What is Rice Really?: Long-Grain Rice


We continue our series about rice with information and recipes about this staple food by discussing long-grain rice—one of the most well-known types.

As with medium- and short-grain rices, long-grain rice is classified by its size. Grains are slender and usually four or five times longer than they are wide. The grains are 7mm in length or longer, and when cooked, result in separate, loose and soft grains. The majority of long-grain rice is grown in Northern India, Bangladesh, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, parts of China, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, and Argentina, Brazil and the United States in the Americas. The many types of long-grain rice include basmati varieties, fragrant jasmine and upland rice. The origin of long-grain rice contributes to its aroma, flavor and texture.


Not only is long-grain rice distinct from medium- and short-grain rice in terms of size, texture and flavor, but it’s also processed somewhat differently. Long-grain rice kernels are more fragile than the shorter varieties, and require more delicate handling. Milling the rice requires a series of discs and rollers for removing the tough outer husk and inner husk one at a time to produce unbroken polished white grains. When packaged for export and sale, long-grain rice is usually stored in hard plastic containers or tightly packed into jute or burlap bags lined with hard plastic fibers, in order to protect the grains. Due to the more intense processing cycle, long-grain rice is often more expensive to buy, leading some countries to produce and export long-grain rice at a higher price, and import less expensive, potentially lower quality, rice to feed their people.


Spicy Basmati Rice with Lentils and Spinach

The expense is often worth it. Long-grain rice has been used to create iconic dishes from so many cuisines across the globe. Full of flavor and aroma, the grains are used for Biryanis from India, Pilafs from the Middle East, Red Beans & Rice from the United States, and even plain boiled long-grain white rice as a staple in Southeast Asian dishes. Some of our favorite recipes include Thai Green Chicken Curry with fragrant jasmine rice, Gumbo Bowl and Spicy Basmati Rice with Lentils and Spinach. We love all of these! And when you make them, be sure to use long-grain rice… these fragile, distinct grains have such a unique texture—you’ll definitely love the results you get from using the right type of rice!

Let us know what you tried, and share your recipes below!

27 thoughts on “What is Rice Really?: Long-Grain Rice

  1. Oh for heaven’s sake. And NOWHERE do you mention how to cook long grain rice in the cooker. Not so much as a link. Totally useless. Why even have a blog? I only came here because you tagged this “basmati” and I’m looking for the directions for doing basmati in my Zo.

      • The site regarding /grains does not contain the model nhs-18. Also how would you add the proper amount of water in 1/4 increments when there are no inner pan markings for those increments?

        • Hi Robert, we have not tested other types of grains in this rice cooker model. Doing so may cause an overflow of contents and damage the unit, and is not recommended. We apologize for the inconvenience! And for your reference, the recommended amount of water for other models is the measure using the rice measuring cup, and not the water measure lines in the inner cooking pot.

  2. I did find info re long grain using link you suggest, but no where can I find how to cook brown basmati rice. My only attempt, using BROWN setting, was a disaster. Do you wash or not?

    • We have not officially tested Basmati Brown Rice in our rice cookers. However, from previous customer feedback, it is recommended to cook a cup of uncooked brown basmati rice, and with every cup of uncooked rice add 1 1/4 cups of water, using the measuring cup included. The brown basmati rice is then cooked using the Brown rice menu setting. Rice should always be washed to remove excess starch, unless it is labeled “rinse-free” rice.

      If you find that the batch of rice was a bit too al dente for your taste and would like to soften it up, on the next try you can increase the amount of water in your next batch by adding 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of uncooked brown basmati rice and again using the Brown setting.

  3. You posted a recipe for cooking brown basmati, but not for white basmati. Could you please provide this for the rest of us who use an induction model Zojirushi machine? Thanks…

  4. Your post in 2016 said that you had not yet tested long-grain brown rice. Four years later, have you done this testing and would you please send me clear instructions for how to measure the rice and water for every cup (using the clear measuring cup that came with my model NS-ZCC-10 rice cooker) of long-grain brown rice? Please send them to prackow@earthlink.net. Thank you.

  5. since MANY zoji owners come here looking for info on cooking long grain brown rice, it would be respectful of our time foi ***YOU*** to get the info from customer support and POST IT HERE!

    by NOT doing so, you are letting down zojirushi customers. please show more respect for us.

    • Hi Flash Gordon, we appreciate your feedback! We are continuously working on delivering relevant information to customers as easily as possible and your comment will help us improve. For information on grains/rice that have been tested in our rice cookers please visit: https://www.zojirushi.com/grains/
      As for long-grain brown rice, it has not been tested however, based on customer feedback it’s best to use 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice and using the brown rice setting. Please use the rice measuring cup to measure both rice and water. If you find that the rice is too soft then switch over to the white rice setting. If you need any assistance, please reach out to our Customer Support, we would be happy to help!

  6. Just a comment that I was here for the same reason. I couldn’t believe there was nothing for long grain brown rice. This was the first time I used the new machine and I used Lundberg long grain brown rice with the recommendation in the answer from Zojirushi above. The ratio of 1 cup long grain brown rice to 1 1/4 cups water worked fine. (I also well rinsed the rice in a fine mesh strainer under the faucet hose instead of using Zojirushi’s recommended “claw” method.) I am looking forward to trying this again on the White Rice setting just to see the difference, but it was quite good. Lundberg brown rice is better than most and Massa Organics brown rice is still my all-time favorite (Saveur magazine once called it the best brown rice in the world, and I tend to agree). Anyone who just has grocery store rice and nothing else may not even like brown rice. It’s nothing like taste and texture in Lundberg and Massa Organics. Mahatma from the grocery store was also scary because it had black stuff in it I couldn’t identify (though it didn’t appear to be insects). That grossed me out and killed Mahatma for me for all time. 🙂

    • Hi Robert, we are so glad that our post was helpful and that you are enjoying cooking long grain brown rice in your rice cooker! The rice washing method that we recommend is best for white rice since it will have a lot more starches attached to it from being processed. The way you rice your rice works well too. Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing about your rice cooking journey!

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