Rice is a staple food in Thailand. For Thais, a meal always has rice to go along with different side dishes. Jasmine rice (Hom Mali), an aromatic long grain white rice, is a common type. Like other rice in the white rice category, the rice has been processed to remove outer husk, bran and germ. As a result, a loss of nutrients occurs during processing. Lucky for us, there are other kinds of rice that are healthier alternatives. Brown rice is a common popular one for health-conscious people. Another type I want to share with you is Red rice.
Growing up we always had Red rice on the table, and I learned to like it. It's kind of a challenge to immediately switch to Red rice, if you are a fan of White rice especially Jasmine rice. We normally like the aromatic scent and tender texture of Jasmine rice. However, like I said at the beginning, the rice has been processed. It doesn't mean that it's bad, but just less nutritional value. Red rice on the other hand is a whole grain rice.
The color of the rice comes from Anthocyanin pigment content which can be found in red, blue and purple grains, fruits and vegetables. Michael Greger, a New York Times best selling author of "How Not to Die", stated in an article that "Red rice has everything that Brown rice has, plus five times more antioxidants and a variety of extra benefits." Now that I have your attention let me tell you how I use Red rice in my cooking.
These days I cook Red rice for our meals. For me, it wasn't a problem at all since I grew up eating it. Brad on the other hand isn't quite used to the nutty flavor and crunchy texture of this type of rice. I compromised by mixing Red rice and Jasmine rice, so both of us can enjoy the meal. My cooking ratio is 25% of Red rice and 75% of Jasmine rice. Once you get used it, then you can adjust the ratio and use more Red rice. It may not be easy on your palette the first time, but trust me the more you eat, the more you will like it, and your body will thank you for your choice.