Long Grain White Rice
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Long Grain White Rice is a derivative of Asian Rice and is the pre-dominant form of Rice used in Asia. Long Grain Rice is usually synonymous with Indica Rice,one of the two most widely used Rice types (Japonica Rice is the other).

So what is Long Grain White Rice in practice? Not surprisingly, Long Grain Rice has a longer kernel (grain) than Medium Grain Rice and Short Grain Rice. On average, Long Grain Rice kernels are four to five times longer than they are wide. “White Rice” only means that the oily, nutrition rich Rice Bran has been removed. Historically, the bran has been removed to promote a longer shelf life. Most Long Grain Rice is a Starchy Rice (which cooks up fluffy) but there are a few exceptions like Thai Sticky Rice.

In America, Long Grain Rice is something of a staple. In fact, Long Grain Rice is sometimes known as “American Long Grain Rice,” or “Carolina Rice,” because Long Grain Rice has been grown in the South since the 1600s. Today, domestic Long Grain Rice is grown principally in the South (See Production below).

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.

Cultivation

Rice Cultivation is described more fully on Smart Kitchen’s Rice Resource Page.

Production

Long Grain Rice, which accounts for almost 70% of U.S. production is grown in the South, principally Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, in irrigated fields.

Virtually the entire U.S. Long Grain Rice crop is sold as a whole-kernel milled product (except for exports of Rough Rice and rice seed sales). About half of our domestic Rice harvest is consumed in the United States.

White Rice 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 White Rice, color, its purity (whether or not they are intermixed with other varieties), and the wholeness of the Rice Kernels.

White 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.

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

Varieties

There are a few different varieties of Long Grain Rice, including Basmati Rice, Jasmine Rice, Carolina Rice, Thai Sticky Rice, etc. All of these can be purchased and used as either a White Rice or a Brown Rice.

Purchasing

Long Grain White Rice is generally available in both prepackaged containers and bulk bins and in Brown Rice and White Rice forms. When purchasing Rice, always check the expiration date as Rice can go bad if stored too long.

If you are buying Long Grain White Rice in bulk a bin, make sure the merchant has high volume and that the Rice bin is, and has been, properly covered: You don’t want any surprises in your purchase. While selecting your 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.

Finally, if you are conflicted, for budgetary or philosophical reasons, about buying Organic, you may want to give in here and buy Organic Rice. The reason is that research indicates that domestic non-organic Long Grain White Rice contains 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than organic Long Grain White Rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh.

Storage
Because it is a dried Grain, an unopened container of Long Grain White 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 pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against most of them. 
Let the cooked Rice cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Long Grain White Rice will last about 4-7 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days.
Culinary Uses

Long Grain White Rice is the most versatile of Rice and has become an American staple; it’s a Starchy Rice and if properly cooked turns out light, fluffy, and neutrally flavored with easily separated grains. Long Grain White Rice is great for Southern classics like Dirty Rice and Jambalaya,but also stands alone as a Side Dish, as a bed for an entrée, or Seasoned as an accompanying starch in Stuffing, Rice Pilaf, Salad, Casseroles, Fried Rice and Stir Fry dishes.

Smart Kitchen has an Exercise on Cooking Starchy Rice which demonstrates exactly how to properly cook White Basmati Rice; the ratio of water to Rice is roughly two parts water to one part Basmati Rice. Put another way, 1 Cup of White Basmati Rice will require 1.5 Cups to 2 Cups of water.

If the Long Grain White 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 White Rice and liquid together in the Oven. Long Grain White Rice can also be Pan Fried, once it has been Simmered.

Nutrition

Long Grain White Rice is long on Carbohydrates, about 29% by weight, providing 15% of the U.S. recommended daily allowance (USRDA) in a single serving. Long Grain White Rice also provides a bit of Protein (4 g), some Dietary Fiber (3% of USRDA), some Iron (11% of USRDA) and some Calcium (2% of USRDA). 

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes