Brown Medium Grain Rice
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According to the USA Rice Federation, Brown Medium Grain Rice is usually described as a shorter and wider Rice “that is about two to three times as long as it is wide.” Brown Medium Grain Rice is just the minimally processed version where the brown-colored Rice Bran is retained. White Medium Grain Rice is the version that is further processed by milling so that the Rice Bran is removed. On the plus side, retaining the Rice Bran improves nutrition. On the negative side, Brown Rice takes longer to cook and has some storage issues because it contains Rice Bran Oil which can easily go Rancid.

The typical single grain of Medium Grain Brown Rice measures between .19 inches to .25 inches long (5 mm to 6 mm) and the grains are slightly glassy and translucent.

Medium Grain Brown Rice has an average Amylose content of 12% to 19% which makes it stickier than Long Grain Rice but not actually really very sticky. We like to think of it, since it is already a medium grain, as also being a “medium” on the stickiness scale. Depending on the source, Medium Grain Rice is classified as a Starchy Rice or more frequently as a Sticky Rice.

Japonica Rice is sometimes used interchangeably with the term Medium Grain Rice.


Rice harvesting season in North America is typically early or mid-July in early planting regions such as California, where most of the Medium Grain Rice is sown and grown. Some Rice farmers are able to reflood their fields after their first harvest and achieve a partial second harvest or "ratoon" crop from the stubble of the first.


Medium Grain Rice generally do best in temperate climates and mountainous regions.

See the General Rice Resource for broad Rice cultivation information.


In the U.S., high-yielding Medium Grain Rice is grown principally in the Sacramento River Delta of Northern California. In fact, 90% of the California Rice crop is Medium Grain Rice. It is also grown to a lesser extent in The South. Medium Grain Rice accounts for about 25% of U.S. production. All U.S. rice is produced in irrigated fields, achieving some of the highest yields in the world.

Brown Medium Grain is categorized into “Grades” (official U.S. Standards set by the Secretary of Agriculture) by the Rice growers before it even moves on to the Rice dealers. The standards are principally based on the cleanliness of the Brown Rice, its purity (whether or not they are intermixed with other varieties), and the wholeness of the Rice Kernels.

Brown Medium Grain Rice has 4 standard grades: Extra Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 1), Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 2), Choice Rice (U.S. No. 4), and Sample Grade Rice.

See Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource for more Rice production information.


The bulk of the modern Medium Grain Rice types are derived from Asian Rice, more specifically Japonica Rice. The most familiar varieties of Medium Grain Rice include: Japanese Rice/Sushi Rice, Bomba Rice, Calasparra Rice, Carnaroli Rice, Arborio Rice, Vialone Rice, Valencia Rice, Spanish Rice.

See Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource for more on Medium Grain Rice varieties.


Medium Grain Brown Riceis seldom found at retail as Converted Rice or Minute Rice.

Medium Grain Brown Rice is most commonly available in prepackaged containers but can sometimes be found in bulk bins. Because the Medium Grain Brown Rice retains its Rice Bran (and Rice Bran Oil which can go Rancid) we don’t recommend purchasing Medium Grain Brown Rice from bulk bins. We are willing to trade a bit of the price break for greater longevity and quality at cook time.

When purchasing Brown Rice always check the expiration date since Rice can go bad if stored too long. Time impacts Brown Rice much more severely than it does White Rice.

While you are selecting your Medium Grain Brown Rice (in bulk or in packages), keep an eye out for any signs of moisture which can ruin Rice. Also, try and buy as few broken grains of Rice as possible. Your final dish will likely be a mess of overdone and underdone Rice if you cook with broken grains and whole grains: broken grains are smaller than whole grains and the two sizes won’t cook together uniformly.


Because Medium Grain Brown Rice retains its Bran Layer (with the Rice Bran Oil which will go Rancid), it has a shorter shelf life than White Rice and requires a little different handling and philosophy to maximize your yield and value.

With Medium Grain Brown Rice, how you store it revolves around how quickly you plan to use it. If you plan to use it all in a few weeks, store the Medium Grain Brown Rice in an airtight container in a cool dark place like your pantry. Sealed, it may last 3-6 months but will be best for only a few weeks. If you open your package from the pantry, store the unused portion in the refrigerator or freezer for a better shelf life.

In the refrigerator, sealed, your Medium Grain Brown Rice will last for 6-12 months in an airtight container. Frozen, you should get 12-18 months (for best quality).

Let the cooked Medium Grain Brown Rice cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Medium Grain Brown Rice will last about 4-7 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days. 

Culinary Uses

Raw, Brown Medium Grain Rice is glassy and slightly translucent. Cooked, Brown Medium Grain Rice is moist, tender, and soft, and while the grains will separate, they actually have a tendency to cling together. Medium Grain Rice contains, on average, 16-24% Amylose but higher percentages of Amylase, which makes it stickier than it is starchy.

Because it is somewhat sticky in texture without being extremely sticky, Brown Medium Grain Rice is useful for dishes where a little stickiness is desired like Sushi Rice, Paella, Arroz Negro, and Italian Rice Croquettes.

Brown Medium Grain Rice is also plausible where a creamy consistency is the goal such as Risotto, Desserts, and Rice Puddings.

In general, Medium Grain Rice, which is stickier than Long Grain Rice, is cooked with the “Bang/Bang” method described in Smart Kitchen’s Cooking Sticky Rice Exercise or by Steaming Rice.

In addition, Medium Grain Rice is cooked according to the desired outcome. For example, Risotto Rice is cooked in the Risotto style (Smart Kitchen has an Exercise on Basic Risotto). Paella Rice is cooked in the Paella style.

Brown Medium Grain Rice will take longer (approximately 50% longer) to cook than White Medium Grain Rice.

If the Brown Medium Grain Rice is still crunchy at the end of the cook time, the Rice is undercooked and you may need to add 1-2 T of liquid and cook it a bit longer. If it’s falling apart then it is overcooked and you should start over. Remember, you can fix undercooking. You can’t fix overcooking. Start checking the Rice early.


One cup of Brown Medium Grain Rice (6.6 ounces or 186 g) contains 14% of the USRDA of Dietary Fiber, 15% of the USRDA of Carbohydrates, and almost 10% of the Protein required daily for women and 8.4% of the protein required by men according to WebMD’s calculations.

Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie