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Rice in Japan. Lack of Variety?

 
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Black_Beer_Man



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 135
Location: Yokohama

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Rice in Japan. Lack of Variety? Reply with quote

Would any of you out there know about types of rice available in Japan? In the supermarkets, I seem to only find one type of short-grain white rice.

A country like Thailand has several types of rice that the Thais buy including red rice (which I tried, but didn't care for the taste).

Are there different types of rice that the Japanese buy? What are the names?

If there is only one type of rice, would anyone know why this is so?

In North America, there are several types of potatoes that people buy. The USA & Canada are potato eating countries.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 399
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Rice in Japan. Lack of Variety? Reply with quote

Black_Beer_Man wrote:
Would any of you out there know about types of rice available in Japan? In the supermarkets, I seem to only find one type of short-grain white rice.


I don't live in Japan right now, so I can't go check the supermarket, but I pretty much only ever saw regular, white Japonica rice and mochi rice ("mochi gome").

In Japan, the variety isn't so much in the kind of rice used, but how it is cooked. For example, it can be cooked together with various veggies, meat, and seasoning as takikomi gohan, mixed with red beans as seki han, fried to make cha han, mixed with ketchup and covered with egg to make omu rice, mixed with rice vinegar and with sashimi on top as sushi, etc.

Of course, within Japonica rice, there are a few varieties for the rice connoisseur to try -- koshihikari, akita komachi, hitomebore, etc. Good luck tasting much of a difference, though. Wink
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 256
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

High tariffs on imported rice and a general consensus that "rice from gaikoku is not so good" lead to a lack of variety here.
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NihonBound



Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's disappointing. Confused

I generally prefer brown rice (tastes nicer and it's much healthier).
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 801

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get brown rice in the supermarkets.
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Black_Beer_Man



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 135
Location: Yokohama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Rice in Japan. Lack of Variety? Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
Black_Beer_Man wrote:
Would any of you out there know about types of rice available in Japan? In the supermarkets, I seem to only find one type of short-grain white rice.


I don't live in Japan right now, so I can't go check the supermarket, but I pretty much only ever saw regular, white Japonica rice and mochi rice ("mochi gome").

In Japan, the variety isn't so much in the kind of rice used, but how it is cooked. For example, it can be cooked together with various veggies, meat, and seasoning as takikomi gohan, mixed with red beans as seki han, fried to make cha han, mixed with ketchup and covered with egg to make omu rice, mixed with rice vinegar and with sashimi on top as sushi, etc.

Of course, within Japonica rice, there are a few varieties for the rice connoisseur to try -- koshihikari, akita komachi, hitomebore, etc. Good luck tasting much of a difference, though. Wink



Your mentioning all these foods that Japanese people mix rice reminds me of the ultimate contradiction; curry rice.

Curry rice is so popular in this country that I get the feeling that the Japanese actually don't like rice very much. The curry sauce totally covers up any taste the rice itself has.

It's like what Western people do with ketchup. Any food that tastes terrible, just pour a lot of ketchup on it and it becomes okay.
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NihonBound



Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
You can get brown rice in the supermarkets.


That's not disappointing. Smile

I generally prefer brown rice (tastes nicer and it's much healthier).
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 256
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: Rice in Japan. Lack of Variety? Reply with quote

Black_Beer_Man wrote:
It's like what Western people do with ketchup. Any food that tastes terrible, just pour a lot of ketchup on it and it becomes okay.


Except omelets. I love me some ketchup, but it grosses me out that my school insists on dousing the omelet with it.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 539
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They use ketchup more here than back home, IMO. Especially, on omelette, yuck. >_<
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sabina



Joined: 11 Nov 2010
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get brown rice at nearly every supermarket.
It is called genmai (玄米).
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1064
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genmai 「玄米」 can be rather heavy. Many of my friends and coworkers eat it, but mix it with hakumai 「白米」.

Hatsuga genmai 「発芽玄米], sprouted rice, is also available in any supermarket. You can sprout brown rice at home yourself, of course.

In Kanagawa and Chiba Prefectures, I have found kuromai, 「黒米」, black or purple rice. It's nutritious and has good flavour.

You can get jasmine rice at some specialty stores such as Seijou Ishii supermarket.
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