How Do I Choose the Best Enriched Rice?

Melanie Greenwood
Melanie Greenwood
Rice plants.
Rice plants.

Rice is a staple food the world over, and enriched rice — rice that has had nutrients from the whole grain added back during the refining process — is available in almost every market. Not all enriched rice is the same, however. The best enriched rice is long grain rice, sold in bulk, has firm and intact grains with no sticking or sour aromas, and comes from a store that sells a lot of rice. By keeping this in mind, you can ensure you're getting your money's worth.

A bowl of enriched rice.
A bowl of enriched rice.

There is an endless variety of enriched rice available in the average supermarket. Grain sizes include short, medium and long, not to mention jasmine rice and other specialty rices. Unless you primary cook Asian-style foods requiring sticky short-grain rice, plain long grain white rice is probably the best choice for you. Long grain rice is the most versatile form of rice. It is easy to cook, works well with many seasonings, and is suitable for a wide variety of applications.

Uncooked rice.
Uncooked rice.

Another thing to consider when shopping for enriched rice is the packaging it comes in. There isn't much difference between boxed enriched rice and bulk enriched rice. The difference is in the price. As a general rule, because you don't have to pay for cardboard boxes or other packaging, bulk rice tends to be less expensive. Check the label on the bin to ensure the rice you're buying is in fact enriched.

You can also identify the best rice by the appearance of the grains themselves. Good-quality rice should consist of firm, intact grains with very few broken pieces. Grains should not stick together or clump, which is a sign that moisture or other contaminants have gotten into the rice. If you're buying in bulk, you can also judge quality by the scent of the rice. It should smell lightly of grain, with no sour or off smells.

Lastly, the best enriched rice comes from a busy store with high turnover. A supermarket that sells a lot of rice, especially the lower-cost bulk rice, will offer a fresher product than a store that only sells a little rice. Asian markets tend to go through a lot of rice, but you can also find fresh rice at any store with a large customer base. If you're not sure, ask the staff how much rice they go through in a week. Fifty to a hundred pounds is a good answer.

Discussion Comments


I recently started replacing milk on my cereal with enriched rice milk. This is made from enriched rice and has a slightly sweet taste to it.

When I was looking for milk alternatives this is the first one I tried. The texture is a little bit thinner than milk, but I love the taste of it. My son will even use this on his cereal, and he is usually really picky and reluctant to try anything new.

Rice is used as a staple in many different countries and this is one way I can get some rice in my diet without cooking it.


@bagley79-- I have a rice cooker and steamer that I just love. I don't think it makes any difference in how the rice tastes, it just comes out perfect every time.

I looked at a lot of them that were much bigger than what I wanted, and I finally found one that was just the right size. We eat rice often and this is a great way to cook up a lot of rice and keep it warm for someone who may be eating later.

I didn't always have the best results when I tried to cook rice on the stove. I would either have too much liquid or not enough. Since using my steamer, I have had much better results and haven't had to throw any rice away.

I have used all different kinds of enriched rice in this steamer and it has always turned out great.


Is there an advantage to using a rice steamer as opposed to just cooking it on the stove? I have seen these for sale and even though they aren't very expensive, wonder if it is just another kitchen gadget that won't get used.

My kids love rice, and I often serve it to them with a little bit of cinnamon mixed in. I really never paid much attention whether the rice was enriched or not. I just usually buy a small bag of it and always try to keep some on hand so it is here when I need it.


We don't use rice very often at our house and a box of rice will last me for a long time. I usually just buy the white minute rice. This is enriched white rice that is really easy to make.

I like this because it cooks fast and usually always turns out right. About the only time I use rice is when I use it in a casserole like a chicken and rice dish.

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    • Rice plants.
      Rice plants.
    • A bowl of enriched rice.
      A bowl of enriched rice.
    • Uncooked rice.
      By: airborne77
      Uncooked rice.