Not counting foods like fried rice
that are a matter of seasoning and other ingredients, I can identify the following words for rice
in common Chinese (Mandarin
) for rice and other foods made wholly of rice:
Mandarin dao4. Taiwanese tiu7 (probably unrelated). The rice plant.
Mandarin dao4-gu3. Taiwanese chhek4 (unrelated). The whole grain of the rice plant, with its husk still on.
Mandarin kang1. The chaff (milled outer layer) of the rice grain - the part that makes brown rice "brown" (actually yellow).
Mandarin mi3. (Taiwanese bi2 is the same word.) I wonder if Tagalog bigas is related. Uncooked white rice. Brown rice is called cao1-mi3 when raw and cao1-mi3-fan4 when cooked. Although cao1 is a separate morpheme, it probably shouldn't be counted as a separate word now.
Mandarin fan4. (Taiwanese png7 ~ puiN7 is the same word.) Cooked (steamed or boiled) white rice.
Mandarin zhou1 (Cantonese jook). This is one of the names for congee, or rice porridge. The other names are:
Mandarin xi1-fan4 "thin rice" (Taiwanese be5, muai5, Tagalog moy). The Tagalog form is apparently borrowed from a Southern Min dialect related to Taiwanese. It's interesting that both forms for this food are common in Mandarin - evidently the mixing of different kinds of speech.
Mandarin nuo4-mi3 (Taiwanese chut8-bi3). Glutinous rice (also known as "sticky rice", "sweet rice", etc. etc. The Mandarin and Taiwanese forms are not related.
Mandarin ci2-ba1. (Taiwanese mua5-chi5, compare Japanese mochi.) A paste made of (usually) raw glutinous rice.
Mandarin guo1-ba1 (Taiwanese tiaN2-phe2, unrelated). "Wok-crust" - the hard sections of cooked rice (not necessarily burned) that dried out during cooking. Can be very useful in cooking.
Mandarin fen3. (Taiwanese bi2-hun2. Tagalog bihon is apparently related, as perhaps is Vietnamese pho.) Noodles made of rice flour. (Noodles made of wheat flour are called mian4.)
So how many does that make?
Agronomists have quite a few other terms, which I won't get into today. Other dialects have other words, too.