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Types of Rice

There are a wide variety of rice in the market. What makes one variety different from another? When to use a particular rice variety and how it will cook is always a question we receive from consumers. Here is a brief explanation of the varieties of rice.

Short and Medium Grain is the main type of rice used in Japanese cooking: plain rice, sushi rice and many menus. Brown rice is popular amongst health-conscious people. Sweet rice is used for Mochi, a sticky Japanese rice cake and glutinous rice menus (like Sekihan).

Short Grain White Rice
Short grain white rice is characterized by round, semitransparent grains, and is the main type of rice used in Japanese cooking. However, there are other varieties of rice sold that will also produce good results, such as Nishiki, the medium grain rice. Other than being eaten plain, rice is mixed with vegetables, chicken, and beans, and is used in sushi and donburi dishes.

Short grain rice has a short, plump, almost round kernel. Cooked grains are soft and cling together.

  • Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Rice

Medium Grain Rice

Medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel than long grain rice. Cooked grains are more moist and tender, and have a greater tendency to cling together than long grain.
  • Nishiki Premium Grade Medium Grain Rice
  • Nagomi - Premium Sushi Rice
  • Ichiban - Premium Sushi Rice

Brown Rice

The kernels of rice have had only the hull removed. Cooked brown rice has a slightly chewy texture and a nutty flavor. The light brown color of brown rice is caused be the presence of bran layers which are rice in minerals and vitamins, especially the B-complex group.
  • Nishiki Quick Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice

Sweet Rice

Sweet or glutinous rice is short and plump with a chalky white, opaque kernel. When cooked, this rice loses its shape and is very glutinous.
  • Hakubai - "Mochigome" Enriched Sweet Rice

In Japanese cuisine, Long Grain rice or aromatic rice is not consumed so much because of its light, fluffy texture and aroma. But these are good for Chinese and southern Asian cuisine.

Long Grain Rice
Long grain rice has a long, slender kernel, four to five times longer than its width. Cooked grains are separate, light and fluffy. Most Chinese restaurants serve long grain rice with the meal. Long grain rice is perfect for rice pilaf dishes.

Basmati Rice
An aromatic rice native to Pakistan and India. It is also grown in the United States. It has a natural flavor and aroma similar to that of roasted popcorn or nuts. When cooked, the grain swells only lengthwise, resulting in long, thin grains. When cooked, the grains are dry and separate.

Jasmine Rice

An aromatic rice grown in the United States and Thailand. It has a flavor and aroma similar to that of roasted popcorn or nuts, and a soft, moist texture that clings together.