A Brief Guide to the Many and Tasty Types of Rice

How many of your favorite recipes include rice? If you’re looking for a fresh spin on your go-to rice dish, using a different type of rice could be exactly the change you need.

Stepping into the rice aisle at the grocery store can be overwhelming—how do you know which is the right kind of rice for enhancing your recipe? Learn about the many types of rice and their classifications in this guide!


Kinds of rice are first classified into one of three shapes, based on its grain length. First, there is long-grain rice, which is two or three times longer than it is wide. 

Next, medium-grain rice is short and wide. When cooked, it’s a little stickier than long grain rice. It’s also tender enough to make a decent porridge.

Finally, short-grain rice is stubby and sticky. It’s less than twice as long as its width. These are the best types of rice for dishes like sushi and congee.


Another way to classify the different types of rice is by fragrance, as some types have a unique scent.

Basmati rice, which you can purchase at, has a slightly nutty scent and flavor. A lot of Indian dishes use this type of long-grain rice.

Jasmine rice is one of the most popular types of rice in Thailand and Vietnam, and it is very aromatic. Like basmati rice, it has a nutty and even popcorn-like taste. However, it is a slightly shorter grain so it has a different texture.


The two most common rice textures are sticky and parboiled. The starch content of the rice determines a big part of its texture. The more starch it has, the stickier it becomes.

Sticky rice is good for dishes like sushi and even desserts because of its sweet flavor. Often, sticky rice becomes rice flour.

Parboiled rice goes through a steam-pressure process before milling. It produces a light and fluffy dish—not the best choice for making meals like rice balls, but great in casseroles and as a side dish.


You’re probably most familiar with polished white rice. Its pure white color comes from the processing it goes through; all of its outer layers are removed, leaving behind the core.

Brown rice retains its bran and germ layers, giving it its distinctive hue. It is full of nutrients and minerals, but it does take longer to cook than white rice.

Black rice is nutrient-rich and often used in Chinese and Thai dishes. It tastes nutty and cooks up slightly sticky.

Finally, wild rice make an excellent addition to soups, casseroles, and stir fries. It’s a colorful dark green shade, and offers an extra punch of protein.

Enjoy the Many Types of Rice in Your Dishes Today

With so many types of rice available, there are endless ways you can adjust your recipes! Don’t miss out on creating a new favorite. Try a new type of delicious rice today.

Did you find this article helpful? You can get much more than a rice list by exploring the other posts on this site. Check out the Food and Culinary page to find all the cooking tips and tricks you’re looking for.

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