Ever since I was a kid, rice has been a staple in my home: steamed, fried, in stews, in soups – you name it! I’d never really stopped to think about the differences between different types (what can I say, I’m a rice novice) until a friend of mine asked me about Calrose vs. Jasmine rice. He said he had trouble deciding which one to choose for his next Indian meal. That got me thinking – what is the difference between Calrose and Jasmine rice?
Calrose rice is great for making sushi and can handle more acidic ingredients like vinegar and soy sauce, while Jasmine rice, with its fluffy and light texture, is great for dishes that don’t need as much holding power, like a simple side of steamed Jasmine rice, or fragrant Indian dishes.
In this article, I’ll explain the essential differences between these two types of rice. I’ll look at their origins, texture and flavor profiles, and best uses – so you can make an informed decision when it’s time to choose a type of rice for your meal!
Is Calrose Rice the Same as Jasmine Rice?
No, Calrose rice is not the same as Jasmine rice. Though they are both long-grain white kinds of rice, they differ significantly.
Calrose rice originates from California and is a medium-grain variety. It has a slightly sticky texture and a mildly sweet flavor making it particularly well-suited for dishes like sushi and stir-fries.
Jasmine rice is an aromatic long-grain variety that originates from Thailand, though it is now grown in many other countries. It has a slightly softer texture than Calrose, with a subtle floral aroma and nutty flavor. Jasmine rice best suits dishes like curries, biryani, and pilafs.
What Is the Difference Between Calrose Rice and Jasmine Rice?
Calrose rice and Jasmine rice are two different varieties of rice commonly sold in supermarkets. Still, distinct differences set them apart regarding the origin, grain shape, flavor, texture, and best uses.
Let’s have a look at all the differences more thoroughly:
When it comes to the origin of Calrose and Jasmine rice, they are notably different. Calrose rice is a medium-grain rice that was developed in California in 1948, while Jasmine rice is a long-grain variety that originates from Thailand.
This means that Calrose rice is an American innovation, while Jasmine is a much older variety of Asian rice.
When you compare and contrast the two types of rice, you’ll notice a distinct difference in grain size.
While both are considered medium-grain rice, the grains of Calrose are shorter and plump when compared to those of Jasmine rice, which are longer and skinnier. The key difference in the grain types lies in shape: Calrose is rounder and shorter than Jasmine, which has an elongated grain shape with slightly pointed ends.
Not only does Jasmine rice have longer, larger grains than Calrose rice, but also than almost any other white rice. On the other hand, Calrose rice is smaller and rounder in shape, giving it a sticky texture when cooked.
Texture and Flavor
The difference in grain also leads to differences in texture and flavor when cooked. Calrose rice has a firm texture with a slight stickiness when cooked and has a mild flavor.
This stickiness means it works well for dishes like sushi or when served with stews or curries.
On the other hand, Jasmine rice is much more fragrant than Calrose when cooked and has a light yet slightly chewy texture. It is ideal for dishes that require grains to keep their shape, like fried rice. The flavor is slightly nutty, so it pairs well with many different cuisines, including Indian and Thai.
Given these differences in origin, grain, texture, and flavor between Calrose and Jasmine rice, there are certain dishes each type of rice works best for.
In general terms, Calrose works best for dishes such as fried or Chinese-style dishes due to its firmness and stickiness when cooked. Whether you need perfectly formed sushi rolls or just a deliciously sticky bowl of white rice, Calrose is the way to go.
On the other hand, Jasmine works well as an accompaniment to curries or stir-fry dishes due to its light yet slightly chewy texture when cooked.
Additionally, Jasmine rice has a natural sweetness to it that can enhance any savory dish it’s paired with. This makes it ideal for dishes like Indian-style biryani or saffron-infused Pilafs. In comparison, Calrose doesn’t have this same sweetness, so it is better suited to absorbing flavors from other ingredients like herbs and spices when cooked.
Whatever you decide to make with either type of rice, make sure that you are mindful of the subtle differences between Calrose and Jasmine rice so you can make the most of both these varieties in your kitchen!
What Is Calrose Rice Best Used For?
Calrose rice is best for both sushi and other Asian dishes. The texture of Calrose rice is what makes it the most suitable option for these particular dishes; the grains are sticky and moist when cooked, making it great for rolling sushi or adding to a stir-fry.
Plus, since it’s not as fragrant or distinct as Jasmine rice, the flavors of whatever you’re cooking won’t be overpowered by the rice.
The downside of Calrose rice is that it doesn’t stay as fluffy and separate as Jasmine does, so if you’re looking for a light and airy side dish, then Jasmine is probably going to be your go-to.
What Is Jasmine Rice Best Used For?
Jasmine rice is best used for salads, stir-fries, and curries because its unique texture and aroma make it the perfect accompaniment for these dishes.
Jasmine rice can absorb all the flavors with which it is cooked, making it one of the best choices for flavorful dishes. It also gives a pleasant, sweet smell that makes your meal even more inviting.
Additionally, this type of rice is best for dishes that require more stickiness, such as pudding or desserts. The grain of Jasmine rice breaks down easily when cooked, making it stick together without becoming overly mushy or gummy.