What is Parboiled Rice? And How to Cook It?

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Today, let’s unravel the mystery of parboiled rice – a versatile kitchen gem! Ever wondered what makes it different? I’ve got the scoop!

Join me in discovering the unique process that turns regular rice into this nutrient-packed wonder and learn the secrets to cooking it to perfection. Let’s dive in!”


What Is Parboiled Rice?

Parboiled rice is a type of rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. The process of parboiling involves soaking, steaming, and drying the rice before milling it to remove the husk, bran, and germ. Unlike regular white rice, parboiled rice is processed in such a way that it retains more nutrients.

The parboiling process forces the nutrients from the outer layers of the rice kernel to move toward the center, making the rice more nutritious. It also changes the texture of the rice, making it firmer and less sticky than regular white rice after cooking.

How to Cook Parboiled Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup parboiled rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbps salt (optional)
  • 1 tbps  olive oil or butter (optional)


  • Start by measuring 1 cup of parboiled rice. Parboiled rice has already been partially boiled in the husk, which makes it easier to cook and more nutritious than regular white rice. Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water to remove excess starch. Drain well.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. If you prefer salted rice, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water. Adding a tablespoon of olive oil or butter can enhance the flavor and keep the rice grains separate, but this is optional.
  • Carefully add the rinsed and drained parboiled rice to the boiling water. Stir the rice gently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes. During this time, resist the temptation to lift the lid and peek at the rice – the steam trapped inside is crucial for perfectly cooked grains.
  • After 18-20 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This allows any remaining steam to finish cooking the rice and makes it easier to fluff with a fork.
  • Remove the lid and, using a fork, gently fluff the rice. This action separates any grains that might have stuck together during cooking. Your parboiled rice is now ready to serve! It should be light, and fluffy, and each grain should be separate.


What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Parboiled Rice?

Let’s talk about the amazing health benefits of parboiled rice, which is so much more than a simple grain. Suppose there was a type of rice that was both delicious and highly nutritious. That’s parboiled rice for you!

Nutritional Value Maintenance

To begin, parboiled rice goes through a special preparation process that includes a period of soaking, steaming, and drying.

The nutrients are effectively preserved through this method. Parboiled rice retains many of the beneficial nutrients lost during the milling process that produces regular white rice.

High in Niacin and Thiamine

Thiamin (vitamin B1) and niacin (vitamin B3) are two of the B vitamins found in abundance in parboiled rice. These vitamins are essential for converting food into usable energy, a process known as “energy metabolism.”

Thiamine is necessary for normal nerve and metabolic function, and niacin promotes healthy digestion and skin.

An Infusion of Minerals

A good amount of minerals can be found in parboiled rice. Bone-nourishing phosphorus and muscle- and nerve-supporting magnesium are both present in high concentrations.

You need these minerals to keep your bones strong and your muscles and nerves in good working order.

Number of Fibers

Parboiled rice also has a lot of fiber, which is a nutrient that often gets overlooked but is crucial to health. Fiber is essential for proper digestion, the avoidance of constipation, and the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract.

It’s a great option for diabetics and anyone else who wants sustained energy throughout the day because it helps keep blood sugar levels steady.

Possessing Antioxidant Effects

Antioxidants in cooked rice can help prevent cell death from free radicals. Like superheroes, antioxidants protect the body from cancer and other diseases by eliminating free radicals.

Consuming parboiled rice provides your body with an additional weapon in its fight against oxidative stress.

Low on the Glycemic Index

Parboiled rice is a good option for those who are trying to control their blood sugar. When compared to other types of rice, this one has a lower glycemic index, which means it has less of an effect on blood sugar levels.

Those with diabetes or who simply want more consistent energy levels throughout the day will benefit greatly from this.

Gentle on the Stomach

In addition, the digestive system can rest easy with parboiled rice. It is easier to digest than some stickier rice varieties because of its firm texture, which is a result of the parboiling process.

Parboiled rice is a good friend if you suffer from gastrointestinal distress or are just looking for a rice option that settles easily in the stomach.


What’s The Difference Between Parboiled Rice vs. Regular Rice?

