Is Parboiled Rice Pre-cooked?
Parboiled rice is simply paddy rice (rice in its husk) that has been soaked and then parboiled and dried before milling. The process of parboiling is done using very high pressure steam which partially cooks the rice in its husk. The rice is then dried and milled.
If white parboiled rice is being milled then the husk, bran and germ is removed and the resulting rice is what we call ‘white’ parboiled rice.
In the case of Brown parboiled rice only the husk is removed but the bran and germ are left intact. This gives us the brown parboiled rice.
Once rice undergoes the parboiling process it becomes glassy and translucent with a light amber colour. The detailed process of parboiling varies but the overall intention is the same. (iScience Direct Parboiling).
Below is a photo of white parboiled rice
Below is a photo of brown parboiled rice
World Production of Parboiled Rice
About 50% of the world’s rice production is parboiled. The parboil process causes gelatinization of the starch in the rice grain and drives some nutrients, especially thiamin (B1), from the bran into the grain (endosperm). The grains become glassy and translucent and less brittle, and the colour changes from white to pale yellow or amber.
Cooking Parboiled Rice
Parboiled rice is not pre-cooked. It’s somewhat harder than regular white rice, because the process of parboiling hardens the starch in the endosperm.
Parboiled rice takes a little bit longer to cook and does not stick to the pan during cooking. The grains remain fluffy and separate after cooking, so it’s not suitable for making risotto.
Parboiled rice is nutritionally superior to white regular rice and has 80 percent of the nutrients found in brown rice.
“Converted“ rice is a term trademarked by the American company Uncle Ben’s for its version of parboiled rice.
Last Updated: August 03 2019