The term "white rice" refers to several different types of rice; one of these is jasmine rice. White rice begins as brown rice, but it is further processed and polished to remove the layer of bran, as well as the husk and rice germ, resulting in its signature white appearance. This process removes the nutrients so after processing, white rice is enriched with a nutrient coating. So while white rice refers generally to all types of white-appearing, processed rice, jasmine rice is a type of white rice that has characteristics that differentiate it from others.
White rice is available in long, medium and short grain. Long-grain rice varieties are long and narrow in appearance when dry and take on a firm, dry texture that separates easily when cooked. Medium- and short-grain white rice varieties are shorter and wider than long-grain rice uncooked, and get soft, plump and sticky when cooked.
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Jasmine rice, also known as fragrant rice, originated from Thailand and is considered a long-grain white rice. Known for giving off a slightly floral, nutty aroma when cooked, jasmine rice grains are long and translucent when dry and take on an opaque whiteness and a soft, slightly sticky texture when cooked. The texture of cooked jasmine rice makes it unique from the firm, easily separated grains typical of other long-grain white rices.
Before cooking jasmine rice should be thoroughly rinsed under cold, running water to remove any dust or excess starch.
Similar to many other varieties of white rice, jasmine rice is typically cooked by steaming in a measured amount of water, also referred to as the absorption method. The rice is gently cooked in a covered pot, absorbing the water and becoming tender. Jasmine rice takes about 15 minutes to fully cook.
Jasmine rice is a staple in Thai cuisine, often accompanying such dishes as stir-fries and curries. Try using jasmine rice in a favorite dish, such as rice pilaf, to add lovely aromatics that other plain long-grain white rice varieties don't offer. Jasmine rice is not appropriate for dishes that rely on sticky white rices, such as sushi.