Rice is defined as the starchy seeds or grain of an annual marsh grass, Oryza sativa, cultivated in warm climates and used for food. Whatever the case may be, rice made its presence known in different cultures as part of dining. Asians most especially regard rice as the most essential part of their dining table, it is a fantastic companion to accentuate the flavors of Asian cuisine.
There are many types of rice; there is the American long-grain rice, the Asian Jasmine rice, wag-wag, sticky rice, and many others. Gosh last time I went to Asia in 2006, I found markets selling 15 different types of Jasmine rice…quality differs the more expensive they are. I’ll give you a smart tip: It isn’t the price that is most important but the amount a rice grain can hold.
We see rice in different Ethnic dining tables. Us Filipinos eat rice just about every chance we get. I do like making a mix of Jasmine and Brown rice from time to time. It makes it more healthy and more delicious. Now, this write up isn’t about the origins of rice but rather some different of the rice “applications” that I have come across.
Rice in the traditional Filipino Breakfast:
I don’t do breakfast (coffee is good for me) but “Pinoys” like to do a “Brunch” quite a lot. The honey pork or marinated beef (Tapa) makes for a great combination with fried eggs topped onto a scoop of rice. Hawaiians also use the rice in their “Loco-Moco” . Ever hear of sweet rice on chocolate called “champorado”?
Rice as dessert and a snack:
Sweet rice is utilized for different filling deserts such as different pastries and cakes. There’s the Maja Blanca, the Mochi, cassava and many others.
Sticky Rice in Sushi.
I love sushi and I just cannot get enough of it. I really enjoy the authentic Japanese sushi rather than the more “American” versions. Regardless, rice serves to ‘beautify’ sushi…after all, sushi wouldn’t be sushi without rice. Korean purple rice also makes the dish plate very attractive (great with Sea weed)
Rice in soups:
Porridge and congee are some of the many rice applications in Asian cuisine. Porridge is great for those stricken with the flu. Indian and Arab cuisine combine rice with different types of meat, milk and honey.
Now we get to the healthiest “incarnation” of rice. Brown rice. Its origins can be traced to rice shortages in history but it has been proven to be very healthy and is a little more expensive than the more common white rice. Japanese call it “genmai”, Koreans call it “hyeonmi’ and the Chinese call it “pinyin”.
Let's not forget the FRIED RICE and its many varietions...garlic fried rice, Bar-b-q pork, shrimp and curry!!
Regardless, what culture. Rice is a part of the dinner table. I love rice and I cannot imagine a week without partaking of this spectacular grain!
Rice is the seed of a monocot plant Oryza sativa. As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East, South, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second highest worldwide production, after maize ("corn").