Cooking Guide for Rice & Grains

Download a PDF of this Guide


Short Grain Brown Rice

One of the most full-flavored rices, the grains are soft and cling together after cooking. Suitable where a creamy texture is desired, such as puddings, rice balls, croquettes, paella and risotto.

Long Grain Brown Rice

The grains of this popular rice remain fluffy and separate, making it especially suitable in stuffings, pilafs, salads, casseroles and stir-fry dishes.

Basmati Rice

This much-loved rice is aromatic with a nutty flavor. An exotic choice when a fluffy, drier texture is desired, as with stir-fry, salads, pilaf and stuffing.

Brown Jasmine Rice

A whole grain, aromatic long grain rice. The grains cook up moist and tender with a soft texture and delicious flavor. Use as a side dish and in pilafs.

Sweet Brown Rice

Offering a natural sweet taste, the grains of this rice cling together due to the sticky texture. It is ideal for use in Asian recipes and rice puddings.


Enjoy a distinctive aroma and nutty flavor. The honey-red grains remain separate after cooking; use in pilafs and as a side dish.

Black Japonica

Juicy with a nutty, mushroom-like flavor and a sweet spiciness. This whole grain rice is a blend of short grain black rice and medium grain mahogany rice.

Bhutanese Red Rice

An ancient colored-bran short-grain rice grown 8,000 feet in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.This exotic rice has a nutty/earthy flavor, soft texture and beautiful red russet color.

Forbidden Rice (China Black)

This medium-size Chinese black rice is prized for its delicious nutty taste, soft texture, beautiful deep purple color, and nutritional and medicinal value. Unlike other black rice from Asia, it is not glutinous or rough.

Long Grain White Rice

After cooking the grains of long grain white rice remain fluffy and separate, making it very popular in stir-fry dishes, pilafs, salads and casseroles.

White Basmati Rice

This long grain aromatic rice is an exotic choice when a fluffy, drier texture is desired, as with stir-fry, salads, pilaf and stuffing.

White Jasmine Rice

While cooking, this exotic rice fills your kitchen with a delicate scent. The grains cook up moist and tender with a soft texture and delicious flavor. Use as a side dish or in pilafs and desserts.

Arborio Rice

The high-starch kernels of this Italian grain are shorter and fatter than any other short-grain rice. It is traditionally used making risotto, because its increased starch lends this classic dish its creamy texture.


Saffron Rice

White rice seasoned with paprika, turmeric and saffron powder, this makes a great side dish with lamb, pork or fish. Works well in paella, too.

Bamboo Rice

Short grain white rice infused with pure fresh bamboo juice, it’s pale green and the grains stick together when cooked. Great for sushi.

Sushi Rice

Akitakomachi is a classic Japanese short grain rice grown especially for making sushi. It is typically cooked with rice vinegar and sugar to achieve the desired texture for sushi rolls and other Asian dishes.

 Wild Rice

Not really a rice, wild rice is a long-grain marsh grass. It cooks up beautifully with a savory, nutty flavor and wonderful texture. Wonderful in pilafs and soups.


To Make Sushi Rice:

Cook 2 cups rice in 3 cups water for 15 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan until salt and sugar are dissolved. Toss (don’t stir) with hot, cooked rice in a glass (not metal) bowl using a plastic spoon.

Cooking Rice:

Add rice and water (or broth) to a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, and salt, if desired. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for the recommended time. Removed from heat and allow to sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To Make Risotto:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cups hot stock or water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a heavy 2-quart pot. Sauté onion until translucent. Add rice and stir until grains are coated with oil. Add 1 cup hot stock, stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes, adding the remaining liquid 1 cup at a time. Add additional liquid if creamier texture is desired. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and serve immediately.

To Make Wild Rice:

4 cups water
1 cup rice
Bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then add rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and most grains are split open, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Drain well and cool.

1 cup rice Water/Liquid Time
Short Grain Brown 2 cups 50 min.
Long Grain Brown 2 cups 50 min.
Brown Basmati* 2 cups 50 min.
Brown Jasmine* 2 cups 45 min.
Sweet Brown 2 cups 50 min.
Wehani* 2 cups 45 min.
Black Japonica* 2 cups 45 min.
Red Bhutanese* 1½ cups 20 min.
Forbidden Black* 1¾ cups 30 min.
Long Grain White* 1½ cups 15 min.
White Basmati* 1½ cups 20 min.
White Jasmine* 1½ cups 20 min.
Wild 4 cups 45-50 min.
Sushi 1.5 cups 15  in.
Saffron Rice 1.75 cups 20 min.
Bamboo Rice 2 cups 20 min.

*   Rinse before cooking





Smaller than a mustard seed, this ancient food is very versatile as a substitute for wheat-sensitive diets. It is commonly served as a hot cereal, cold in salads or as any rice dish. Stir occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking.


Barley is most often used in soups and stews, where it serves as both a puffy grain and a thickener, but it also makes a nice side dish or salad. Hulled, or hulless,  barley is the most nutritious, since only the tough outer hulls are polished off.  Pearl barley, the most common form, is further polished to remove the outer bran layer, making it less nutritious, but faster cooking and less chewy.


Nutritious buckwheat has a nutty, earthy flavor.  It’s most commonly ground into a gritty flour and used to make pancakes and soba noodles. 

