There are more than 40,000 known types of rice, and dozens are readily available in U.S. markets. All work well in rice bowls. These are the most common varieties.
Arborio: Medium-grain, cultivated in northern Italy, creamy outside and firm inside. It’s used mainly in risotto; similar to a California short-grain variety called pearl.
Basmati: Its name means “queen of fragrance.” Aromatic rice from India, Pakistan and Iran, it is known for its nutty aroma and taste.
Black: Rice grown in Indonesia and the Philippines, with a long black grain and nutty flavor. It’s often used in puddings and cakes.
Brown rice: Unmilled rice with hull removed. The rice comes in various shades of brown, red or black; available in short, medium or long grain.
Instant: White or brown rice precooked, then dehydrated for rapid preparation.
Jasmine: Aromatic rice from Thailand. Thin, long grains produce soft, sticky rice.
Red Rice: Can be short grain or long grain. Flavor will vary among varieties, but red rice generally has a pleasant, nutty flavor and firm texture.
Wehani: California-grown hybrid brown rice; reddish color, nutty aroma and flavor.
White rice: Milled rice with hull and bran “polished” to remove outer coating, prolonging shelf life because oils are removed. May be sold as parboiled or instant.
Wild pecan: Named for its nutty aroma and flavor; a long-grain white rice cultivated in Louisiana.
Wild rice: Not considered a true rice, but rather is the seed of a wild aquatic grass native to North America. It’s expensive due to short supply, hand gathering and thrashing; add cooked to other cooked rice.