Red Thai Rice and Oops!

Red Thai Rice by @SpicieFoodie | #rice #thai #redrice #wholegrain #glutenfree

This week there was a new ingredient in my kitchen, Thai red rice. This is a long grain rice with an outer deep redidsh-brown colour and a white center. The rice is unpolished and only the husks of the rice grains are removed, which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins. This makes it a better, healthier option than polished white rice. But because it is unpolished it takes longer to cook than white rice.

Red Thai Rice by @SpicieFoodie | #rice #thai #redrice #wholegrain #glutenfree

I found the rice at my local organic market but it can also be purchased at health food stores or online. I love wild and brown rice so I was quite excited to give red Thai rice a try. From what I read on line this rice can be used and eaten just like white rice. I planed to cook a light meal of steamed rice and a stir fried vegetable so it was the perfect opportunity to try out the red rice.

Red Thai Rice by @SpicieFoodie | #rice #thai #redrice #wholegrain #glutenfree

The package did not have cooking instructions, and this being a new variety to me I took to the internet for more information. Unfortunately every site I looked at gave different water to rice measurements. Some also suggested soaking the rice beforehand while others stated there was no need. Quite honestly I was at a loss and with meal time creeping up I needed to make a decision fast.

I decided to soak the rice and cook it in a ratio of 1/2 cup rice: 1 cup vegetable broth. This is a ratio stated on many websites and it didn’t sound too strange as it is similar to when I cook jasmine rice. I also wanted to give the rice a bit more flavour so I also added seasoning. Below are the exact measurements and ingredients used.

Red Thai Rice by @SpicieFoodie | #rice #thai #redrice #wholegrain #glutenfree

5.0 from 4 reviews
Red Thai Rice with Garlic
Red Thai rice can be eaten just like any other rice. It is a healthier and more nutritious alternative to white rice.
Recipe type: Side Dish, Rice
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Grain, International
  • 100 gm or ½ cup red Thai rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • splash oil
  • 1 cup vegetable low-sodium broth
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Rinse the rice and remove any debris. Place the rice in a large bowl or pot and pour enough water to cover by 1 inch or 2.5 cm, allow to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside. Heat a little bit of oil and saute the garlic until soft. Add the rice, a pinch of sea salt and broth into the pan.
  2. Over medium-high heat bring the pot to a boil. Turn the heat down to a low flame, cover and simmer until rice is soft and cooked through. Fluff before serving.


Everything was going well until I lifted the lid to check on the rice. Nearly all of the liquid had been absorbed but the rice was still too hard, so I added a big splash of water to the pan. After about another 8 minutes I checked on the rice again. This time the rice was soft but looked over-cooked. I had added too much water, oops!

Though a tad over-cooked the rice still tasted great. Red rice has a nuttier taste and a chewier texture, somewhat similar to brown rice. The funny thing is that once the leftovers sat overnight in the refrigerator the rice didn’t have that over-cooked, glistening look too it. It looked like steamed rice, haha. In the end the rice complimented the broccoli perfectly, it was a tasty and healthy meal that I really enjoyed. I will be sharing the recipe for the broccoli in a couple of days.

Red Thai Rice by @SpicieFoodie | #rice #thai #redrice #wholegrain #glutenfree

Have any of you cooked red Thai rice? If so can you share your method please. Thanks!


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  1. says

    Like you, I’ve only used brown and wild rice but never red Thai rice. It does sounds wonderful and the procedure and your experience sounds a lot like the one I had the first time I cooked wild rice. So I can’t help you on the cooking process. I’ve seen this at my local co-op but have never been brave enough to buy it. Now I’m curious because it does make a beautiful bowl of rice! (BTW, did you mean that you had added too much “water”, oops? :) )

  2. says

    Red rice is my favorite variety. It’s nutty but less heavy-tasting than brown rice. Plus, it’s so colorful on a plate! :) I use the finger joint method for cooking rice. I add the rice in the saucepan (I don’t measure, usually 1 – 1 1/2 cups per batch), rinse, then add just enough water to reach the first joint in my middle finger. I dip my finger in the water and stop when it hits the top of the rice. It’s not an exact science but it works. I bring the rice/water mixture to a boil then simmer in a covered saucepan for 10-15 minutes. It only takes a couple minutes longer than regular white rice.

