Bamboo rice is not a specific varietal of rice, but is rather a short-grained white rice that has been treated with the juice of young bamboo plants. While milling the rice, the chlorophyll from the bamboo is added. This process causes the rice to be high in vitamin B, and gives it a flavor and aroma much like that of a jasmine green tea.
A striking pale green, bamboo rice is not technically considered sushi rice, but is sometimes used for sushi to lend color to sushi rolls. It should not be cooked like regular sushi rice. To cook it, 1.5 cups of water (0.35 L) should be added to each 8 ounces (227 g) of rice. It should then be cooked as usual, but allowed to sit for 20 minutes after cooking.
Bamboo rice can also be served as an Asian-style risotto, or a side dish when the cook wants to add a striking note of color to a meal. After it is cooked, the rice is usually moist and sticky. Some Asian markets carry this variety, and it can also be ordered from mail-order food catalogs or specialty food stores.
The jade color of the rice can complement many different types of meals, and can be pleasing to the eye as well as contributing a fragrant aroma and delicate taste. While rice is often an unnoticed part of a meal, bamboo rice will cause guests to take notice of its subtle flavor and attractive coloring.
Cooks wishing to experiment with bamboo rice may wish to try serving it with stir-fry instead of white or brown rice. The rice provides a unique visual contrast to the pink color of salmon, or the golden brown color of pork chops. In fact, it can be used as a substitute for white rice in virtually any meal, to lend a festive flair to the meal presentation.