Jasmine rice (also known as jasmin rice, fragrant rice, scented rice, aromatic rice or kao hohm mali in Thai) is world famous because of its appearance, cooking texture, and aroma. It is distinguished by a water milling process that leaves the grains silken to the touch. When uncooked the grain is translucent, but when cooked it becomes opaque and white. The grains are similar in size to long-grain rice but cook moist and tender like a medium -grain rice. Fragrant when cooked, the name in Thai kao hohm mali, literally translates as 'smelling like jasmine flower'. It is comparable to Indian basmati rice.
Jasmine rice is prepared without salt. Accompanying dishes are therefore spicy and salty to counterbalance the tastes. The various guises of rice are many in Thailand. Rice soup is a common breakfast dish. Fried rice is a popular lunch meal. Most noodles and traditional snacks are made with rice flour. Rice paper is used to make spring rolls.
Jasmine rice is a relatively recent crop in Thailand, being cultivated only within the past 100 years. But since the kingdom's beginning, the daily meals have consisted of rice and fish. According to Kasma Loha-unchit, cookbook author and cooking teacher, there is a saying, 'new rice, fat fish'. During the period following the monsoon in Thailand, delicious new rice is harvested. This coincides with fish also being at their peak after months of endless feasting during the wet months. It is a time for good eating and prosperity and rejoicing.
Many countries, including the USA have tried to grow this variety of rice, because it is so popular, but without much success. Thai jasmine rice is not genetically engineered. Only genuine Thai jasmine rice can be labeled 'Thai Hom Mali Rice' and this must be printed on the bag with the authority certification. Please do not serve ordinary rice from the supermarket with your Thai meals.
High in fiber and containing vitamins B1, B2, niacin, carbohydrates and protein with no gluten, jasmine rice is nutritional. It is also rich in minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorous.
The secret cooking perfect rice lies in the quantity of water used. When cooking on the stovetop in a pot, measure holding your finger on top of the rice - the water should reach just below your middle finger's first joint. All the water should be absorbed during cooking, leaving the rice firm and fluffy. Allow the rice to set for 15 minutes before serving, keeping the pot covered. This will allow the rice to thoroughly cook through and still retain its shape and texture. To cook in an electric rice steamer, follow the manufacturer's directions.
To store all types of rice should be stored in a cool dry place in the original packaging until opened. Transfer to an airtight container once opened. Use all types of rice within one year of purchase.
See recipes for Steamed Jasmine Rice and Thai Fried Rice.
Also see (25lb) Jasmine Rice and Brown Jasmine Rice.
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