Rice is a staple grain for more than half of the World's human population, and for people on a wheat free or gluten free diet it is a vital source of carbohydrate.
There are many different types of rice, each imparts a different taste and consistency. It's best to vary the type of rice depending on the requirements for the meal, for example a rice pudding wouldn't use wild rice, and sushi rice wouldn't work well to accompany a curry.
There are several methods for cooking rice; boiling in water and draining, absorption method, microwave cooking, using a rice cooker, baking in the oven.
Different types of rice require different methods of cooking, so it's generally best to follow instructions on the packet. It's also advisable to wash rice thoroughly under cold running water before using.
If rice is to be reheated after initial cooking it is vital to make sure that it is reheated thoroughly so that it is piping hot.
Uncooked rice contain spores of a bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning. When rice is cooked the spores can survive. If the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores will multiply and may produce toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Reheating the rice won't get rid of these toxins.
Rice should either be served immediately after it is cooked or cooled as quickly as possible and stored in the fridge. Cooked rice should also never be reheated more than once.
White rice should be stored in a cool dry place, and generally has a fairly long shelf life.
Brown rice is different because it can go rancid if not stored correctly. Keeping brown rice in an airtight container in the fridge once it's been opened, or in a cool, dark place, should avoid this.
Alternative rice types:
Wild rice (actually an aquatic grass)
Typical values per 100g of product (rice, white long grain, raw)
Energy - 365 kcal
Protein - 7g
Carbohydrate (total) - 80g
Carbohydrate (sugars) - 0g
Fat (total) - 1g
Fat (saturated) - 0g
Dietary fibre - 1g