Can I substitute minute rice for long-grain rice?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute minute rice for long-grain rice?” and will discuss the difference between minute rice and long grain rice.

Can I substitute minute rice for long-grain rice?

Yes, you can substitute minute rice for long-grain rice. However, you will need a longer time to cook long-grain rice than you would need for cooking minute rice. 

Minute rice is also called instant rice. Convenience meals save time, as they are pre-cooked (1).

How to substitute minute rice for long-grain rice?

To substitute minute rice for long-grain rice, you should consider the longer time needed to cook long-grain rice and the different volumes to be prepared, according to the cooking instructions of the manufacturer.

Minute rice, or instant rice is rice that can be rehydrated in a relatively short period of time, either by  the  addition  of  hot  water  or  by  the  addition  of  water  and  microwave  heating,  afterwhich the rice is ready for consumption (5).

Long-grain rice needs to be cooked for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the cultivar. In a study, the cooking time and other properties of different cultivars of long-grain rice were compared. The cooking time of different cultivars varied from 13 to 24 min (6).

Another factor to consider is the volume. Because the minute rice has been previously hydrated and cooked, its volume is greater than the uncooked long-grain rice.

To substitute minute rice for long-grain rice, you should check the serving size of the minute rice and adjust it to the long-grain rice. In general, one cup of uncooked rice yields 2.5 to 3.5 cups of cooked rice, depending on the cultivar and other factors related to the grain (storage time, moisture) and related to the personal preferences.

What is the difference between minute rice and long grain rice?

Minute rice differs from long-grain rice in that long-grain rice goes through a milling process in which the outer shell and the bran are removed and the minute rice, besides the milling process, goes through cooking processes, which can include boiling, steaming, pressure cooking and drying processes (1,2). 

Because of the pre-cooking processes, minute rice can be prepared by the addition of hot water or the addition of water and fast heating in the microwave, which saves time and improves convenience (5).

The shelf life of long-grain rice reported in a study was about 10 months, because of poor storage conditions, while the shelf life of minute rice was reported to be 20 months (1). The shelf life varies depending on the packaging material, the storage conditions (humidity, temperature) and exposure to light and oxygen.

Another study reported the shelf life of 3 years for minute rice packed under modified atmosphere packaging (4).

However, the shelf life of long-grain white rice can be extended to years, when properly packed in a cool place free from moisture. If refrigerated and packed under vacuum, white rice can be kept for more than 10 years (3).

Another difference between the two types of rice are the sensory properties. The minute rice was reported to have an inferior texture, as the texture of instant rice after rehydration is still not the same as the freshly cooked rice, i.e., lower hardness and less sticky (4).

Minute rice was also reported to have a higher glycemic index than long-grain rice and therefore not suitable for diabetics (4).

However, minute rice needs a lower cooking time than long-grain rice. Minute rice can be cooked in 5-7 minutes, while long-grain rice needs 20-30 minutes.

Is minute rice as nutritious as long-grain rice?

Minute rice is almost as nutritious as long-grain rice. The processing of rice to produce minute rice results in changes of its nutritional profile. The differences are shown in the table below (1):

long-grain rice12.656.810.570.4944.7530.010.2279.48
minute rice9.

The nutritional profile of both long-grain rice and minute rice can vary depending on the rice variety and the processing. Washing, boiling, steaming and cooking, as well as drying may lead to different losses and leaching of nutrients.

How to cook long-grain rice?

To cook long-grain rice on the stove top, follow the instructions (7):

  • Combine 1 cup rice, 2 to 2.5 cups of water and add salt and oil or butter according to your personal preference.
  • Heat to boiling; stir once or twice as it begins to boil. Reduce the heat and cook till no more liquid is visible 
  • After the liquid is gone, cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Check the texture. If the rice is still hard, add more liquid and cook for additional 2 to 4 minutes till the rice is soft
  • Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 2 to 5 minutes before serving

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

Can you use arborio rice for sushi?

Can you freeze uncooked rice?

Can you fry uncooked rice?

How to keep cooked rice fresh?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute minute rice for long-grain rice?” and discussed the difference between minute rice and long grain rice.


  1. Ali, M. A., et al. Processing and storage of instant cooked rice. Bangladesh Res Public J, 2012, 7, 300-305.
  2. Samaranayake, M. D. W., Abeysekera W. K. S. M, and W. D. Ratnasooriya. Physicochemical and nutritional prope long grain rice varieties of Sri La. Res J Chem, 2018, 8, 29-35.
  3. Roy, Somantha, Sautik Samui, and Techno Main Salt Lake. SEMINAR REPORT ON Instant Rice Curry (RTC) in Processed food Industry Submitted by.
  4. Nummer, B and Darrington, J. Storing white rice. Utah State University.
  5. Puspitowati, Shierly, and Robert H. Driscoll. Effect of degree of gelatinisation on the rheology and rehydration kinetics of instant rice produced by freeze drying. Int J Food Prop, 2007, 10, 445-453.
  6. Singh, Narpinder, et al. Physicochemical, cooking and textural properties of milled rice from different Indian rice cultivars. Food chem, 2005, 89, 253-259.
  7. All about cooking rice. University of Wyoming Extension

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