Jasmine Rice vs White Rice, Which Type is Better and Why

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023

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Jasmine Rice vs White Rice

Everyone! In this post we will learn about the differences between Jasmine rice vs white rice. Both are actually soft, fluffy and fragrant but which type is good? Find out below.

Jasmine, The Aromatic grain

Jasmine rice got its name not only because it smells like the flower itself, but because it is as white as this delicate bloom.

Although white and brown jasmine rice pretty much smell like, well, the flower they are named after, the brown variety has a rather nutty, oatmeal-like flavor.

Like other brown rice varieties, the brown jasmine rice is also rich in health benefits. Check out this post for the best brown rice brands. The fragrance of Jasmine rice also smells like pandan leaves or, for others, popcorn.

Some even finds its taste and smell “buttery.” However, this scent easily fades out after a couple of months that is why most people prefer to have the freshly harvested grains.

Nutritional Value

Generally, jasmine rice has a high glycemic index (GI), which should call for moderation in consumption. But this is not much of an issue if it’s served together with protein and fiber-rich dishes that offset the carbohydrates of jasmine rice. Naturally, the brown variant has more vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin B) because it still has the bran.

Culinary Attributes

This Oryza Sativa variant is long-grained, which means it tends to retain its shape after it is cooked. As is the case with all types of rice, this kind is also usually cooked by steaming, although the amount of water used is lesser than the other types.

Jasmine fried rice

Steamed jasmine rice needs to be cooled down considerably, though, as it can be too soft for comfort when prepared as fried rice. Jasmine rice can be stored up to 2 days in the refrigerator before it becomes ideal for fried rice.

Usually, jasmine rice is enjoyed with a variety of flavorful dishes. When cooked as a viand, it’s usually prepared Asian-style, which means the addition of spices like cilantro, garlic, ginger, or chili.

It can also be prepared as rice pilaf or toasted a bit to bring out its famously exquisite aroma and flavor even more.

Where It’s Found

Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos are the countries where you can find abundant harvests of this aromatic grain. It’s understood to have originally came from Thailand, which, by the way, has kept winning the best rice award at the World Rice Conference.

Thai jasmine rice is considered the best in the world, with Cambodia and Vietnam’s yields coming second and third respectively.

White Rice, The Highly-Polished grain

This is the most popular kind of rice, and actually covers a wide variety of rice variants – short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain. In fact, if I say the word “rice,” the image of white rice is probably the kind that pops in your head right away. Basically, white rice is the grain that no longer has the germ, bran layer, and husk.

These are removed during the milling and polishing process, changing how the grain looks, feels, and tastes. As in the words of the song in a Disney film, it’s “shiny, shimmery, and splendid.”

Considering that rice is the top most consumed grain in the whole world today, “splendid” can be an understatement. It’s glorious! But when you consider its nutritional impact, it’s not as sunny as its popularity.

Nutritional Value

White rice is considered by health professionals as a refined carbohydrate because it’s stripped of the brownish coating that makes this grain really nutritious, although there’s still some protein, fiber, and iron left in it.

There are white rice brands, though, that are enriched with the lost nutrients (iron, vitamin B1, and vitamin B3).

It’s also known to register a higher glycemic index, although this depends on the type of rice. The Doongara and Basmati types have lower GI’s, though.

The nutritional pothole of white rice is overshadowed, by its versatility and economical value.

Culinary Attributes

In the kitchen, white rice is a versatile food choice as this can be paired with different types of viands and can also be combined with various ingredients. It is usually cooked by steaming, after which it can be used to whip up various rice-based recipes.

white rice with herbs and vegetables

White rice can be used for:

  • risotto
  • sushi
  • rice pudding
  • stir-fried rice recipes
  • stuffing
  • and even in making desserts.

You just mix rice with milk and sugar and you got yourself a post-meal treat!

Where It’s Found

White rice is cultivated in Asia. China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand are the world’s top producers of rice.

Grain Off: Jasmine Rice vs. White Rice

Here’s where I’ll lay out the germ of the matter – the main differences between Jasmine rice vs White Rice.

Jasmine Rice

  • Long grain
  • A specific variety of rice
  • Fragrant
  • Best used with and for certain dishes due to its aroma and flavor
  • Brown variety offers more nutritional benefits
  • Cultivated primarily in Thailand and the Southeast Asia regions

White Rice

  • Can be any type of rice that has been polished
  • Can be long, medium, or short grain
  • Not all types are aromatic
  • Has a predominantly starchy taste
  • More versatile for cooking
  • Has less nutritional benefits than unpolished rice
  • Cultivated in various places in Asia

Jasmine Rice vs White Rice, Which Type is Better?

Jasmine rice wins the grain off challenge as it has a brown grain variety which is considered to be a healthier choice! So the next time you are to choose between the Jasmine and the White rice, choose the Jasmine but look for the brown variety.

Of course the best way to cook your favorite rice and rice recipes is by using a rice cooker. It simply makes our cooking life extra better. Watch the video on how to cook Jasmine rice in a rice cooker easily!

Rise Up!

All that considered, the main difference really is in the categorization, as white jasmine rice is actually a type of white rice. The latter is an umbrella term for all rice that has gone through milling and polishing so the brownish outer layer is removed.

You can say white rice is also refined rice.However, if we talk about being healthy, I have to suggest that eating brown Jasmine rice is a better choice compared to the white.

All that talk is making me want a hot plate of rice for (or with) my next meal, especially jasmine rice. How about you? What rice variety is your favorite? Or are you, like me, moved to dig into the wonders of this fragrant grain?

If you have anything to add to what I said in this post, please rise to the occasion and let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your favorite way of preparing rice, too!

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