The Exciting World of Rice
When most people think about rice, they usually think of plain white rice that’s been steamed in a pot or a rice cooker. But rice is actually used for a variety of purposes other than cooking and eating. While doing more with rice isn’t all that common in the States, it’s actually used for a lot of different reasons in Asian countries like China and Japan. In places like these, it’s an important part of culture with deep roots in longstanding heritage that remains strong to this day. The next time you’re sitting at a dinner table in front of a simple bowl of rice, you might not see it the same way. Here are some interesting ways that rice is used that don’t involve steaming or boiling for the purposes of eating.
Not a lot of people are aware that there are different layers in rice grains and that each of these layers can be used for different purposes. For example, there is an inner layer to rice that is oily and moist and it can be extracted to produce rice bran, otherwise known as nuka in Japan. Pickling vegetables is very popular in Japanese cuisine and rice bran is the main ingredient in this process. While vinegar is normally used in the American pickling process it’s not as available in Japan which is why bran is used instead. The most popular vegetables to undergo pickling are daikon, cucumber, eggplant, and radish.
While grapes are normally used in the creation of American and European wines, rice is actually used more frequently in Asian countries. Again, this is due in large part to the fact that rice is more readily available in Asian nations while grapes have to be imported from Europe, Latin America, and the States. Rice wine is made by simply fermenting rice starch into sugars. Some of the most popular rice wines include sake from Japan, soju from Korea, choujiu from China. In North America, rice wine is commonly used in cooking, and it resulted in some wonderful culinary creations where East meets West.
Rice Milk Alternative
It used to be that people who were lactose intolerant had to avoid foods that had any hint of dairy. This meant that cereals, baked goods, milkshakes, and a whole bunch of other delicious foods were out of bounds for a lot of people. However, with new alternative diets becoming that much more popular there are now things that can substitute diary, such as rice milk. The great thing about this type of milk is that there is no lactose in it and it has no cholesterol. It’s a great alternative to those who are allergic to milk or soy or wheat products.
Arts and crafts
Rice can be used in arts and crafts just like dried macaroni and pasta are. One of the most popular ways to use this grain in Asian countries is rice drawing. In Japan and China, there is an art form that involves writing one’s name on a simple grain of white rice. It’s a delicate process that takes years to master and the decorated grains are placed onto bracelets and necklaces. In some cases full drawings and pictures are placed onto grains of rice and the only way to see these images is through a magnifying glass.
While you might not be up for pickling or making your own wine, rice is still one of the finest foods around to experiment with. If you’ve only been enjoying steamed white rice up until now, it’s time to look for new recipes and exciting tastes. One simple search on the internet will turn up a wide array of delectable rice dishes for you to try your own kitchen. You don’t have to be an expert or have an expensive rice cooker to make these dishes come to life. And when done properly, you can revitalize traditional dishes and meals in a way your family will love.
While it might seem simple, cooking rice is an art form in itself. You can visit allthingsrice.com for information about how to do with the best way. Whether you use a new-age rice cooker or a traditional stovetop method, it’s more than just simple mechanics. You have to get a feel for the process and once you do, that’s when you bring your rice dishes to a whole new level.