Elevate Your Meal with the Best Rice for Thai Curry

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Two hands holding rice grains.

Rice may just be an afterthought for many, but for us Asians, it’s on a whole different level of admiration. 

We can’t live without it. It’s a staple. 

Almost every meal is paired with rice. It’s the reliable sidekick of the main dish, you see.

It’s Robin to Batman. It’s Watson to Holmes. 

Peanut butter to jelly. Milk to cookies!

I have this theory that if you dissected Asians, you’d find that we’re made up of rice instead of muscles and organs.

You are what you eat, after all, right? 

But there are a lot of varieties of rice, and only one to rule them all when it comes to Thai curry. 

Thai Red Curry on a bowl.

Curry-ious to what that is?

Come with me. And you’ll see a world full of ima-grain-ation!

Grains of Glory

It’s not a competition, really. 

But…I can’t say that there isn’t a superior one (looks away bashful). 

So, before we announce the winner. 

Let’s first introduce the contenders (cue in the intro of Eye of the Tiger):

  • Jasmine Rice: The Darling of Southeast Asia
  • Basmati Rice: The Aromatic Star of India
  • Brown Rice: The Health-Freak

Which do you think wins best rice for Thai Curry?

Jasmine Rice

Grains of Jasmine Rice on a bowl.

Do you smell that? It’s the fragrant favorite marking its territory as the best rice. 

Surprise, surprise (note the sarcasm).

You can smell Jasmine rice (winning) from a mile away. 

And it’s native to Thailand, too. No wonder it managed to take the crown.

But there’s no biased decision made here, mind you. Jasmine rice holds the title and it can as easily defend it.

Appearance-wise, one could say that it’s the runway model of the rice world.

It has a slender shape and pale color — elegant, refined and dressed to impress. 

When cooked, it has this almost ethereal presence emanating from it. And that floral aroma? 

Not even the most difficult-to-please food critic can resist. 

Why Jasmine Rice?

If that description isn’t enough, then these points will definitely convince you now:

Aroma: Its floral scent is a perfect complement to Thai curry’s striking onion, ginger, and garlic components. 

When you open the lid of your rice cooker, an exquisite smell of floral bouquet graces your senses. 

It’s almost reminiscent of a lavish garden in full bloom. 

Flavor: Another thing that makes Jasmine rice regal is in its subtlety when it comes to being sweet. 

It doesn’t overpower. It just enhances the curry even more. 

Simple, and yet uplifting. 

Texture: It may be on the slightly sticky side, but it’s still sure to be fluffy. 

It’s the perfect rice for soaking up the curry sauce without being extremely messy. 

It possesses the perfect balance between tenderness and a slight-chew. 

Rules of Cooking 

Here are the steps in cooking the perfect 2 cups of Jasmine rice befitting of Thai curry:

Open rice cooker showing steaming rice.

At home, I either use a rice cooker or a pot for cooking rice. It’s also where I clean the grain. 

Pot with an open lid showing cooking rice.
  1. Simply put two cups of rice in the pot under a stream of tap water and use your bare hands to mix the grains. 
  2. I do this twice, and sometimes, the second batch of water I drain after cleaning the rice is set aside for cooking vegetable broths. 

(Shoutout to my mom for teaching me this!)

  1. Once the excess starch is removed, add 2 cups of fresh water and a teaspoon of salt.

Pro tip (optional): Another one of my mother’s teachings involves using my middle finger as a measuring tool. 

Ensure that the rice is evenly layered in the pot, then place your finger on top of the rice. 

From here, add water until it reaches just below the first line/curve of your finger. 

  1. Place the pot over low heat and wait for the water to boil. This usually takes around 30 minutes.

Check your rice from time to time to make sure it hasn’t dried out. 

  1. Let the rice simmer for another 15 minutes. Avoid opening the lid at this point. 
  2. Remove the rice from the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes before digging in. 

An Overview: Presenting Our Runner Ups

Jasmine rice may be taking home the crown, but the other alternatives very much deserve their own honorable mentions. 

Starting with:

Basmati Rice

Grains of Basmati Rice.

Another rice of Asian descent, Basmati Rice is native to India. 

While it can pass as the cousin of Jasmine rice when uncooked, it lacks the sticky texture of its Thai counterpart. 

Its distinct flavor and fragrant scent is caused by a unique aging process.

This involves storing the rice in temperature-controlled conditions for 6 months to 2 years.

In addition, Basmati rice makes for a versatile base that easily absorbs the rich and spicy flavors of Thai curry.

Jasmine rice may have the winning edge, but Basmati rice has its own unique twist of nutty undertones. 

As such, it adds an extra layer of depth to Thai curry’s already complex flavors. 

And did you know that the word “Basmati” translates to “full of aroma?”

No wonder it’s an enticing runner up. 

Brown Rice

Grains of brown rice in a bowl.

Better known as the healthy option, brown rice is the unrefined version of the white rice. 

Unlike its ivory sibling, brown rice retains its bran and germ. 

It’s where it gets its nutritional benefits of higher fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Its taste and hearty texture make it a fan favorite for all our health-conscious readers. 

So, if you’re looking to balance the richness of Thai curry with something on the healthier spectrum, brown rice would be the wise choice. 

Got a problem with your blood sugar levels? No problem. 

Just take brown rice with your Thai curry. 

Don’t be alarmed, though, if brown rice takes longer to cook than most. The outer bran layer is to blame here. 

Just soak it before cooking and you’ll be good. 

Plating It All Together

Thai Curry and Rice on a plate.

Crowning Jasmine rice is a personal choice.

Don’t let me stop you from trying out other rice varieties to partner with your Thai curry! Maybe even those not included in this article.

What are you waiting for?

Whip up your preferred rice, grab a plate of curry, and let your taste buds be your guide.

Get creative. Experiment. Have fun. 

Go rice to the occasion! That’s an order 😉

Patricia Barre Avatar


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