Converted Rice

Converted rice (also referred to as par-boiled rice)  is rice that has been partially cooked with its outer shell (husk).  This “cooking” process involves  partially boiling , soaking, steaming and drying the individual grains.  The “conversion” process boosts the nutrient content of rice and is 80% nutritionally similar to brown rice.  Almost every on this site  uses converted rice.  Why?  I like the way the rice holds it’s structure and that I don’t have to excessively wash it to remove the starch.   Why is this important?  Non-converted rice can get mushy and break apart more easily and it doesn’t hold up as well when reheating leftovers.  There are some shortfalls primarily when making a rice pilaf or plain butter rice (a staple of Portuguese cooking) because converted rice does have a slightly earthy or brown rice type flavor notes.  In subtle rice dishes I like to use Carolina rice since it does not impart any of these flavor components.  In dishes like rice pudding or the previously mentioned butter rice the starch content of Carolina rice actually adds a creamy texture.  I don’t have any favorite brand of converted rice and buy big sacks of it at my warehouse store.  Converted rice keeps for a long time and some believe that aging any type of rice adds additionally welcomed flavor notes.  My Indian friends actually buy two sacks of basmati rice  since they firmly believe that as the rice ages it gets better.