Colored rice keeps popping up in Thailand’s grocery stores in recent years. I’m not talking about the already-cooked rice that Thai cooks have added food coloring too either. No, I’m talking about colored raw Thai rice that comes in a variety of quite vibrant colors — green, yellow, purple and red — and is ready to cook.
Some Thai friends tell me they have bought the colored rice in Thailand to use for traditional Thai desserts, as it saves them from having to add food coloring when they cook it. Plus, they love the way their desserts come up looking so bright and colorful.
Others are using it for the usual rice dishes most Thais cook. They say it brightens up the plate and, as it doesn’t actually taste any different than normal white rice, there’s no additional flavor they have to deal with.
If you’re looking for colored rice in Thailand, I’ve seen it at Big C and Siam Paragon Gourmet Market as well as at the Central Food Hall supermarket in the basement of the Mall Ngam Wong Wan.
Do be warned though, it’s at least double the price of regular rice so you may just want to buy a small amount until you’re sure you actually like the way colored rice turns out.