In countries all across the globe, rice is considered a staple ingredient and is the number one carbohydrate source.
Rice is typically enjoyed in both savoury and sweet dishes and it is as versatile as it is delicious. When people talk about delicious rice, jasmine rice is one of the world’s tastiest forms of rice, it’s also one of the most nutritious. In fact, we’re looking at jasmine rice nutrition in today’s article.
Rice is fantastic as it is versatile, it tastes great, it can be used in a whole variety of different dishes, plus there’s also the fact that there are so many different types of rice to choose from.
Of course there’s jasmine rice, white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, long grain rice, risotto rice, and much more besides. There’s even cauliflower “rice” though rice purists will agree that the less said about that, the better.
If you’re a rice lover and are thinking of expanding your rice vocabulary and want to try more jasmine rice, these jasmine rice facts are sure to be interesting. You can even see how it stacks up against white rice and the other forms of rice out there.
So, without any further ado, here’s a look at jasmine rice vs white rice. (1)
What is jasmine rice?
With a name like ‘Jasmine’ you just know that this rice is going to taste exotic and special, and boy, are you right.
Jasmine rice is a form of long grain rice that is actually a variation of Oryza Sativa, or ‘Asian Rice’ as it is more commonly known.
Jasmine rice is popular all across the world, including the West, though it is native to Asia, particularly in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Needless to say, it is hugely popular in Asia and in the Middle-East, though as mentioned, here in the West, we also get down heaps of jasmine rice, due largely to the fact that it’s so delicious.
In terms of jasmine rice nutrition, the rice is also surprisingly nutritious for a white rice, and because of its unique and distinct fragrance, taste, and aroma, it is a very valuable commodity and simply cannot be replicated by any other rice.
Interestingly, jasmine rice, despite primarily being a white rice, is also found in the form of black rice and brown rice. It has a long shelf life which also adds to its value, though the fresher it is, the more fragrant and aromatic the rice becomes. (2) (3)
Jasmine rice vs white rice
White rice is a generic term, as technically white jasmine rice can be referred to as white rice. Two of the most popular varieties of white rice, however, are basmati rice and long grain rice.
Sometimes referred to as ‘fragrant rice’ due to the fact that it is more fragrant and aromatic than rice varieties such as basmati, it gets its name not from the scent of Jasmine, but rather from the fact that it shares the same colour as a Jasmine flower.
In terms of appearance, jasmine rice looks very similar to white rice varieties such as basmati, but in terms of flavour and texture, it is softer than basmati and less strong in taste. If you want a soft, slightly sweet, nutty, and fluffy rice for your dishes.
Interestingly, all forms of white rice are processed to have their husks (the hard protective shell) and the bran (protective outer layer) removed, along with the germ (the inner core). During the processing stage, white rice, regardless of its variety, loses some, not all, of its nutrients.
1 cup of jasmine rice contains around 181 calories, whereas basmati contains around 160 calories. Jasmine, per cup provides 1g of fat compared with 0g for basmati. As far as jasmine rice nutrition goes, though, jasmine rice provides 2% of your recommended daily value of iron, compared with basmati, which provides 0.
Healthier varieties of jasmine rice
When people choose jasmine rice for their dishes, they likely aren’t choosing it because of its health benefits because jasmine rice calories and nutrition are very similar with those associated with white rice such as basmati.
However, if you are being health conscious and want to get your jasmine rice fix, the good news is that there are a number of much healthier jasmine rice varieties which taste great and are higher in nutrients.
In grocery stores, the vast majority of jasmine rice you will find will be white jasmine rice, which is the polished and processed white version with the ban, husk, and germ removed. There are however, healthier versions such as brown jasmine rice, and even black jasmine rice.
In terms of taste, all three varieties have the same distinct aroma and taste, but the brown and black rice has much more of a nutty taste and a slightly firmer texture.
As far as jasmine rice nutrition goes, brown jasmine rice are hulled, but they hold onto the bran. This means that they contain more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants than white jasmine rice, and they are therefore considered to be healthier versions.
Black jasmine rice is known as ‘forbidden rice’ due to the fact that, as it was so rare, it was reserved exclusively for nobility and people in power. Black jasmine rice contains more fiber, iron, and protein than both white and brown rice, plus it has an even more impressive antioxidant profile.
Tips on how to prepare and cook jasmine rice
When learning about the various jasmine rice facts out there, it will likely come as quite the surprise to a lot of people, to learn that jasmine rice needs to be prepared and cooked slightly differently to other types of rice.
A lot of people simply throw jasmine rice in far too much water, boil it until it turns into a mush, drain it, and then eat it in the form of a bland, tasteless, white stodgy mass. If you prepare your rice in this way, this next section of our guide will prove especially useful.
