In any rice-based recipe, this is probably the most abundant ingredient. However, also is the most important. The result of a paella, a rice soup or a good sushi will always depend on the use of the right grain.
It is a food full of good properties that, as a general rule, should not be missing in the diet of an older adult, since it is an excellent source of energy by providing 86 grams of carbohydrates per 100 of product, according to the Spanish Food Composition Database (BEDCA). Essential minerals To take care of health as we age, such as calcium, phosphorus or selenium, they are also present in remarkable quantities, so making this product is always a success. In addition, it is a cereal gluten free, suitable in the diet that a celiac person should follow.
How are the different grains different?
Rice is an ancient crop that originates from Southeast Asia and that today is consumed all over the world. In addition, it is present in very different gastronomies. It is not lacking in our Mediterranean diet, but neither in traditional dishes of Japanese or Indian cuisine.
Choosing a specific variety is essential to achieve satisfactory results in each preparation, because each class has very specific properties in terms of size, hardness and absorption capacity at the time of cooking. Also important is the starch content present in each of them because, as indicated by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (@FENnutrition), this proportion of amylopectin will mark a fundamental culinary characteristic in this product: its degree of viscosity, that is to say, that the grain, after the stew, remains more or less loose.
The time you need on fire, your intensity level, the amount of liquid that is required in each dish and the minutes of rest are some fundamental details that vary depending on the type of rice that stands out in each recipe.
Practical guide: to each dish, its rice
From wild to integral, both preserving the shell and the germ of the grain; to the classic long, short or round white rice. Currently, there are thousands of varietiesThat is why it is important to be clear about some basic notions when choosing the most appropriate one for the dish you want to prepare. Choosing the right rice is the first step to success in the kitchen.
First of all, we have the long grain rice which, in general, has a low absorption capacity and an intermediate hardness. With an appropriate cooking time, the beans remain loose, which makes it the most appropriate for salads or stir-fries. Other varieties are included in this section, each with its own peculiarities. For example, him basmati, staple in original Indian dishes; also they aromatic rice, like the Urumati variety, with a certain flavor reminiscent of dried fruits; or the black «venere». The latter is dark in its natural state and has a strong flavor, not suitable for all palates.
Inside of the short grain rice There are different suitable options for each dish, because not all are equally hard or release the same amount of starch. If you want to prepare a creamy rice, risotto type, your choice should be a short, small, round grain. It is the best to achieve that creamy texture that the recipe calls for. It is also perfect for desserts like the traditional rice pudding.
In this type of rice, you may have seen in the supermarket the japonica variety. As you can guess, it is one of the most consumed rice dishes in Asia. It is the one used by the Japanese to make the bowl of rice that is not missing every day in their diet. It is also known as glutinous because, indeed, it releases a large amount of starch that is slightly «sticky», but without being unpleasant. It is the one you should choose without dare to make an oriental recipe such as sushi.
The medium grain rice It is one of the most used in Spain because it combines the characteristics of the two previous varieties, giving good results in very diverse recipes. The bomb It is the most versatile and adapts perfectly to very different dishes. It is very tasty due to its good level of absorption and, if the cook has experience, it does not «stick».
What is the best for a perfect paella?
This cereal acquires the characteristics that define each of its varieties from place where it is grown. The climate, the nutrients provided by the soil or the level of humidity, among other factors, determine the type of rice that comes from the earth. In Spain, when it comes to paellas, everyone has their preferences.
In addition, it must be remembered that there are different paella recipes. If we talk about Paella Valenciana (DO) the advice Regulator Denomination of Origin Arroz de Valencia indicates, due to their organoleptic characteristics, the type varieties Senia, Bomba and Albufera as the ideal ones to obtain excellent results in one of the star dishes of Valencian gastronomy.