    I’ve found that I don’t have to soak red rice because there’s enough time on the stovetop to do this without giving it a head start. This is why the grains may have opened up too much. But this is just my experience with it. Hope this helps, Nancy!

    • says

      Hi Jean,

      Thank you so much for sharing your tips. I am going to give that a try next time and see how it goes. I usually don’t soak the rice but I kept finding that on so many websites — now I know better. Thanks again:)

  3. says

    Like you, this is a new one on me. Perhaps I can find it at the local Oriental Grocery. I’ve recently begun cooking brown rice frequently, since I began cooking for my dog to avoid all the toxins in commercial dog food. She and I now share pretty much everything at meals (except her salmon, since I’m going vegan), so this should make a nice addition to our repertoire.

  4. says

    Gosh this looks great! Love the color of it. I’ve heard of it, and seen it in stores, but never tasted it. So alas, I’m no help with cooking instructions. But I’m glad you made it – you’ve inspired me! Thanks so much.

  5. says

    G’day and GORGEOUS Nancy, true!
    I have never tried Thai Red Rice and will have to put it on my list to do!
    Your photo is almost “alive” to my eyes today too! Great shot!
    Cheers! Joanne

  6. Eha says

    I use a lot of rice, but white one only for risottos for health reasons. Red and brown are interchangeable both in usage and cooking method for me – I do like your addition of garlic cloves which I have not done. Wild rice, of course, is not a rice at all, but the seeds of a grass originally only grown around the Great Lakes area.

  7. says

    Nancy – This looks so good..Love the color… I haven’t cooked with thai red rice..I will try it soon as I really liked this. I have cooked different varieties of brown rice and I too have noticed that even though sometimes it looks overcooked, the next day it look perfect because the excess water gets absorbed gradually :)
    I loved the clicks and also the color combo that you have used in the pictures.

  8. Yulia says

    Pretty much all rice can be cooked using the “pasta” method. Use more liquid then you think you will need, taste to see if done and then drain. Works well for things like farro and cracked wheat too.

      • Eha says

        If I may ‘put my nose in’ I cook all my rice [bar risottos] by the ‘pasta method’ and have never had it gluggy! As with pasta, towards the end of the cooking period, one simply ‘is aware’ and tastes and tastes!! Anyways with the long period of cooking for both brown and red rice, one minute this way or that does not make a humongous difference!

  9. says

    You know I love over cooked sticky rice no matter which type of rice. My husband on the other sees it as a sin. lol Anyway… I have seen this variation here but it only appears for a limited time. Most probably they will be selling it here again around new year, the tip of the tourist season. Thanks Nancy for the inspiration, I ll make try thai rice soon and I fell in love with your pictures once again. ;)

  10. says

    I have seen red Thai rice in Asia shops but never tried or cooked it before.
    Love the color, it looks very inviting.
    Sorry that I can’t help with a cooking method on this one.
    Anyhow, I’ll prepare red rice soon,your dish in combination with broccoli looks very inspiring!

  11. Stella says

    Hi Spicie Foodie, thank you for this post! I’ve just purchased some red rice. I also bought some jasmine white rice (going to try a festive season theme red and white rice, green vegetables) The red rice cooking tips provided by you and by readers in the comment section are helpful! I will post with my red rice experience! Thanks again!

  12. says

    Im going to give it a try today, so thanks for the tips! See my BlogSpot for the results. I’ve been eager to use the rice so here’s hoping we get to eat tonight. A friend of mine also said she used too much water. Cheers.


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