Q: "I know that rice is gluten-free, so what is ‘glutinous rice’?"
Caitlin, via email
A: Nutritionist and chef Bronwen King responds:
“You are correct; all rice is gluten-free and therefore, safe for people with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. Glutinous rice is a type of short-grain Asian rice that is very sticky when cooked. The word ‘glutinous’ refers not to gluten, but to the fact that the cooked rice is ‘glue-like’. Glutinous, or short-grain, rice is the type of rice often used when making sushi. According to legend, it was even used as a key ingredient for making the brick mortar used in the Great Wall of China! All rice has a high starch content; it is the type of starch that gives it certain characteristics. Starch is made up of two components, amylose and amylopectin. Glutinous rice has high amounts of amylopectin, which is responsible for its sticky consistency when cooked.”