White Medium Grain Rice
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According to the USA Rice Federation, White 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.” White Medium Grain Rice is the more highly processed version of Medium Grain Rice: the brown-colored Rice Bran has been removed by milling. Brown Medium Grain Rice is the version that is less processed with its Rice Bran intact. On the positive side, removing the Rice Bran shortens cooks time and improves storage times. On the negative side, White Rice is less nutritious than Brown Rice.

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

Medium Grain White 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.

Season

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.

Cultivation

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

See the General Rice Resource for broad Rice cultivation information.

Production

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.

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

White Medium 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.

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

Varieties

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.

Purchasing

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

If you are buying Medium Grain White Rice in bulk from 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: Research indicates that domestic non-organic Medium Grain White Rice contains 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than organic Medium Grain White Rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh.

Storage

Because it is a dried Grain, an unopened container of Medium 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 moisture and pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against both of these.

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

Culinary Uses

Raw, White Medium Grain Rice is glassy and slightly translucent. Cooked, White 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, White Medium Grain Rice is useful for dishes where a little stickiness is desired like Sushi Rice and Paella and Arroz Negro, or Italian Rice Croquettes.

White Medium Grain Rice is also great 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 to cook (typically 50% longer) than White Medium Grain Rice.

If the White 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, but you can’t fix overcooking. Start checking the Rice early.

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: ¼ cup (57 g)

Calories 160

Calories from fat 0 g

Total Fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 35 g (12%)

Protein 3 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%

Iron 8%

Nutrition

One cup of Medium Grain White Rice (6.6 ounces or 186 g) contains 2% of the USRDA of Dietary Fiber, 18% of the USRDA of Carbohydrates,and almost 9% of the Protein required daily for women and 7% of the protein required by men according to WebMD’s calculations.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes