Rice is something every one of us most likely have in our pantry. It is usually cheap and provides many nutrients making it the most consumed staple food for about half of the world’s population. We commonly buy rice in the white, brown, yellow, or fried form and in a long and grainy texture. The repetitiveness can get a little old. Check out these 5 foods that are primarily rice based, but are unique in the way that they incorporate on of our favorite starches.

1. Sake


Photo by Natsuko Mazany

The next time you take a Sake Bomb with your friends, make it a fun learning session and tell them what they are really drinking. Although Sake is an alcoholic drink, it is not made from fermenting sugar. It is a Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. The process is similar to brewing beer in that the starch from the rice is converted into sugars before being converted to alcohol.

2. Rice Vinegar


Photo by Becca Buchanan

Cooking with vinegar is popular in every culture. Unlike the normal vinegar we buy in stores which is made from the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria, in many Asian cultures vinegar is made from fermented rice or rice wine. Chinese rice vinegars appear to be much stronger than the Japanese kinds and come in a variety of colors. Rice vinegar is different from the familiar Western kind in that it is mild and sweet compared to the acidic version we all know.

3. Rice Noodles


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Unlike most noodles, which are made from wheat, rice noodles are made from rice, obvi. The main ingredients are rice flour and water. They are great because they come in the form of brown and white rice and can be bought fresh, frozen, or dried. They are also gluten-free (woo!) and give us nutrients in the form of fiber, zinc and iron. Check out this article for a great recipe.

4. Rice Bread


Photo courtesy of franklinstreetbakery.com

Every person that maintains a gluten-free diet will know about this great stuff. Rice bread is bread that is made from rice flour rather than wheat flour. That would make it gluten-free meaning it will not cause negative reactions for people who are gluten intolerant. Compared to wheat bread, rice bread is much lower in calories.

5. Rice Milk


Photo by Annie Madole

With milk being available in the form of almond, cashew, soy and coconut it is not surprising that rice milk is a real thing. This form of milk is made by pressing rice through a millstream to strain out the pressed grains, and is mostly made from brown rice. With so many individuals sensitive to dairy and soy, this form of milk is a blessing. Although this milk does not naturally contain many nutrients, the type we find at the store will most likely be filled with calcium, vitamin B12 and B3, and iron.