Let’s explore the fascinating world of grains and learn the subtle distinctions between regular rice and parboiled rice.

Method of Processing

The primary difference between parboiled rice and regular rice is in the preparation process. Before it is milled, parboiled rice undergoes a special process. Before removing the outer husk, bran, and germ layers, the rice must be soaked in hot water, steamed under pressure, and then dried.

Parboiling is a method similar to a locking mechanism that preserves nutrients. The nutritional value of the grain is increased as the nutrients in the outer layers migrate toward the center during the soaking and steaming stages.

In contrast, the bran and germ are separated from the starchy endosperm during the milling process of regular rice, also known as white rice.

While this method does produce the more widely recognized “white rice,” it also removes some of the beneficial nutrients from the rice’s outer layers in the process.

Food Composition Tables

When it comes to health benefits, parboiled rice really stands out. Parboiling helps preserve more of the food’s nutritional value, especially the B vitamins like thiamine and niacin.

These vitamins are essential for energy metabolism, aiding in the transformation of food into usable fuel. Minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, which are vital to bone health and muscle function, are also preserved in the process.

While rice is a staple in many diets, uncooked rice lacks the nutrient density of its parboiled counterpart. When grains are milled, the nutritious bran, germ, and endosperm are removed, leaving mostly starch-based endosperm.

Quality of Cooking and Texture

The most noticeable difference between the various types of rice is their textures. The grains of parboiled rice are more distinct and firm after cooking.

Because of its firm texture, it is great for pilafs and salads, where the individual grains can really shine.

The gelatinization of the starches within the grain during parboiling prevents the grain from clumping and creates a light, airy, and non-sticky texture.

In contrast, long-grain rice retains its shape and texture when cooked, while short-grain rice becomes softer and stickier.

This stickiness can be desirable in dishes like sushi, where the rice is used to hold other ingredients together, but it may not be the best option if you prefer your grains to be more distinct.

The Glucose Index

The rice varieties’ glycemic index (GI) is also very important. How quickly food causes a rise in blood sugar is quantified by something called the “glycemic index.” In comparison to white rice, the GI of parboiled rice is typically lower.

Foods with a lower GI cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar because they take longer to digest. This slower digestion can be helpful for people who are trying to control their blood sugar or who want a steady stream of energy throughout the day.

Preparation Time

The cooking time for parboiled rice is typically longer than that of regular rice. Parboiling the grains reduces the total cooking time, but you’ll still need to keep them on the stove until they’re tender and cooked through.

White jasmine and basmati rice take longer to cook than regular rice, but both are ready in less time than the former.

Culinary Uses

Each variety of rice has its place in various dishes from around the world. Because of its firm texture, fried rice, and biryanis benefit greatly from using parboiled rice.

Because it retains its form in a variety of cooking methods, it can be used for a wide range of culinary purposes.

However, regular rice is used in dishes like sushi and rice pudding where a more cohesive, sticky texture is preferred.



Can a rice cooker be used to cook parboiled rice?

Parboiled rice can be made in a rice cooker. Follow the manufacturer’s rice-to-water ratio and cooking time. Rice cookers usually use 1:2 rice-to-water ratios.

How should I store parboiled rice to stay fresh?

Store parboiled rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh. Avoid moisture, sunlight, and strong odors, which can degrade rice. Parboiled rice lasts long when stored properly.

Can parboiled rice be frozen?

You can freeze parboiled rice. Cool the rice, then store it in airtight containers or freezer bags. To avoid drying out, microwave or stovetop reheat frozen cooked rice with water or broth.

Which dishes complement parboiled rice?

Curries, stir-fries, casseroles, and stews go well with parboiled rice. Since the rice grains don’t mush, it goes well with saucy dishes. Its ability to absorb flavors and retain structure makes it popular in pilafs and biryanis.


Due to its nutrient retention, firmer texture, and lower glycemic index, parboiled rice is a healthier and more versatile cooking option.

Whether you want a fluffy pilaf, a sticky sushi roll, or a nutrient-packed meal, knowing how to cook parboiled rice helps you make the best choice for your food and health.


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