How Do I Choose the Best Red Rice?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore
Red rice.
Red rice.

Red rice is distinguished by its color, but there are multiple types ranging from long to short grains. Bhutanese and Himalayan red rice are the two primary kinds in this category. Red yeast rice is a dietary staple in many countries, but it is also utilized as a supplement in some western cultures. The best type of rice that you ultimately choose depends on the recipes for which you are using the grains. Different varieties of rice are sold in grocery stores, but you might consider purchasing them in bulk at a less expensive rate online if you plan on cooking often.

Different types of rice, including red cargo rice.
Different types of rice, including red cargo rice.

White rice is the most popular type in the world, followed by brown versions. Red rice has been used as a staple in many Asian nations for centuries, but it has since gained popularity in other regions of the world. What distinguishes these types of rice are their harder exteriors, richer flavor, and unique colors. Bhutanese, Himalayan, and red yeast are the three most common varieties within this category. The first two kinds are directly used to make food dishes, while red yeast rice is primarily to add color to food products.

Another common use of red yeast rice is to make dietary supplements for the treatment of cholesterol, blood circulation problems, and gastrointestinal ailments. The availability of such a supplement depends greatly on the region in which you reside. Red yeast rice is still cooked and eaten in some regions. When seeking this type for culinary purposes, it is important that you purchase the grains and not the supplements.

The most important factor when considering the version of rice that you choose greatly depends on the recipes in which you are using it. Bhutanese red rice comes in either medium or long grains, while Himalayan versions are short. Himalayan red rice is most often used for side dishes, such as pilaf, while Bhutanese is often used in main courses like casseroles. Some chefs also combine Himalayan rice with white versions to give their dishes a richer flavor and a more appealing texture.

Price is another consideration in terms of choosing the best red rice varieties. Costs can fluctuate, due to the region in which you reside, as well as the demand of the rice compared with the availability from each harvest. Generally, you can find all types of red rice at supermarkets and ethnic food stores. If you plan on cooking with the rice a great deal, you might consider buying it in bulk directly from a manufacturer. When utilizing this option, you will likely pay more up front, but it will save you money over the long term.

Discussion Comments


@literally45-- Red yeast rice is the type of rice that's used in Chinese medicine. Red yeast rice is actually not red rice. It's white rice that has been cultivated with a type of mold that gives rice a red color. Some people eat it, but most of it is used for treating various conditions and cholesterol is one. I have not tried red yeast rice though, so I'm not sure if it actually works or not. You might want to ask your doctor and look into red rice supplements.


@literally45-- I'm not an expert on red rice but I think that they all have zero cholesterol. So you could replace any cholesterol rich food in your diet with red rice and get benefits. But I have no idea if red rice reduces cholesterol otherwise.

I use Bhutanese red rice all the time. It's a beautiful rice and it's extremely nutritious. It's whole grain, it has fiber, it has protein and it has minerals. It also tastes great. It has a nutty flavor like brown rice but cooks much more quickly, in just twenty minutes.

I highly recommend red rice for anyone who wants to eat healthy.


Is red yeast rice the best type of red rice for cholesterol. An acquaintance was telling me about the benefits of red rice and since I have high cholesterol, I would like to add it to my diet. I'm not sure which type to get though.

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