Let’s be honest here – cooking rice is not as easy as it seems to be. Yes, you literally have only water, salt, and the actual rice, but whether you’ll end up with a perfectly cooked basmati or an unappetizing mushy substance is, at times, out of your control.
This is where parboiled rice comes in. It is not only a more ‘forgiving’ type of rice but also a healthier alternative to white rice that can be used in a variety of dishes.
How To Make Parboiled Rice
Here are the ingredients that you’re going to need:
- Parboiled long-grain rice (basmati, for example)
- Salt (regular table salt)
- Olive oil (unsalted butter or regular oil would do as well)
You will also need a strainer to wash the rice, a bowl to soak it, and a pot with a cover.
Tips & Tricks
- Don’t have olive oil? You can add unsalted butter or regular oil.
- Take your time and add the rice only when the water starts boiling. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a starchy and sticky mass.
- If you are an aspiring (or professional) food photographer, then you should know that parboiled rice is the exact type of rice that looks amazing in pictures as it has a better texture.
- The best thing about parboiled rice is that you can use it as an addition to a wide range of recipes. For example, you can try to master Nigerian Jollof Rice, Indian Biryani, or Mexican-style Rice and Chicken.
What Is Parboiled Rice?
Parboiled rice is not technically a variety, but rather a form of cooking.
When the rice is just harvested, it comes with an inedible husk and hull and a bran layer. You’ll get whole grain brown rice if you remove only the husk and hull; white rice, if the husk, hull, and bran layer are removed.
Finally, partially boiling the rice that still has its husk will produce parboiled rice.
At first, people would do that because it was much easier to remove the husk after the rice has been soaked and steamed. But soon experts have discovered that parboiling helps make sure that the rice doesn’t lose plenty of nutrients.
What Are the Main Differences Between Parboiled and Regular Rice?
- More color is added to the parboiled rice during the processing method. So, this kind of rice is going to be a bit more yellow.
- The parboiled option has a more subtle taste than regular rice.
- Thanks to the special processing method, parboiled rice ends up containing more nutrients than its ‘brother’.
- Parboiling also changes the texture of the rice and makes it fluffier. Long grains, in such a case, become more separate, while medium and short grains – more sticky and compact.
See Also: Love rice dishes? Check out our list of rice recipes.
Is Parboiled Rice Good for You?
A lot of nutrients get lost during the processing of regular rice. However, that won’t happen to parboiled rice thanks to the fact that it gets partially boiled in the husk.
As a result, parboiled rice has higher amounts of fiber, calcium, protein, potassium, niacin, and thiamine.
Unfortunately, parboiled rice can sometimes have less zinc and magnesium than brown and even white rice. But, in this particular case, the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantage.
By the way, some manufacturers choose to enrich rice with even more vitamins and minerals nowadays. For example, you’ll be able to find a pack of goodness that is rich in iron and folate.
- Parboiled rice has nearly twice the amount of fiber when compared to regular white rice.
- It is a safer rice choice for people with diabetes.
- Such rice can encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Last but not least, parboiled rice is practically as good for you as brown rice, but the former is a lot easier to cook and doesn’t take as much time.
Parboiled rice is a fascinating product!
It would take you only about half an hour to cook a batch and the chances that you’re going to ruin the dish are minimal. Moreover, such rice contains plenty of nutrients which makes it is a healthier alternative to traditional white rice.