Wednesday, October 4, 2017

3 Favorite Flavors of Rice.

I discovered three types of rice I absolutely love to cook with.  You can find them in the store if your store carries Lotus Foods Brand.  I don't normally like highlighting specific brands of food but they are the only people I know who carry these rices and which I can find easily both locally, well in Fairbanks, and on Amazon.

First is Madagascar Pink, a rice whose outside is a beautiful pink.
The grains are not all pink but ranges from light to dark and cooks up nicely. Although the hull is partially milled, the taste reminds me of a delicate flavored hearty rice. 

I realize its almost a contradiction but its really not.  Its like comparing homemade bread fresh out of the oven to store bought bread. 

The rice is grown in the Lake Alaota region of Madagascar.  Lake Alaota is the largest fresh water lake in Madagascar filled with marshes, etc and its the largest rice growing area in the country.

The rice takes cooks in about the same amount of time as white rice but is chewier and is just as easy to cook.  I don't measure things out, but I go with having about 1 inch of water above the rice, place on low heat until cooked.  I've used it in stir fried rice, plain, and any other way I can think of.

It is high in manganese and molybdenum and is considered a good daily source of magnesium, phosphorous and complex carbohydrate.

Second is Bhutan rice which is a darker red shade than the Madagascar Pink.
As you can see, it also has more red colored grains.  It is grown at 8000 feet elevation in Bhutan where its been grown for the past few centuries.

It is just as delightful as the Madagascar pink when cooked but carries slightly more color when fully cooked.  In Bhutan it is often served with mushrooms and hot chilies but in the United States it is more often served with flavorful foods such as pork, duck, or eggplant.

This rice is one of the few exports from Bhutan because white rice is replacing its use there. The rice takes only 20 minutes to cook.  It is high in magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and phosphorus and is delicious when eaten alone or with something else.

The last type of rice on my most favorite list is Jade Pearl Rice.

The grains are small and round with a pale jade green color even when cooked.  The pearled rice is infused with an extract of bamboo which gives it, its green color.

The specific variety of bamboo used to provide the green color and add to the flavor is said to provide health benefits including extending one's life.  

In 20 minutes it cooks into a nicely lightly sticky rice that quite different from most other rices.  The descriptions say it tastes like bamboo or a green tea but to me, the flavor complemented the coconut milk based curry I served with it.

I use all three rices in place of white rice with dahls, coconut milk based curries, regular curries, etc at dinner and for the left overs in my lunch.

Unfortunately, you cannot get most of these rices in bulk unless you live in a large enough place with huge Asian stores.  Due to my location, I end up ordering these rices via Amazon in the smaller sizes.  I go though them quickly because the rices are wonderful and I prefer them to the more standard white rice.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear if you've ever had these rices and what you thought about them.

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