Defined by Webster’s Dictionary, rice (Oryza sativa) is an annual cereal grass widely cultivated for its seed and used for human food. It is one of the world’s most important food crops.
One seed of rice yields more than 3,000 grains. It is the highest yielding cereal grain and can grow in many kinds of environments and soils.
Rice is significantly different from other cereals because its cultivation requires the controlled flooding and drainage of large tracts of land. If rice fields are not flooded or drained at the proper time, entire rice crops can be lost.
Rice cultivation begins by flooding a rice field to a depth of 2–3 inches. Rice is then either broadly cast over the flooded field or immature rice plants are individually transplanted into the muddy water.
Once the rice seed has germinated, it will take 3–7 months for it to reach maturity. The colour of the rice plant then turns from green to beige, signalling harvest time.
The outermost layer, or hull, encasing the paddy rice is inedible. Removing the hull (also called ëhuskí) is the first step in milling.
All rice destined for consumption is subject to this initial milling step in which ëshellerí machines strip away the hull. What remains is brown rice, with the bran layers still surrounding the kernel.
Grains of brown rice can then be milled by machines that rub the grains together under pressure. This abrasion process removes the bran layer, revealing white or ëpolishedí rice.
Parboiling is a steam pressure process in which rough rice is soaked, steamed and dried before milling. This procedure gelatinizes the starch in the grain, ensuring a firmer and more separate grain. Parboiled rice is often favoured by those who desire an extra fluffy rice.
Pre-cooked rice is white or brown rice that has been completely cooked and dehydrated after milling. This reduces the amount of time required for cooking.
Parboiling is a steam pressure process in which rough rice is soaked, steamed and dried before milling. This procedure gelatinizes the starch in the grain, ensuring a fluffier and more separate grain. Parboiled rice is often favoured by those who desire an extra fluffy rice.
When white or brown rice is pre-cooked it has been completely cooked and dehydrated after milling. This process helps to reduce the amount of time required for cooking.
The mild flavours and creamy textures of avocado and banana team up in this simple mash that is sweetened with a little applesauce and fortified with cooked rice. Keep in mind that the mash does discolour as the avocado and bananas oxidize but it won’t affect the flavour or nutritional value. Continue Reading
Leftover rice paired with an Asian-inspired filling and enveloped in a crispy lettuce leaf offers a fun and lighthearted approach to eating—no utensils required. A healthy and satiating dinner for two, these wraps are as fun to assemble as they are to eat. Continue Reading
This is a classic way to use up any leftover cooked rice, whether it be short or long-grain and brown or white rice – just be sure the rice you start with is cold. To make this vegetarian, replace oyster sauce with hoisin sauce, or to go in the opposite direction, pick up a hot, roasted chicken or some BBQ pork from the prepared food counter, then chop or shred meat and stir into hot fried rice. Continue Reading