Difference Between Short-Grain & Long-Grain Brown Rice

By Breann Kanobi

Though short grain and long grain brown rice are more similar than different, they contain a few key differences in flavor and preparation. Do not confuse long grain brown rice with jasmine or basmati brown rice. Though these rices have long kernels, they are distinct from long grain brown rice.

Uncooked rice looks similar to a variety of uncooked grains, such as barley and quinoa.


Both short and long grain brown rice feature a light brown color and a small size. Short-grain rice has a short but wide kernel and often has rounded edges. Long grain rice has a long kernel and often has pointed edges. In some cases, you can find medium grain rice, which looks like a half-way point between long and short grain rice.


Both types of brown rice feature the nutty taste many people associate with the grain. However, their texture differs. Short grain brown rice is stickier than long grain and tastes softer. Long grain brown rice is not sticky. Rather, the rice is light and fluffy with an airy taste.

Cooking Rice

Because of its tendancy to get sticky and stay soft, short grain rice suffers from any addition of extra water. Because of its smaller size, it requires a shorter cooking time than long grain rice. If you are used to cooking long grain rice, you may wish to reduce your water by about 10 percent. Typically, you want to use about 2 1/2 cups of water for every cup or rice. Some rice manufacturers recommended using 2 cups of water per cup of rice, while others recommend using 3 cups of water per cup of rice.


Brown rice, no matter the grain size, offers similar nutrition qualities. A quarter cup of uncooked rice has about 170 calories and increases to about 2/3 cup of rice when cooked, depending on how much water you use. Brown rice has a moderate amount of fiber and protein but is low in both compared to other grains, such as oats and wheat. Both rices feature a healthy, nutty flavor and are considered whole grains.