Raw Buckwheat Groats

These are buckwheat kernels that are stripped of their inedible outer coating and then crushed into smaller pieces. Unprocessed white groats are slightly bitter – toast them in oil for several minutes until they’re rust-colored before cooking to remove bitterness and bring out a pleasant, nutty flavor.


Bulgur is made from whole wheat that’s been partially hulled, steamed, cracked and dried. It is quick cooking, has a nutty flavor and is rather fluffy. It’s widely used in the Middle East for tabbouleh and pilafs.  Bulgur comes either whole, or cracked into fine, medium, or coarse grains. Do not confuse with cracked wheat.


A staple of North African cuisine, couscous is tiny, precooked pasta made from semolina durum wheat flour. While traditionally served under a meat or vegetable stew, it’s infinitely versatile. Whole wheat couscous is made with whole wheat flour.

Israeli (Middle Eastern) Couscous

This small, round semolina pasta can be cooked in plenty of water and drained, or in less water or broth until all is absorbed. Israeli couscous is great with any sauce, as a side dish and in pasta salads.


Also called emmer, faro is an heirloom cereal grain in the wheat family. It has a dense, chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavor. It is low gluten, high protein and nutritionally dense. Farro is wonderful hot or cold, in salads, pilfas, soups and risottos.


Gaining in popularity, tasty freekeh is green wheat that has been roasted. It is available whole or cracked and can be used in soups, pilafs, salads and more.


This ancient grain, related to durum wheat, is high in protein and has a sweet, buttery flavor.  Though it contains gluten, it’s tolerated by many people with gluten allergies.  Delicious as a cold salad or hot pilaf.


This small, yellow gluten-free grain is mild and sweet. It is nutritious and easy to digest. Toast before cooking to enhance flavor. Another great grain for pilafs and salads.



Oats are highly nutritious, filled with cholesterol-fighting soluble fiber and promote good digestion. They also have a pleasant, nutty flavor.  Oats are available in many forms for many uses:
Rolled Oats: Oat groats that are steamed and rolled between steel rollers so they cook quickly. The most common uses for rolled oats are as a breakfast cereal, in granola or muesli mixes and in cookies.
Whole Oats: These are minimally processed, as only the outer hull is removed, leaving the germ and bran intact.  They’re very nutritious, but they’re chewy and need to be soaked and cooked a long time.
Steel Cut Oats:Also known as Irish oats, these are groats that have been coarsely chopped into small pieces. They’re chewier than rolled oats, and grain aficionados often prefer them for hot oatmeal cereals and muesli.


A cornmeal that is boiled to create a smooth, creamy texture, polenta has been a staple food of Northern Italy for centuries. Enjoy hot with butter or Parmesan cheese, or cool until firm, cut into squares and fry.


This ancient seed was a staple of the Incas and is appreciated today as a superfood. It is a complete, quality protein and is high in vitamins and minerals. Colors of quinoa include pale yellow, red and black. Rinse well before cooking to remove its bitter natural coating.

Rye Berries

Widely used by Northern Europeans for breads, crackers and whiskey.  It has a distinctive, hearty flavor that’s best when combined with other assertive ingredients.  Soak overnight before cooking.

Spelt Berries

Spelt is believed to be a relative of wheat, with a sweet and nutty flavor and firm texture. Although it contains gluten, it’s tolerated by many people who are allergic to gluten.  It is sweet and nutty with a firm texture. Spelt flour can replace white flour in a recipe.


Wheat has a pleasant, nutty flavor and lots of nutrients, but it’s prized most for being rich in gluten, the stuff that makes baked goods rise.  Most wheat is ground into flour, but whole or cracked grains are used in pilafs and salads, and wheat flakes are made into hot cereals or granolas.

Cooking Grains

Rinse the grain in cold water before cooking. For most grains, bring water (or use broth or stock) to a boil, add grains and a pinch of salt and return to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat to a simmer for recommended time (leave lid in place the entire time). Check that the grains are done – most will be slightly chewy when fully cooked. When done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover again and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.


Note: Selection varies in each store, and some of our Markets may offer a wider variety of rices and grains than shown here.

Grain (1 cup) Water Time
Amaranth 2 cups 25-30 min.
Barley, Pear 2.5 cups 40 min.
Barley, Hulled 3 cups 60-75 min.
Buckwheat, Raw Groats 2 cups 15-20 min.
Buckwheat, Roasted (Kasha) 2 cups 15-20 min.
Bulgur 2 cups 15 min.
Couscous 1 cup 0 min.*
Couscous, Whole Wheat 1 cup 5 min.
Couscous, Israeli 4 cups 8-10 min., drain
Farro 5 cups 50-60 min., drain
Freekeh 2 cups 30-40
Kamut 3 cups 40 min.
Millet 2.5 cups 20-25 min.
Oats, Regular 2.5 cups 5-10 min.
Oats, Thick 2.5 cups 15-20 min.
Oats, Steel Cut 3 cups 45-60 min.
Oats, Groats 3 cups 60 min.
Polenta, Medium Grind 3 cups 20 min., stirring often
Quinoa 2 cups 15-20 min.
Rye Berries 2.5 cups 60  min.
Spelt 3 cups 60 min.
*  Add to boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes.