What Does It Mean for Rice to Be Broken?

Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As a lover of rice in all its forms, understanding the concept of broken rice has been a fascinating journey. But what exactly does it mean for rice to be broken? 

Join me as we delve into fractured grains and discover how they differ in texture and taste from their intact counterparts. Let’s uncover the secrets of broken rice together!

What Does It Mean for Rice to Be Broken?

When rice is described as “broken,” it refers to grains of rice that have fractured or cracked during milling. 

This can occur due to various factors, such as mechanical handling or transportation. Broken rice differs in texture, being shorter and sometimes chewier compared to regular rice. 

However, the taste remains similar. It can be cooked like regular rice and used in various dishes, such as pilaf or rice pudding. Broken rice is often more affordable and cooks faster, making it a practical option in the kitchen.

Do the Taste and Texture Differ from Regular Rice?

  • Texture: Broken rice has a different texture compared to regular rice. It is shorter and tends to have a slightly firmer and chewier consistency.
  • Taste: In terms of taste, broken rice is quite similar to regular rice. It still has a mild, neutral flavor that pairs well with various dishes.

How Do You Cook Broken Rice?

  1. Rinse the rice: Start by rinsing the broken rice under cold water to remove any impurities or excess starch.
  2. Soak the rice (optional): Soaking broken rice for about 30 minutes to an hour can help improve its texture and reduce cooking time. However, this step is optional.
  3. The ratio of water to rice: The general ratio for cooking broken rice is 1:2, which means one part rice to two parts water. Adjust the ratio based on your desired texture.
  4. Cooking methods: Broken rice can be cooked using various methods, such as a stovetop, rice cooker, or Instant Pot. Follow the instructions for your preferred cooking method.

Tips for Cooking Broken Rice:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot or a rice cooker with a non-stick inner pot to prevent the rice from sticking or burning.
  • Avoid stirring the rice frequently during cooking to prevent it from becoming sticky.
  • Let the cooked rice rest for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork to allow it to firm up slightly.

What Is Broken Rice Used For?

Holding Broken Rice
  • Rice dishes: Broken rice can be used in rice-based dishes such as pilaf, biryani, fried rice, or risotto.
  • Rice flour: Ground broken rice can be used to make rice flour, commonly used in baking and gluten-free recipes.
  • Rice pudding: Broken rice can add a delightful texture to rice pudding, giving it a creamier and more comforting feel.

What Are the Benefits of Broken Rice?

  • Affordability: Broken rice is often less expensive than whole-grain rice, making it a budget-friendly option [1].
  • Faster cooking time: Due to its shorter grain size, broken rice cooks faster than whole grain rice.
  • Versatility: Broken rice can be used in various dishes, allowing culinary creativity and versatility in the kitchen.

How Do You Know When Broken Rice Is Going Bad?

  • Visual inspection: Check for any signs of mold, discoloration, or unusual odors. If the rice looks or smells off, it’s best to discard it.
  • Storage conditions: Store broken rice in an airtight container in a cool and dry place to prevent moisture and insect infestation.
  • Shelf life: Broken rice can last for an extended period when stored properly. However, consuming it within a reasonable time frame is recommended to ensure optimal quality.


When we talk about broken rice, the rice grains have cracked or fractured during milling. This can happen for different reasons. 

The texture of broken rice is slightly different from regular rice, but the taste remains the same. You can cook broken rice just like regular rice, which can be used in various dishes. 

Broken rice is often more affordable and cooks faster. So, if you come across broken rice, don’t hesitate to try it and enjoy its unique qualities in your meals.


Lauren Beck

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