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What Is Converted Rice?

Converted rice has the nutritional benefits of brown rice but the flavor and texture of white rice.
Brown rice is soaked and steamed to make converted rice.
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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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Many different kinds of rice are available for various cooking needs. Converted rice is a convenient and versatile pre-treated variety. Also known as parboiled rice, it is brown rice that has been soaked, steamed, and made to taste like white rice.

The vapor processing method of converting rice involves placing unhusked, whole grains of long-grain rice into water to soak. Following the soak, they are pressure steamed, which allows the flavors and water soluble nutrients from the husk and bran to enter the grain itself. After this treatment, the grains are dried, milled, and packaged for sale. The resulting beige rice has the flavor of white rice, and similarly becomes fluffy when cooked.

Converted rice also contains less starch than white rice, an appealing trait for people reducing their intake of carbohydrates. It is faster to cook than brown rice, since it does not contain the bran coating, but it still takes a slightly longer amount of time to cook than plain white rice. The texture, unlike the chewiness of brown rice, is also more appealing to many people.

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One useful purpose for this type of rice is adding nutrients into the diet. Many people, particularly young children, do not enjoy the taste of nutty brown rice. Parboiled rice, which contains the nutrients of brown rice with the flavorless attribution of white rice, can be substituted for a more palatable alternative. To substitute converted for brown rice, equal amounts can be used for most recipes.

Converted rice is rich in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients, particularly magnesium, thiamine, and carbohydrates. Its high mineral content makes it a good source of iron, and it is also a good source of amino acids.

In culinary use, this rice can be used in dishes with meat, vegetables, soups, fish, and salads. Like other kinds of rice, it can also be cooked with sauce, curry, vinegar, and other additives according to taste. It is also a popular choice in stir fry dishes.

Several brands of parboiled rice are partially or fully cooked prior to sale. This makes the rice even easier and more convenient to prepare. The term "parboil" itself is short for "partially boiled," meaning that the rice is somewhat precooked as it is processed. The parboiling method also sterilizes rice from possible contaminants, such as insect eggs or animal droppings. It also provides it with a longer shelf life.

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pleonasm
Post 7

@browncoat - Personally, rather than soaking rice, I prefer to use a rice cooker or steamer. If you get a good one you can set it up to cook the rice at whatever time you want it to. And there are a lot of really good rice steamer recipes out there as well, where it is basically used as a slow cooker.

I've never tried to cook converted rice in there before, but I'll bet you can if you adjust the settings to whatever time is needed. I like both brown and white rice though, just for different kinds of meals I guess.

browncoat
Post 6

I've never heard of converted rice before. Seems like you can pretty much get the same effect yourself, if you soak your brown rice before cooking it. It will cook much faster, although it will still taste the same, but it's a great time saver if you don't want to stand over a boiling pot every evening.

anon128900
Post 5

Thanks for the explanation of converted rice.

PelesTears
Post 4

I have a 5-cup rice cooker, and I cook converted rice the same way as I cook regular rice. I rinse the rice a few times before cooking. I add two cups of water for every one cup of rice, a little salt, a touch of olive oil, then press the button. It should come out perfect.

istria
Post 2

Does converted rice cook the same way as white rice in rice steamers? I need to start cutting back on the carbohydrates that I eat, but I do not like brown rice. I think I dislike the texture more than anything. Maybe I will have better luck with converted rice.

Alchemy
Post 1

This is a great article. I am a cook by profession and I have never really stopped to think about what converted rice is. I should try cooking this for my family next time I cook rice. My daughter hates brown rice, so we usually end up having Basmati or jasmine white rice. I enjoy all types of rice, but I rarely cook anything other than white simply for the fact I'm the only one who will really eat it.

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