Jasmine Rice: Know This Gastronomy Gem Southeast Asia Gave To The World

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This might be new to you, but there are numerous types of rice. Of course you can prepare most recipes with any that you have in your pantry, but if you’re interested in recreating the specific flavors and textures of traditional dishes from all around the world it’s a good idea to start noticing its differences.

Let’s talk about nutrition

All types of rice are grains, and they are part of the culinary tradition of very different cultures because of their energetic impact on the human body. Rice offers carbs, proteins and fiber to our diet, as well as some minerals like zinc and manganese, and B vitamins as well.

There are two big types: white rice and whole rice. The second is less processed and so fewer layers of the grain are discarded, making it brown in color and higher in fiber.

As for the white rice, the grain is fully processed, resulting in no husk, bran, or germ. Most types of rice fall under this category, such as Arborio, Basmati and Jasmine.

From Southeast Asia to the world

Surely one question arose: what is Jasmine rice, then? Let’s begin by saying that it has been cultivated in Southeast Asia since centuries ago, and it’s a staple ingredient in many dishes from Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam.

What makes this type so particular is that it has a subtle popcorn-ish aroma and it’s slightly sweet. Believe it or not, jasmine rice is used for both sweet and savory recipes. 

People choose it over other similar varieties, like Basmati, another long grain white rice, because it’s lighter in texture and only a little sticky. And for its amazing nutty flavor, obviously!

Easy to cook, easier to enjoy!

Although many people rinse their rice before cooking and swear by it, the truth is that rinsing is completely optional. In addition, Jasmine rice doesn’t require soaking and, in fact, that excess of water can make it gummy.

To calculate your portions, know that for making 3 cups of cooked rice, you’ll only need 1 cup of uncooked rice. It’s useful to know also that Jasmine rice uses less water than regular white rice: just add water to cover it and some ¾ inches over. You can eyeball it or use a finger to stop pouring water when it reaches your knuckle.

Time to cook!

Excited to try this special ingredient? Give it a go to this chicken curry with coriander lime rice and fall in love with these fantastic flavors from Thailand in your own kitchen.

Ingredients (4 – 6 servings)

  • 25 oz. of chicken breast.
  • 7 oz. of cherry tomatoes.
  • 7 oz. of mushrooms.
  • 2 cups of jasmine rice.
  • 2 cups of coconut milk.
  • 5 chili peppers.
  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 lemongrass sticks.
  • 1 lime
  • 3 shallots.
  • 5 tsp. of lemon zest.
  • 8 tbsp. of coriander.
  • ½ tsp. of sugar.
  • 1 tsp. of cumin.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • 6 tbsp. of fish sauce.
  • 3 tbsp. of brown sugar.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Bay leaves.

Preparation

  1. For the rice, pour in your rice and your water, with a pinch of salt to taste and a bay leaf. Set the stove at medium heat and bring to a boil until you see the water has reduced to the rice level. Then, reduce heat to minimum and let it simmer for 10 minutes, pot covered. Finally, turn your heat off and let it sit for another 5 minutes. There should be no water and your rice should be ready.
  2. Pour the rice into a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 lime to it. Chop some coriander and add 6 tbsp. of it. Drizzle some olive oil to taste and mix.
  3. For the curry, chop and grind 2 tbsp. of coriander, the chili peppers, the garlic, the shallots, the lemongrass sticks and some lemon zest. Add the cumin, the sugar and salt to taste. You will obtain a spicy paste.
  4. For the chicken, pour in a hot saucepan some coconut milk and some of the curry. Add the chicken and mix well. Pour in the mushrooms and the cherry tomatoes, and the brown sugar.
  5. Mix well and add the fish sauce and the remaining coconut milk. Finally, add the rest of the lemon zest.
  6. When everything looks nice and ready, turn the heat off and let the chicken curry sit.
  7. Assemble the rice and the chicken and include some bay leaves if you like.