How to buy rice
Growing up my friends always told me rice just tasted better at my house. I even had a friend who always went straight to the fridge for some bites of plain rice to my mother's horror. The quality and brand of rice you buy is really important - here are the tricks my mom taught me about buying rice:
1. Buy rice at your local Asian grocer - If there is one reason why you should go to an Asian grocery store, it is to buy rice. The selection and quality of rice is far superior to a regular grocery store, and costs just a fraction of the price.
2. Buy "New Crop" - Look for the bags that say "New Crop [Current Year]" or the current year. This guarantees it is a fresh crop of rice. You will taste the difference!
3. Buy a variety of rice - Cooking rice is easy (especially with a rice cooker!), and changing up what kind of rice you have is an easy way to reinvent meals. Here are the five types of rice I always have on hand:
- Jasmine White Rice (white) - Jasmine rice is a long grain rice common in Southeast Asian cooking. It's what I grew up eating with my family, and cooks up quick and easily.
- Jasmine Brown Rice - A healthier version of the former that fills you up and helps with portion control.
- Red Jasmine Rice - Cooks and tastes just like brown rice but with a great color. You can also mix the two together for a more textured appearance.
- Sticky Rice - Also known as "sweet rice", is one of my favorite treats that makes rice special. I absolutely love making easy savory sticky rice dishes like this one here. You can also of course make coconut sticky rice (sweet or savory).
- Japanese Rice - I use this for making sushi. It's a shorter grain and stickier, and therefore holds together much better.
Favorite brands - Butterfly Brand and Three Ladies Brand have never let me down.