Going through the grain aisle can be challenging as there are so many varieties of grains. This includes rice – there are seemingly hundreds of varieties and it can be difficult to know which is the right type to buy for your recipe.
Today we’re going to look into Calrose rice. Many people wonder if it is sticky enough to be used for sushi. Is Calrose a sticky enough rice for this purpose? Read on and we’ll tell you what we know.
Is Calrose Rice Sticky Rice?
Calrose Rice – What Is It?
The rice’s name tells you about its type and origin. “Cal” tells us that it originated in California, in the U.S. “Rose” tells us that it is medium-grain rice. This rice is also grown in other parts of the world where conditions are right, for example, Australia.
This is the most commonly found type of rice in American grocery stores. Once cooked, this rice becomes soft, moist, and yes, slightly sticky in texture.
This makes it a great everyday type of rice that can be used in a multitude of dishes from Indian curries to Asian sushi. It is a mild-flavored grain and this means it absorbs any flavors you put with it well.
A Bit of History
Calrose is a fairly new rice variety that was only released onto the market in 1948. Today, it accounts for about 85% of California’s rice production so this tells you how popular it is.
California is the second-largest rice-growing state in the country with around 2500 rice farmers producing about 2.5 million tons every year for domestic use and export. This rice recently won the “World’s Best Rice” award in Malaysia at the World Rice Conference.
How Sticky is Calrose Rice?
Calrose rice is high in starch content which gives it a soft, sticky texture once cooked. Although it is not a traditional sticky sushi rice, it can certainly be used for making sushi as the grains hold together well.
How to Make Perfectly Sticky Rice
If you have purchased some Calrose rice and want to make sure it turns out nice and sticky, here are some cooking tips and instructions.
- Put the rice into a mesh strainer and rinse it under a cold running tap. You may be worried that this will rinse away all the starch and prevent your rice from becoming sticky. No, it will simply get rid of excess starch powder, insects, chemicals, and dust. The rice grains themselves contain enough starch to stick together once cooked.
- Choose your cooking appliance. You can either use a saucepan on an electric or gas stovetop, a designated rice cooker, an Instant Pot, or a microwave.
- Put the rinsed rice into the cooking container, and add water and salt. For an average amount of rice, you will probably need about half a teaspoon of salt. Bring everything to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is soft and sticky. The amount of water depends on your choice of appliance so look for specific instructions on your recipe.
- When the rice is cooked, switch off the heat but keep the lid on because steaming for about five to ten minutes is important to create a sticky nature. Once the rice has steamed, take off the lid, fluff up the rice with a fork, and serve the rice or use it to make your sushi or another dish.
- If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook on High for just five minutes then allow a natural steam release for ten minutes further. After that, release any remaining steam manually and open the pot.
- If you’re using the stovetop, whether electric or gas, you will need one and a half cups of cold water for every cupful of Calrose rice. Bring it to a boil over high heat then put the lid on and simmer the rice for about 20 minutes. The water should be completely absorbed. Remember to steam the rice off to one side of the stove for about five minutes further.
Additional Tips To Make Sticky Calrose Rice
- Whenever you are making Calrose rice, make sure that you use the correct water and rice measurements because it will directly influence the texture.
- When the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the stovetop as this will prevent overcooking of the rice and a subsequent mushy texture. You want it sticky, not mushy!
- You can add a teaspoonful of oil or butter to the cooking water.
Is Sticky Calrose Rice a Healthy Food Choice?
As with many other rice varieties, Calrose is high in carbohydrates so should be used in moderation as a side dish. It is a white rice, meaning that it is refined and contains no fiber or any minerals or vitamins in significant amounts.
A brown, unrefined variety of Calrose rice is available which still contains the germ and husk, making this a healthier choice. However, the brown version will not yield the same stickiness as the white so is not suitable for sushi.
Calrose rice is a sticky rice variety that is definitely suitable for dishes like sushi. It is commonly used in the preparation of Japanese-style dishes in North America.