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Is Parboiled Rice The Same As Instant Rice? [For FASTER Cooking]

Is Parboiled Rice the Same as Instant Rice

Rice comes in many different varieties and is often given different names depending on the processing method it has undergone.

This can get confusing when you’re buying rice!

This article will attempt to clarify the oft-confused parboiled, converted, instant, and jasmine rice.

Parboiled rice is rice that has been soaked, steamed, and dried while the rice is still in its outer husk.

Converted rice is another name for parboiled rice.

Instant rice has been stripped of its outer husk, and then pre-cooked before being dried.

While parboiled, converted, and instant rice refers to a specific type of processing, jasmine rice is a variety of rice (like white or brown), known for its long grains and distinct fragrance.

What is parboiled rice?

What is parboiled rice

Parboiled rice is rice that has been partially cooked in its husk, then dried before being packaged and sold.

Using parboiled rice improves the texture of the rice after cooking, making it fluffier and less clumpy.

It also possibly

“Parboiling” refers to a method of processing rice, not to a specific variety of rice.

The 3 steps in parboiling rice are as follows:

  1. First, the rice is soaked in warm water before it is milled (i.e., before the inedible outer husk is removed).
  2. Next, the rice is steamed inside the outer husk until the starch changes into a gel.
  3. Finally, the rice is slowly dried so that it can be milled, packaged, and sold.

The final product has a light yellow color, as opposed to the bleached white color of regular white rice.

Once cooked, parboiled rice is less clumpy and sticky than regular rice.

Instead, it has a fluffy texture with distinct, separate kernels.

This can be useful if you plan to have leftovers and will need to reheat the rice later — a pleasant texture will be more easily maintained than with reheated regular rice.

Parboiled vs. converted rice

Parboiled vs. converted rice

Parboiled and converted rice are two words referring to the same thing.

Parboiled, or converted, rice, is rice that has been processed a particular way.

It is soaked, steamed, then dried with its outer husk still intact.

Once it’s dry, the rice is milled, then packaged and sold.

Is converted rice the same as instant rice?

Is converted rice the same as instant rice?

No, converted rice and instant rice are two different things.

Converted rice is not pre-cooked, but rather parboiled before the rice is milled and the outer husk removed.

Instant rice has been pre-cooked after the milling and polishing process, and when you cook it you are actually just re-heating it.

Instant rice is typically thought of as being inferior to converted rice in flavor.

Instant rice is usually much blander than converted rice or regular rice.

But what you lack in flavor, you make up for in convenience, with much faster cooking times.

Whether you use converted rice or instant rice depends on your situation and preferences.

Is it more important to you to make your meal quickly, or to have the most flavorful meal possible?

Is jasmine rice a type of converted rice?

Is jasmine rice a type of converted rice

No, but you can buy converted rice in many varieties, including jasmine.

Jasmine rice is a variety of rice, like white or brown.

Converted rice is not a specific variety of rice, but rather a type of processing that the rice undergoes before being sold.

Jasmine rice has long, thin grains that tend to have a more fluffy texture after being cooked.

It is primarily grown in Southeast Asia — particularly Thailand.

Jasmine rice comes in different colors, including white, brown, red, purple, or black.

Additionally, jasmine rice contains a compound known as 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which gives it a pleasant, almost popcorn-like fragrance.

What is special about converted rice?

What is special about converted rice

Converted (or parboiled) rice is unique in several ways.

It has a different texture from regular rice — the grains are more fluffy and less sticky.

It also has different nutritional properties and retains more of the potentially beneficial plant compounds found in rice.

Finally, it contains resistant starch, which has numerous health benefits.

As mentioned above, converted rice has a unique texture.

Some people prefer the fluffier texture of converted rice to the more sticky, clumpy texture of regular rice.

Furthermore, according to, parboiled rice retains more of the original nutrition and beneficial plant compounds after processing.

This is because parboiled rice is steamed inside its outer husk, while regular white rice is stripped of its husk.

During the parboiling process, certain compounds such as phenolic acid (a type of antioxidant), migrate to the starchy endosperm and are retained in the final product.

Retaining the antioxidants in the rice reduces oxidation in the rice and may provide benefits to our own cellular health.

However, more research is needed before we can fully understand the role of plant-derived antioxidants in the human body.

A final unique aspect of converted rice is resistant starch.

As the rice is steamed within its outer husk, the starch in the rice turns into a gel-like substance that globs together.

As it cools, the molecules in the gel-like starch reform and harden again.

This creates resistant starch.

The unique thing about resistant starch is that it cannot be digested as starch normally would.

Instead, it is passed on intact to the large intestine, where it becomes food (or “prebiotics”) for our gut bacteria.

As our gut bacteria feed on the starch, it releases certain compounds, like butyrate, a type of short-chain fatty acid that nourishes and reduces inflammation in the gut.

This video provides a thorough, visible explanation of what resistant starch does in our digestive system.

Is rice healthy?

Is rice healthy

Rice is an easy, cheap, and palatable source of dietary energy (mostly in the form of carbohydrate).

Whether or not rice is healthy for you depends primarily on the amount of dietary energy you need, which in turn depends on your level of activity and how much energy you already have stored on your body in the form of body fat.

Should you eat rice?

This is a complicated question.

Despite what many ideological proponents of one diet or another might tell you, the question of whether you should eat this or that food does not have a black and white answer.

We need to get in the habit of allowing nuanced discussions around food, rather than digging our heels in and pronouncing foods as either “good” or “bad.”

When considering the question of whether or not you should include rice in your diet, these are some factors to take into account:

  • If you are on a low-carb diet, rice should not be a regular part of your diet, as it is definitely not a low-carb food.
  • If you are overweight, steer clear of rice, either avoiding it altogether or eating it only in small quantities. Rice is extremely starchy and energy-rich. If you are overweight, your goal is to tap into the reserves of fat (energy) you have on your body, rather than consuming large quantities of dietary energy.
  • If you have issues with blood sugar regulation, be mindful when you eat rice. You may want to track your own blood sugar response to rice to see if it is a good food for you or not.
  • If you are lean, active, and muscular, you may be able to eat more rice than someone who is overweight and sedentary. In this case, you don’t have as much energy (fat) stored on your body, which means you need to take in more dietary energy. You also likely have better blood sugar control, which is a prerequisite if you’re going to consume rice regularly.

If you do decide to incorporate rice into your diet on a regular basis, here are some strategies you can use to mitigate the potential negative effects on your body:

  • Keep in mind that rice becomes much more palatable when it is combined with certain foods — for example, when it is drenched in a delicious sauce or wrapped in a burrito. It is much easier to overeat rice in these situations.
    • On the other hand, it is much more difficult to overeat a plain bowl of white rice (because it’s just not that tasty when it’s all by itself). Just be mindful of how much you’re eating, especially in a situation where it would be easy to overeat.
    • Weighing or measuring could be a good strategy to be able to more accurately judge how much rice you’re really eating.
  • Eat rice in conjunction with a solid portion of protein. Better yet, eat your protein first in order to improve satiety and slow down the rate at which the starch in the rice is released into your bloodstream.
  • Go for a 10-minute walk after eating a meal with rice.
  • Eating rice within 30-60 minutes after a strength training workout is another strategy to improve your blood sugar control.
    • Since you’ve just completed a strength training workout, much of the carbs in the rice will be absorbed by your depleted muscles.