1. What is the difference between unpolished and polished rice?
Unpolished rice is rice that has only its husk (ipa) removed. The bran, or the outer skin of the rice which gives it its color (brown, red or black depending on the varieties), remains generally intact. Polished rice, or white rice, is rice fully milled thru. The bran has been polished off exposing the inner core.
Nutritionally speaking, polished rice is superior to white or polished rice. The bran is where all the good stuff is. You get a good portion of fiber, multivitamin B’s, essential oils, etc. On the other hand, polished rice or white rice provides you an ample portion of carbohydrates which an active lifestyle would need for energy.
2. How do you cook rice?
White or polished rice
The great Filipino secret! Pour a measure of rice into the rice cooker, rinse the rice, add water measured with the tip of a finger, close the lid and start cooking! If that works just fine, then don’t change anything!
For those who are a little more precise and demanding on the taste and texture of their rice, you may want to consider the following tip:
After washing the rice, soak your white rice, especially the semi- laon (aged) rice, for 30 minutes to allow the uniform absorption of water by the rice, before you start cooking. If you take your time to enjoy your meal, you will appreciate the difference in the texture of the rice.
Unpolished Rice (Brown, Red, Black)
May we have your attention, please. No matter what you do, it is just natural that cooked, unpolished rice will have a more chewy texture than white rice because of the intact nutritious bran. The following tips will surely help you get the best out of your rice:
Soak and use more water. It is a great idea to soak the rice in water for 30 minutes or more (Overnight? Sure.) before cooking. You generally will need more water and a longer cooking time for the rice. Generally, use a rice to water ratio of 1:2, or 1 cup of rice is to 2 cups of water.
Mix with white rice. You may also mix uncooked brown rice with uncooked white rice. Wash, soak and cook together to get softer-textured rice.
Basmati is a peculiar type of rice that requires special attention in its preparation. When cooked right, you get fluffy, tasty rice that soaks in all the different flavors of the food you prepare or serve it with. Chefs and food aficionados around the world favor basmati rice for its distinctive fragrant flavor and excellent eating quality.
- Wash. It’s best to wash the grains of basmati rice several times before cooking to help remove the excess starch.
- Soak. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes.
- Rice-Water ratio. Keep these proportions in mind: 1 cup of water to 1 cup of basmati rice for firmer rice, and 1 ¼ cup water to 1 cup of basmati rice it you like it a bit more tender.
- Cook. Turn on your rice cooker and wait until your basmati rice is done!
3. What is aromatic rice?
These are special rice varieties that were created with a natural, pleasing aroma in them. Harvester’s Special Dinorado, Harvester’s Thai Jasmine, Jordan Farms Basmati and Jordan Farms Sung Sung glutinous rice are good examples. These varieties may need special care in their preparation so follow the directions on each package very closely. This way, you get the best out of your aromatic rice!
4. Sometimes the aromatic rice smells great. At other times, we can barely perceive its aroma. Why is that?
Anything new has that exciting new smell to it, doesn’t it? And so it is for rice. Newly-harvested and milled aromatic varieties will exude a stronger aroma than those ‘palay’ (paddy rice) stored and milled months after the harvest. Even with the diminished aroma, the rice will still taste great.
You might have purchased “aromatic” or “fragrant” rice that smells good (sometimes too good) but some of these may have been sprayed with artificial fragrance to entice buyers. Our aromatic rice varieties are NATURAL and are not sprayed with these fragrances. We believe natural is best.
5. Is there a best way to store rice?
Rice is best stored off the floor in a dry, clean and cool place. Once the bag is opened the rice should preferably be placed in a clean sturdy container with a tight-fitting lid to keep out dust, moisture and insects.
In the rice industry, we are proud to have pioneered the use of plastic packaging that sports the “Fresh Lock” feature which allows the opened pack to be resealed. You may use this with confidence to store your rice. However, in the case of unpolished rice (red, brown, black, etc.) it is strongly recommended that the unused rice be stored in your refrigerator to lengthen its keeping time, preserve its nutritional quality and protect it against insects.
6. What is organic rice?
Rice that is “organic” means it was grown using time-tested methods without any artificial fertilizers or additives. Any food that is labeled “organic” must go through stringent processes to certify that it has been grown following standard guidelines. What you get is wholesome, natural rice!