Jasmine Rice: Discover its benefits and 8 ways to use it

If you are a lover of Thai or Vietnamese food, jasmine rice will be a constant staple to accompany all those delicious curries! The smell of popcorn and the elongated texture of the grains say it all! Although both white rice and jasmine rice may look the same from afar, they are distinct categories of rice, each with its own characteristics and uses.

Health Shots contacted nutritionist Garima Goyal who tells us how to distinguish the two. “Jasmine rice is a specific variety of long-grain rice known for its unique aromatic qualities and distinct flavor profile. It’s a stickier rice that’s perfect with sushi or certain stir-fries,” she says. And we all know, sushi is great for losing weight.

Is jasmine rice healthy?

Jasmine rice, like most foods, is healthy as long as it is not consumed in excess. Here are some parameters that define your nutritional profile.

1. Calories

Jasmine rice is relatively high in calories. Calorie content may vary slightly based on factors such as cooking method and specific variety of rice.

2. Carbohydrates

Most of the calories in jasmine rice come from carbohydrates. These carbohydrates consist mainly of starch, the body’s main source of energy.

3. Protein

Jasmine rice is not a significant source of protein. Although it contributes some amino acids, rice is considered an incomplete protein source, lacking certain essential amino acids.

4. Fat

Jasmine rice is naturally low in fat. The fat content may increase slightly if the rice is prepared with added oils or fats.

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5. Fiber

White jasmine rice, like other white rice varieties, has less fiber compared to brown rice.

Jasmine rice is low in fat but dense in calories. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the benefits of jasmine rice?

Jasmine rice offers several potential benefits, making it a popular choice in many cuisines, says Garima Goyal.

1. Aromatic qualities

It has a natural fragrance, reminiscent of popcorn or pandan leaves. This aromatic quality can enhance the overall sensory experience of a meal.

2. Palatability

Jasmine rice has a slightly sticky texture when cooked, making it easy to pick up with chopsticks or shape into shapes.

3. Versatility

It complements many flavors and can be combined with different proteins, vegetables and sauces, making it a versatile base for many meals.

4. Easily digestible

Jasmine rice is easily digestible. This quality can be beneficial for individuals with sensitive digestive systems or those recovering from illness.

5. Power source

Jasmine rice consists mainly of carbohydrates, providing a quick and efficient source of energy.

6. Low fat

Jasmine rice is naturally low in fat, which can be advantageous for those who want to control their fat intake or adhere to a low-fat diet.

Are there any disadvantages to jasmine rice?

While jasmine rice has its advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. Firstly, jasmine rice is low in fiber compared to brown rice. “The milling process removes the outer layer of the bran, reducing its fiber content. This also results in the loss of some vitamins and minerals,” explains Goyal.

White rice, including jasmine rice, has a higher glycemic index compared to brown rice. “This means it can cause a faster rise in blood sugar levels. It is also high in calories, so be careful,” says Goyal.

Additionally, compared to brown rice and other whole grains, Jasmine rice has fewer antioxidants due to the removal of the bran layer.

How to include jasmine rice in your diet?

Including jasmine rice in your diet can be done in several ways to add flavor and versatility to your meals.

1. Use jasmine rice as a main dish base

Use jasmine rice as a base for main dishes such as stir-fries, curries or stews. Its slightly sticky texture pairs well with spicy or savory dishes, absorbing and complementing flavors.

2. Jasmine rice as a side dish

Serve jasmine rice as a side dish alongside grilled or roasted meats, vegetables or seafood. Its neutral flavor allows it to enhance the overall meal without overpowering the other components.

3. Fried rice

Make delicious fried rice using cooked and cooled jasmine rice. Stir-fry with vegetables, proteins (like chicken, shrimp or tofu) and your favorite sauces for a quick and tasty dish.

A tray of sushi
Jasmine rice is a must-have ingredient in sushi. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Sushi

Jasmine rice can be used to make sushi rice for homemade sushi rolls. Season the rice with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt to obtain the characteristic flavor of sushi rice.

5. Pilaf

Prepare a fragrant rice pilaf by sautéing aromatic ingredients like onion and garlic before adding jasmine rice. Cook in broth or water and add ingredients like nuts, dried fruit or herbs for extra flavor.

6. Salads

Incorporate cooked and cooled jasmine rice into salads to add texture and substance. Pair it with fresh vegetables, herbs, and a light dressing for a refreshing side dish or main dish.

7. Desserts

Explore sweet applications by making rice pudding or other desserts with jasmine rice. Cook with milk, sugar and vanilla for a simple and comforting rice pudding.

8. Soup Thickener

Add cooked jasmine rice to soups for thickness and vigor. Works well in traditional and exotic soup recipes.

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