Kow Dang, Kow Mun Pboo ข้าวแดง,ข้าวมันปู
The term 'Red Rice' translated literally in Thai is 'Kow Dang' which refers to all types of brown rice. However, the variety imported into the US, is known in Thailand as Kow Mun Pboo.
Red Rice has a long, skinny grain with a deep red, almost brown bran. The rice is milled to remove the outer husk but the outer skin layer or bran is not polished off, unlike with white rice. If you break a raw rice grain in half, you'll see the red skin on the outside with white rice inside.
The term 'Red Rice', in Thai, is also associated with the old phrase 'Kow Dang, Gang Ron' or red rice with warm curry. This phrase refers to hospitality or a favor that's taken, but not appreciated, acknowledged nor reciprocated by the receiver. This old phrase came from the time when eating brown rice was the norm. Now milled rice or polished rice is what most people prefer.
Like all the other brown rice, the bran covering the rice requires longer cooking time and more water than white rice. Once cooked, red rice is more chewy and not as tender as jasmine rice. However, the nutty flavor and the health benefits got me hooked on the Red Rice.
Serve Red Rice with any dishes that you would eat with Jasmine rice. The only dish that I do not like to cook with Red Rice is fried rice. Great fried rice starts with cooking rice with smaller amount of water so that it retains the shape during the frequent stir and absorbs seasonings. Cooked Red Rice has higher water content and often the grains are split open. These two characteristics lead to gummy fried rice. Decreasing water content will result in hard Red Rice that won't absorb any seasonings. So, I prefer white rice for fried rice.
Red Rice is often labeled as Red Cargo Rice and found in the 5 lb bags, as opposed to the 20 or 50 lb bags that contains white Jasmine rice.