Thai Rice Varieties

Rice is an ingredient that can be found on every menu within Thailand. However, what many do not realize is there are different varieties that are cooked in different ways.

One of the most popular types of rice throughout the country is fragrant jasmine rice. The grains are white in colour and long in shape. Another popular rice that is readily available is sticky rice, which is also named glutinous rice as it is gluten free. This rice is white in colour also and the grains are short in length. The rice has a sweeter taste and is often used in desserts such as mango sticky rice as well as in savoury dishes.

Throughout Thailand, rice is accompanied with most dishes and is also eaten in several different ways.

For instance, with a curry dish, steamed jasmine rice is typically served. However, with dishes such as fried chicken or pork, sticky rice is preferred.

Here is a quick guide to the different ways that rice is cooked:

1. Fried Rice - this is typically made with white rice, it is cooked in a rice cooker, similar to a pressure cooker, then placed in a frying pan where eggs, vegetables such as spring onion, meat or fish are added. It is then served with a slice of lime and a dash of light soy sauce. The dish is usually eaten as a main course.
2. Steamed Rice - this is simple, tasty and the healthiest option. The rice, whether it is brown, jasmine or plain white, is simply cooked in a rice cooker and used to accompany dishes.
3. Sticky Rice - can be found in supermarkets pre-cooked and on street stalls already cooked and wrapped in green pandan leaves. The rice is also used to cook sweet dishes such as mango sticky rice, where coconut milk, sweet fresh mango and granulated or palm sugar are added. This is a popular desert amongst Thais.

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