When good quality jasmine rice is being cooked around you, you will know! The fragrance of this delicate, long-grained rice will start to pervade the air as it starts gently simmering in a hot pan of water!
Jasmine rice is cultivated mainly in Thailand and is one of the long-grain varieties of fragrant rice. Moist and soft in texture when cooked it has a tinge of sweetness. As the grain cooks, it releases a natural amalgam of aromatic compounds; and the rice does give off a faintly delicate aroma of jasmine! Connoisseurs of jasmine rice prefer to buy rice that has just come in from after the harvest, due to the loss of aroma in older rice!
Though the grains of jasmine rice are somewhat sticky after cooking them, they are less stickier than glutinous rice, due to the lesser presence of a compound called amylopectin.
To make a good harvest of jasmine rice, the long stalks are cut, threshed and left to dry, either in a hulled form – this is paddy rice or de-hulled to produce brown rice. When all of the bran is removed it creates white, jasmine rice.
Jasmine rice is a very integral part of Thailand’s people, and it forms a part of their daily staple meal. It is best eaten along with stir-fries – either vegetable or meat; and tastes spectacular with fried, grilled or braised food items. It even tastes delicious with soups, but it has to be cooked slightly drier by using less water during the cooking process. Somehow, this rice does not lend itself well to use in fried rice, as it becomes too soft and mushy for fried rice.
You can make delicious, Thai rice using Jasmine rice!
Simply fry some onions. Add garlic and ginger, chilli, salt and pepper. Add jasmine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for some time. Remove from heat and let the rice rest, with the lid for a few minutes. Garnish with lemon juice, peanuts, basil and cilantro. Serve! And of course, enjoy!