The Best Type Of Grain For Delicious Rice Pudding

There are many different types of rice, but they're not all interchangeable. Sure, you could use brown basmati rice as a healthier option for risotto, but the result is going to be a dish that isn't as creamy as one made with arborio rice. And while jasmine is an option to make pudding, short-grain white rice will give you the best and most delicious results. The reason for this has to do with the type of grain, and the fact that different-sized grains will provide different results in recipes.

All types of rice fall into one of three groups: short-, medium-, or long-grain. Short-grain is small in length and the thickest in width of the three, while long-grain is four to five times longer in length than width. Medium-grain falls right in the middle between the two. Long-grain rice, such as jasmine, contains higher amounts of the starch amylose and is firmer when cooked, making it ideal for fried rice or curries. Short-grain rice, such as sushi, contains higher amounts of the starch amylopectin, with a softer and stickier result when cooked, which is why it's so excellent for making pudding.

Make the perfect rice pudding

There are endless options for making the best rice pudding, whether you have time to stand at the stove for almost an hour, or you'd prefer to let the Crockpot or Instant Pot do the work for you. Rice pudding recipes can be as easy as five ingredients: short-grain rice, sugar, milk, salt, and vanilla extract. While the prep can be very simple, it's the cooking itself that takes the longest — up to 45 minutes — and requires occasional stirring to keep it from sticking to the pan. For those who think standing at the stove for 45 minutes is too time-consuming, there are many Instant Pot rice pudding recipes that will take as little as 10 minutes to cook, with waiting for the pudding to chill ending up as the longest step.

Rice pudding can be as basic or flavorful as the cook wants it to be, with add-ins like raisins, cinnamon, butter, orange or lemon zest, condensed milk, and even eggs. It's also easy to swap ingredients to make it vegan or non-dairy. But to make sure you get the richest, creamiest, and best-tasting rice pudding, use short-grain rice because long-grain rice just won't provide the right texture.