Instant rice is white rice that has been precooked, and then dehydrated, and packaged. It takes only about five minutes at home to prepare it.
Disparaged but loved
This is the rice that all foodies love to hate, even though it is wildly popular.
It may be, though, that the reason instant rice is so popular is not so much how quickly it is ready, but that you always get rice that is perfect, all the time. Who could blame the cooks that have been disappointed one time too many by lifting a lid on a pot to discover rice that is overcooked, undercooked, dry, soggy or scorched and stuck to the bottom of the pot, while the rest of dinner is on the table waiting?
And it was thanks to instant rice that households in North America and in the UK got a taste for rice, made it a staple item on kitchen shelves, and from there ventured into trying many other kinds of rice.
Instant rice will cook up in about 5 minutes. Follow package directions. Instead of water, another liquid such as broth, juice, etc, can be used.
As for white rice.
Instant rice was developed during WWII for American troops, and first introduced to the American consumer market in 1946 as a product named “Minute Rice” by Kraft.