Jasmine rice should be steamed
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when preparing jasmine rice, is that they boil the rice rather than steaming it. If you boil it, it loses a lot of its aromatic taste in the water, which is then drained away.
If you’ve a rice steamer, steaming the rice will give a wonderful aromatic fragrance. Alternatively, if you do boil it, use the absorption method, which is basically where you use just enough water to cook the grains, allowing them to absorb all of the water and fluff up that way.
Rinse the rice well
When you prepare white rice such as jasmine rice, one of the first things you should do is rinse your rice very well first.
When you rinse your rice, you’ll notice how the water becomes thick and cloudy, and takes on a milky white colour. This is excess starch coating the grains. Cooking the rice before rinsing would cause the water and rice mixture to become a thick and gloopy mess.
Rinsing away the starch will allow each grain to cook individually, rather than clumping together and becoming gloopy and stodgy.
Soak the rice first
When preparing basmati, jasmine, or any other rice renowned for its aromatic qualities, it’s important to soak the rice first.
Soaking the rice before cooking it helps to lock in and preserve the naturally occurring oils which are responsible for giving it that aromatic flavour and aroma.
These oils are lost during the cooking process so the longer the rice cooks, the more flavour is lost. Pre soaking the rice enables it to absorb water and become softer, which means that when you cook it, it needs less cooking time so more flavour is preserved.
Cook and chill the rice for fried rice dishes
If you order Chinese takeout or Thai, and order a fried rice dish such as egg fried rice, there’s a very strong chance that the rice they use to make this fried rice will be white jasmine rice.
If you wish to replicate this rice at home, you should pre-cook the rice first, let it come down to room temperature, and then immediately get it in the fridge to chill overnight.
If you try cooking a fried rice dish right away, it would become too soft and mushy. Chilling the rice in the fridge helps it to firm up and fluff up so that when you fry it, it holds its shape and gives that trademark fried rice taste we all know and love.
For health and safety reasons, never leave rice longer than 48 hours and be sure to store it in the refrigerator as soon as it has reached room temperature.
Never cook your rice too hot
Another very common mistake that people make when it comes to the preparation of jasmine rice is that they cook the rice over too hot of a temperature.
Ideally when you cook the rice you should bring the water to a boil, and then gently simmer or steam the rice over a low and controlled heat.
If you cook the rice too hot, each grain will split open, which will release the starch inside and leave you with rice “grains” that are like mush. Ultimately, your rice will be more like oatmeal.
Basically, as soon as the water reaches boiling point, turn the heat to the lowest temperature, throw the lid on the pan, and leave it to cook.
Never lift the lid on your rice while cooking
When cooking jasmine rice, each minute will be agonizingly slow and you’ll find yourself struggling to resist the temptation to lift the lid on your pan and check your rice.
You must resist this temptation, as lifting the lid will release the steam from inside the pan, which is what is helping to cook and fluff up each grain of the rice.
Lifting the lid will result in hard and nutty rice that isn’t cooked through, and nobody wants that, right?
Never stir the rice
When cooking most foods, it’s important to stir them to help them cook evenly and to avoid sticking to the pan. With jasmine rice, though, you shouldn’t stir the rice too much.
Again, stirring the rice will help to break up the grains and cause them to release starch, and you know what that will mean.
When cooking jasmine rice, you need to simply trust the process and resist the urge to stir it too much.
Is jasmine rice healthier than white rice?
If you were paying attention earlier when we learned about the various jasmine rice facts such as jasmine rice calories, you’d know that jasmine rice is in fact a form of white rice.
The nutritional profile of white jasmine rice is very similar to that of other white rice varieties such as basmati.
However, brown jasmine rice and black jasmine rice contains more fiber, more vitamins, more minerals, and more antioxidants and therefore these are much healthier than regular white rice.
What kind of rice contains the lowest calories?
full of antioxidants , it contains more fiber, it is higher in protein, it contains more vitamins, and it is lower in calories.
That’s not to say that jasmine rice is unhealthy, because as you’ve found out, as far as jasmine rice calories are concerned, and indeed, as far as jasmine rice nutrition is concerned, the rice is still very healthy and good for you, it’s just that quinoa is more nutritious.
If you’re following a caloric restrictive diet or are simply tracking your calories, you’ll want to know which type of rice contains the most calories.
Long grain white rice, per cup, provides around 160 calories. White jasmine rice, per cup, provides 181 calories.
While these numbers are very close, on paper, jasmine rice does contain more calories, so that is certainly something worth considering.
Which is better? Quinoa or jasmine rice?
There is no right or wrong answer here because in terms of which is better, it would depend on your goals and preferences.
In terms of nutrition, quinoa is healthier as it is loaded