Long Grain Rice
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According to the Rice Association in Britain, “Long Grain Rice is usually described as Rice that is about four or five times as long as it is wide.” The typical single grain of Long Grain Rice measures one quarter inch to more than one third of an inch (7 mm to 9 mm). Indica Rice is sometimes used interchangeably with the term Long Grain Rice. Most Long Grain Rices are Starchy Rice types, as opposed to Sticky Rice types.

Season

Rice harvesting season in North America is typically early or mid-July in early planting regions such as Texas and Louisiana where most of the Long 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.

Cultivation

See the General Rice Resource for broad Rice cultivation information.

Production

In the U.S., Long Grain Rice is grown principally in the South where it may be called Carolina Rice or American Long Grained Rice.

Both White Long Grain Rice and Brown Long Grain Rice are categorized into Grades established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grading scales are different for White Long Grain Rice and Brown Long Grain Rice.

White Long Grain Rice has 6 standard grades: Extra Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 1), Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 2), Extra Choice Rice (U.S. No. 3), Choice Rice (U.S. No. 4), Medium Rice (U.S. No. 5), and Sample Grade Rice. Brown Long Grain Rice only 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 the General Rice Resource for more Rice production information.

Varieties

The bulk of the modern Long Grain Rice types are derived from Asian Rice, more specifically Indica Rice. Examples of Long Grain Rice include: White Basmati Rice, Brown Basmati Rice, Indica Rice, Long Grain White Rice, Long Grain Brown Rice, Jasmine Rice, Thai Sticky Rice, Carolina Rice, Patna Rice, etc.

Purchasing

Long Grain Rice is seen on the shelf at retail as both White Rice (milled to remove the Rice Bran) and Brown Rice (only processed to remove the outer Husk). Long Grain Rice can also be found in boxes of Converted Rice and Minute Rice.

Brown Long Grain Rice is seldom found at retail as Converted Rice or Minute Rice. It is generally available in prepackaged containers. We haven’t seen it too often sold in bulk bins. On packages, there should be an expiration date. Don’t purchase Rice that will soon go out of date.

While you are selecting your Brown Long Grain Rice 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.

White Long Grain Rice is also generally available in prepackaged containers but it may be sold in bulk bins as well. Watch for broken grains and moisture when selecting White Rice as well.

Storage

How you should store Long Grain Rice depends on whether you are storing White Long Grain Rice or Brown Long Grain Rice. Brown Rice retains the oily Rice Bran and goes bad (Rancid) more quickly than White Rice.

Because it is a dried Grain, an unopened container of White Long Grain Rice will keep almost indefinitely in a pantry at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or frozen. Once opened, the only real risks to the shelf life are moisture and pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against both of these risks.

For cooked Long Grain White Rice, let the cooked White Rice cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked White Rice will last about 4-7 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days.

Brown Long Grain Rice requires a little different handling and philosophy to maximize your yield and value. With 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 Brown Long Grain 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 Brown Long Grain Rice will last for 6-12 months in an airtight container. Frozen, you should get 12-18 months (for best quality). Store cooked Brown Long Grain Rice by letting it cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Brown Rice will last about 3-5 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days. 

Culinary Uses

Long Grain Rice is used in India and much of Asia, including China and Japan where it is preferred for main dishes at the noon day or evening meals.

Most Long Grain Rices are Starchy Rice types (high in Amylose). A few Long Grain Rices, like Thai Sticky Rice, are high in amylopectin and therefore Sticky Rice.

Because of this tendency towards starchiness, most Long Grain Rice tends to hold together during proper cooking and turns out fluffier and lighter. The grains have a distinct shape and texture and feel “drier” and are easily separated. Long Grain Rice does not tend to be sticky.

Smart Kitchen has an Exercise on Cooking Starchy Rice which demonstrates exactly how to properly cook most Long Grain Rice where the ratio of water to Rice is roughly two parts water to one part Rice.

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

The same Simmering effect can also be achieved by Baking Long Grain Rice and liquid together in the Oven. Long Grain Rice can also be Pan Fried, once it has been Simmered.

A few of the Long Grain Rice types (Basmati Rice, Jasmine Rice, etc.) are more flavorful and fragrant. They are known as the Aromatic Rice types and are a sub-group within Long Grain Rice. They can be used in multiple cases but are most often used in ethnic dishes.

Non-aromatic, Long Grain Rice types have a more neutral flavor and are generally a good supportive background to showcase a range of flavors as a bed under Sauces or Entrées or as a Side Dish. Long Grain Rice is also suitable for Soups, Burritos, Stir Fry, Fried Rice, Rice Pilaf and Biryanis, Casseroles, Jambalaya, Gumbo, etc.

Due to lower gluten, flour made from Rice may be used as a substitute for people on low gluten or gluten free diets.

Smart Kitchen has a few recipes that utilize Long Grain Rice, including: Mexican Rice, Lemon Rice, Garlic Rice and Thai Coconut Rice.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes