This type of rice may be the most versatile grain in your pantry.

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When perusing the grain aisle, it can be overwhelming to see all the rice varieties available today. From standard choices like white or brown, to more specialized types like arborio, glutinous, or red cargo rice, it's enough to make any consumer's head spin. One variety you'll find at any well-stocked grocery store is Calrose rice. But what exactly makes these grains stand out from the rest?

What Exactly is Calrose Rice?

Calrose rice is a medium grain rice variety. After cooking, it becomes slightly soft and sticky, making it a versatile rice perfect for use in a wide range of dishes. The name "Calrose" comes from "Cal" as a nod to California, where the grain is grown, and "rose," which is a continuation of a naming tradition that includes "Blue Rose," a medium grain rice previously developed in Louisiana.

Where is Calrose Rice From?

Calrose rice was developed at the Rice Experiment Station run by the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation and is sometimes referred to as the "founding" grain for the California rice industry. Calrose rice was released to California growers during 1948 and quickly grew to be one of the state's most popular rice varieties. Today, 85 percent of all Californian rice production is made up of Calrose rice.

What Dishes Should Calrose Rice Be Used In?

Calrose is a medium grain rice. Once cooked, it becomes slightly soft and sticky, making it ideal for dishes where the grains need to hold up, like sushi, soups, or salads. Calrose rice also has a very mild flavor, meaning it can absorb any bold ingredients, such as herbs and spices, with ease.

How to Cook Calrose Rice

Give this method a shot if you're wanting to try plain Calrose rice:

  • Measure out 1/2 cup dry rice and rinse it with cool water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This gets rid of the excess starch that can create overly sticky rice.
  • In a medium pot, combine the rice with 3/4 cup of water or broth and bring that to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat (do not lift the lid) and allow to sit and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and you're ready to serve!

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