowly. 

I think your best bet for those is trying some mail order/Amazon type places, if you can figure out where the good turnover is. Probably  buying Lundberg stuff via Amazon (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is a decent bet. If it sucks, they should refund your money.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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39 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

 

 

The real Carolina rices (Anson, Geechie, et al.), are imo and as @btbyrdpoints out, great for certain dishes - but I also want to like them more than I do. Perhaps it's the fact that they've been "rescued" and I feel good buying them and help preserving that tradition.

 

Exactly. But my experience is limited.

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Rice11292020.png

 

Top bedroom shelf.

 

Antica Riseria Vignola Carnaroli, Santo Tomas Bomba, Tilda Basmati.  Not shown, bag of Tamaki Gold on the floor.  Less interesting rices in the kitchen.  The rice I go through most is Tamaki Gold.

 

 

Edit:  if we may include wild rice I go through much Bineshii Ghost.

 

Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)
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8 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Rice11292020.png

 

Top bedroom shelf.

 

Antica Riseria Vignola Carnaroli, Santo Tomas Bomba, Tilda Basmati.  Not shown, bag of Tamaki Gold on the floor.  Less interesting rices in the kitchen.  The rice I go through most is Tamaki Gold.

 

 

Edit:  if we may include wild rice I go through much Bineshii Ghost.

 

I love Bineshi Ghost.

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39 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

With brown rices, this is so true.  As you can see (smell?), they go rancid. And not that slowly. 

I think Probably  buying Lundberg stuff via Amazon (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is a decent bet. If it sucks, they should refund your money.

Lundberg isn’t readily available in supermarkets on the East Coast?

eGullet member #80.

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

@btbyrd Kinda swooning over the boxes here!

 

They're kind of dangerous that way.

 

1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

Maybe the smaller one could be used as a sushi mold? I can't quite make out how the lid is designed.

 

It's not really shaped properly to function that way (unless I'm misunderstanding the type of mold you're referring to). Here's a couple stock photos that show the lid design better. Each box comes with a wooden rice measuring cup that can stick to the bottom of the lid via magnet. The lid also has notches cut into it so you can rest it on the side of the box.

 

kome-bitsu-rice-storage-box-5.jpg.1565d85e0a7b4aceb27de9a4490dd6ac.jpg

 

kome-bitsu-rice-storage-box-6.jpg.390d146e581f07f5dc644f2f59753845.jpg
 

For anyone interested, the company who makes them is called Masuda Kiribako. The ones I have hold 1, 3, and 5kg of rice. They make an even larger one that holds 10kg and is basically the height of all of mine stacked together. Seems like it'd get kind of cumbersome to move around and reach into, but I guess if I can move my stack around, it's not that much different. I keep the medium and large ones filled with @Katie Meadow's favored long grain (Lundberg basmati) and @JoNorvelleWalker standby short grain (Tamaki gold).

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Wow.  So.Friggin'.Beautiful. 

 

Over here, my rice is in RubberMaids.  I have a long-grain mass-produced one, and a shorter-grain mass-produced one.  I can't keep up with too many rices.  I have that Seductions of Rice book [mine is an original, and it has the cover with the bowl of rice on it]; when I first returned to NYC I figured I was gonna go deep into rice, so much of it being genuinely available here.  But it never happened.

 

My rice is altogether uninspired.  And it lives in RubberMaids.  

Edited by SLB (log)
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59 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Rice11292020.png

 

Top bedroom shelf.

 

Antica Riseria Vignola Carnaroli, Santo Tomas Bomba, Tilda Basmati.  Not shown, bag of Tamaki Gold on the floor.  Less interesting rices in the kitchen.  The rice I go through most is Tamaki Gold.

 

 

 

Nice! Have you ever tried the Tamaki Haiga? It's practically white rice, but with the nutritional content of brown, as they leave the germ.

 

43 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Lundberg isn’t readily available in supermarkets on the East Coast?

 

It is - but I was suggesting to @Gayle28607 for her brown rice cravings.

 

I haven't bought any Lundberg in quite some time.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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12 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

Google / search "rice cultivars"

 

the only thing which exceeds that list is the list of "marketing names" applied, with surcharges.....

 

I keep 4-5 rice types on hand + barley + farro + couscous + "wild (but not a rice) rice" . . .

now - no question about it - different rice strains lend themselves to different preparations/dishes.

after that one needs a very skilled barber and a microscope to split those hairs.....

 

Well, that's certainly giving rice short shrift. As is googling.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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