If you love Carolina Gold rice, you know that it’s kind of an obsession.
Not only does it have a great taste and aroma, but the heirloom variety is a piece of American history that dates back to the early days of rice cultivation in South Carolina.
But sometimes, just like with anything else, you’ve gotta switch things up.
Maybe your grocery store is out of your favorite rice, maybe you want to try something new, or maybe you simply want to expand your horizons and explore some other delicious varieties.
If any of those sound familiar, then this post is for YOU!
We’ve done the research and found some great options that can serve as substitutions for Carolina Gold rice in just about any recipe.
We’ll provide you with the introduction to each substitution we’ve chosen to include in this post so that you can consult them when selecting what will work best for you and your needs (and taste buds)!
8 Substitutes for Carolina Gold Rice
In your journey to find the perfect substitute for Carolina Gold rice, you may have felt that there aren’t enough options available to you.
In fact, the exact opposite is true: there are so many amazing substitutes that it can be hard to even know where to start!
1. Carnaroli rice
One of the best rice dishes I’ve ever had was a rice pudding made with Carolina Gold rice.
Unfortunately, this type of rice is hard to come by these days.
Fortunately, there’s an equally superb alternative: Carnaroli rice.
It has a similar flavor profile and slightly more firm texture when cooked.
Carnaroli is the perfect choice for risotto recipes and is also great in rice puddings or other baked treats.
Because of its ability to absorb lots of liquid, you can use it in place of arborio in your favorite recipes.
2. Arborio Rice
Though Arborio rice is a short-grain rice, it is an excellent substitute for Carolina Gold rice.
It has a chewy texture and starchy consistency that makes it the perfect choice for risotto and other dishes where you want to create a creamy sauce.
You don’t need to do anything special when using Arborio as a substitute for Carolina Gold, just use in the same way you would use Carolina Gold.
3. Bhutanese Red Rice
If you’re looking for a creamy texture with an earthy taste that pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors, try Bhutanese Red Rice.
The short-grain variety will give you that perfect sticky texture you’re looking for.
4. Behn’s Red Rice
Similar to Carolina Gold in terms of flavor, Behn’s Red Rice is grown on the Georgia coast and can be used for everything from traditional Southern dishes to fried rice.
Behn’s Red Rice is easy to include in recipes and makes a great meal for weight-watchers.
Here are some instructions on how to use it:
- Rinse your rice thoroughly
- Place rice and water into rice cooker
- Set rice cooker to ‘cook’ setting, then wait until it beeps indicating that the cooking process is complete
5. Anson Mills Heirloom White Rice
Like Behn’s Red Rice, Anson Mills Heirloom White Rice has a subtle, nutty flavor and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
It cooks up fluffy, light, and tender but still retains enough stickiness to work well as a side dish or as a risotto base.
6. Korean Sweet Rice
Korean sweet rice is an excellent option for anyone who values a sweet taste, enjoy sushi, and generally like delicious things.
First of all, Korean sweet rice has a really good flavor.
If you’re into something that tastes great, then this is the right ingredient for you.
It blends well with other flavors in the dish, and it can take on some of the flavors around it while still retaining its own distinct taste.
Korean sweet rice is great in sushi as well as soups and stews.
It’s also good as a base for stir fries—just cook it normally and throw in some meat or veggies with soy sauce!
7. Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice can be a great alternative to Carolina Gold.
It’s typically used in Thai food, but it’s actually really versatile and goes well with just about anything.
Here are some simple instructions to help you get started:
- Combine your jasmine rice with two cups of water in a pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
- Remove the pot from heat and let stand for five minutes before serving!
If you’re making a curry dish or fried rice with shrimp and vegetables, then Jasmine rice will work perfectly.
This makes it easy to create a delicious meal without having to worry about buying special ingredients or equipment, and you can use leftovers from other meals to create new dishes.
8. Bomba Rice
If you’re not already familiar with Bomba rice, it’s an excellent substitute for Carolina Gold rice.
Bomba rice is the perfect grain to use if you’re trying to get more grains into your kids without them noticing.
It soaks up liquid like crazy, making it thicker and creamier than other grains—especially when compared to Carolina Gold rice.
Just cook it in milk and a little sugar, and your kids will never be able to tell the difference!
Bomba rice is also really good for paella, which is another reason why it’s a great substitute for Carolina Gold rice.
Give it a try in your next paella!
You won’t regret it!
How to Choose a Substitute for Carolina Gold Rice
Choosing the perfect substitute for Carolina Gold rice doesn’t have to be hard.
With these three tips, you’ll be able to make delicious rice dishes that satisfy even the most discerning of rice connoisseurs.
1. If Your Dish Is Savory, Choose a Long-Grain White Rice Like Jasmine or Basmati
Long-grain white rice will absorb all the flavors of your dish without stealing the spotlight like Carolina Gold would.
It’s also easier to find than Carolina Gold, so it’s perfect if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to go hunting for this elusive specialty grain.
2. If Your Dish Is Sweet, Try Black Rice or Forbidden Rice
These dark grains are a little tougher than Carolina Gold and slightly chewier, but they’ll retain their color and shape better when you add them to a baked good or dessert like a cobbler or rice pudding.
They’ll also add an earthy flavor that pairs well with fruits and other desserts.
3. Consider What You’re Serving Your Dish With
It’s important to consider the other elements of your dish—meaning, think about what you’ll be serving this rice with.
If you’re using rice as a bed for a protein like fish or chicken, then you’ll want to consider the flavor profile of your main course.
- What flavors are you going for with your protein?
- Is it spicy?
- Is it savory?
- Is it tangy?
If you’re serving a dish with a lot of bold, robust flavors, then you’ll want to use a rice that compliments the other ingredients rather than overshadow them.
For example, if you’re serving fish tacos with a spicy salsa and homemade guacamole, then look for a rice that is mild in flavor.
You’ll want something like short-grain white rice instead of brown basmati rice.
8 Substitutes for Carolina Gold Rice
- Carnaroli rice
- Arborio Rice
- Bhutanese Red Rice
- Behn's Red Rice
- Anson Mills Heirloom White Rice
- Korean Sweet Rice
- Jasmine Rice
- Bomba Rice
- Pick your favorite alternative from this list.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!