You are currently viewing Glutinous Rice Vs. Long Grain Rice

Glutinous Rice Vs. Long Grain Rice

Some varieties of rice are preferred for their fluffy texture and their grains that do not stick to each other when cooked properly.

However, there are certain varieties of rice are grown especially for their sticky texture.

These sticky rice varieties are better suited for recipes such as dumplings and sweet rice cakes.

If you were to rank rice varieties by how sticky they are, then glutinous rice would be the most sticky rice variety.

The difference between glutinous and other rice varieties is in their starch composition.

Amylose, which is a form of starch is lower in glutinous rice than any other rice variety, while amylopectin, which is also another form of starch, is higher in glutinous rice.

Continue reading to find out how glutinous rice is different from long grain white rice.

What is glutinous rice?

Glutinous rice is a type of rice that is known for being sticky.

Although there are other sticky rice varieties, when compared to glutinous rice, they are less sticky.

But what makes glutinous rice more sticky and how are they different from other types of rice?

The exceptional stickiness of glutinous rice can be attributed to its high amylopectin content.

It also has a lower amylose content when compared to other varieties of rice including the popular long grain white rice.

The amylose content of glutinous rice is less than 2 percent while the amylopectin of glutinous rice is nearly 100 percent.

Glutinous rice varieties are grown in South East Asia. Their plants are grown either in upland hillside or lowlands.

They are often labeled as sweet rice because of their sweet taste, and they require less water to cook

A lot of glutinous rice varieties are short grains, however, they are also long grain varieties of glutinous rice.

The bran of glutinous rice grains could also be black or purple in color, and they the grains could be unpolished or polished.

Despite how its name may sound, glutinous rice has no gluten.

Glutinous rice is prepared by steaming or boiling.

They are usually soaked to soften the tough outer shell. It also takes time to digest.

Glutinous rice can be used for dumplings, sweet rice cakes or sushi.

Long grain rice

When a rice grain is four times longer than its width, then the rice is categorized as a long grain varieties.

But long grain rice is so diverse and they include so many varieties, even some glutinous rice varieties are long grain.

Long grain rice may also be whole grain when the bran and the germ layers left intact, or they could be polished.

A popular variety of long grain rice is basmati rice which is known for its extra long grains.

They are grown in wet rice paddies in lowlands.

They also have a fluffy texture when they are boiled as the individual grains do not clump as they do in glutinous rice.

Basmati rice has a starch composition that is different from glutinous rice, that when they are boiled each rice grain comes out discrete.

Another type of long grain rice is jasmine rice.

Jasmine rice is a type of long grain rice that is slightly sticky but not as sticy as the glutinous rice varieties

Some varieties of glutinous rice also have long grains they include, Thai sticky rice and Japanese sweet rice.

Starch In Rice

Rice grains contain starch granules.

Starch is a molecule that that is made up of long branching chains of glucose molecules tightly packed into granules.

There are also two forms of starch; amylose and amylopectin.

Amylopectin is a highly branched starch molecule while amylose has a few branches.

Different varieties of rice have varying composition of these two forms of starch.

The starch is responsible for several physical qualities of the rice grains including texture and stickiness.

Rice could either be sticky or fluffy when boiled based on the proportion of these two forms of starch.

Amylose content in glutinous rice is minute while in some long grain varieties, this form of starch is about 22 percent.

Amylopectin on the other hand is high in glutinous rice varieties.

When glutinous grains are heated during cooking and as their temperature rises, some of the granules split, releasing starch.

The amylopectin released from glutinous rice starch granules makes the cooked rice sticky.

Therefore, the rice grains that have a high amylopectin content are sticky.

In conclusion

Often we categorize rice based on their Color, length texture and stickiness.

Not all varieties of rice have that fluffy texture after cooking, specific varieties of rice are going are sticky.

The type of starch in rice is responsible for the texture of the rice grains.

As the amylopectin content of rice grain increases, their stickiness also increases.

Glutinous rice has a very low amylose content, its granules are made up of mostly amylopectin, and this makes them very sticky.