Throughout worldwide cuisines, there is almost certainly a delicious dish made with rice on account of its incredible versatility and long shelf life! You might be familiar with how to cook white rice or whole grain brown rice and maybe certain fragrant varieties such as basmati or Thai jasmine, which are often used in Asian inspired dishes. But, there is one grain that you may not be as familiar with, that is just as beneficial and tasty — parboiled rice.
If you’ve never tried cooking with parboiled rice, or aren’t exactly sure what makes it unique from the other types of grains, we’re here to tell you all about it and give you some recipe inspiration for cooking with this delicious rice variety!
The Basics of Parboiled Rice
First, parboiled rice isn’t actually a different type of grain, but rather, it gets its name and different flavor from the process of partially boiling it in its husk. Why? Originally it was done to make the rice easier to process by hand, however, nowadays it helps to save more of the original vitamins and minerals found in rice, without the long cook time of whole grains. And, although it might sound like it, this rice is not pre cooked.
When rice is harvested, the inedible hull is removed which produces whole grain brown rice, if the bran layer is also removed, that makes white rice. The process of parboiling rice begins even before the hull is removed, which ultimately makes it a happy medium between white and brown rice.
When it comes to flavor, these grains offer a subtle nutty taste, midway between the stronger nutty flavor of brown rice and the neutral and mild flavor of white rice.
Parboiled rice has a slightly yellow or gold hue. These grains turn this color due to the husk and bran layer moving toward the middle of the kernel when partially boiled.
This rice comes in three different grain lengths, and based on the length, you will have a different texture which you can find more about in our guide to different rice varieties. Extra Long Grain Rice is perfect for dishes that call for fluffy and separate grains that cook up less sticky, Medium Grain Rice is great for dishes that call for slightly stickier grains, and Short Grain Rice contains the most starch making it perfect for dishes that call for sticky rice like sushi.
How to Cook Parboiled Rice
To make parboiled rice, you can simply use your favorite cooking method! See the traditional stovetop method below or try using a rice cooker, Instant Pot, or even a microwave.
Keep in mind: Cooking the perfect grains is always about getting the right liquid to rice ratio. Follow the package directions for best results, but in general, traditional extra long grain parboiled rice calls for 2 1/4 cups of liquid for every cup of rice, and if you’re using medium grain rice 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of rice.
Simple Carolina® Extra Long Grain Parboiled Rice stovetop instructions:
- Bring 2 ¼ cups of water to a boil in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Add olive oil and salt, if desired.
- Stir in 1 cup rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Tasty Tip: For even more flavor, swap out the plain water for broth, juice or seasoned water!
Want to use the microwave?
- In a microwave safe dish, combine 2¼ cups water and 1 cup rice.
- Cover and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Reduce setting to 50% power, microwave for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
*We recommended only cooking one cup of rice in the microwave at a time. Microwave ovens vary so cook times are approximate.
What Can I Cook With Parboiled Rice?
Now that you know how to cook with it, you can swap it in anywhere you would normally use other varieties such as rice bowls, burritos or stuffed pepper fillings or maybe a simple dinner or holiday side dish of rice. But, we’ll show you some great recipes to make as well!
Extra Long Grain Parboiled Rice
Extra Long Grain Parboiled Rice cooks up light, fluffy, and separate making them perfect for rice salads, fried rice, rice pilafs, the ever-convenient and delicious oven-baked casserole and more!
Medium Grain Parboiled Rice
In contrast to the extra long grain variety, Medium Grain Parboiled Rice is naturally a bit creamier on account of its slightly higher starch content. This gives it a stickier and chewier texture perfect for a Tuna and Artichoke Paella or give it your own personalized touch like a Roasted Harvest Veggie Paella.
Explore the great taste, texture and aroma of different varieties of Carolina® Rice, use our recipe selection to find all kinds of delicious traditional dishes, like rice pudding or paella, and fun creative new ideas for any occasion or more cooking tips here!