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How do you think the taste of Japanese rice compares with rice produced in other countries?

46 Comments

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Bland, stodgy, and with little nutrition as 99% of it is refined/polished. Much prefer the fragrant, light rice such as basmati.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Bland, stodgy, and with little nutrition as 99% of it is refined/polished. Much prefer the fragrant, light rice such as basmati.

I agree. I like the aroma and the fluffiness of basmati. I'd like to eat brown basmati but that's impossible to find in Japan and white is already more expensive than it should be.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

The same as any other white rice. Boring.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Personally I think it tastes and smells great, though I try to restrict my intake as I do with all white, refined foods.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Japanese rice is ideal for certain foods like sushi. I just wish Japan offered many more varieties of rice beyond slight variations of japonica.

When ordering Thai, Spanish, Indian, Italian or other cuisines in Japan it is almost always paired/made with sticky japonica, rather than with indica, jasmine, basmati, bomba, arborio or other rice varieties.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Bland.

I prefer long grain, and brown rice.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Works good for nigiri-zushi and rice balls, but for curry I prefer basmati.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Try telling a Japanese person that Japanese rice isn't the best in the world. You can almost hear the neurons popping at such a ridiculous statement...!

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Japanese farmers make the sweetest and tastiest rice on that earth. No rice can beat Japanese rice for making the Sushi. However it has the high GI. Therefore it is not healthy as brown rice.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Don't tell my wife but my favorite is pilaf, then Thai style rice with curry or just butter/salt/pepper, and a distant third would be Japanese style rice cooked in the traditional way on a gas flame or open fire.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Jasmine rice hands down. Japanese rice meh.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I can't eat much of it unless it's fried.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I personally think that AkitaKomachi smells horrible (like poop 8~|) - I can't stand it. I like Niigata's Koshihikari though...

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It's good, but I wouldn't say 600% tax good. Like others here, I also like different rices according to what I am eating.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japanese rice tastes good but read the label to actually see where your rice was grown. A lot of Japanese rice is actually grown in the central valley of California and exported to Japan. I'm not saying that there is not a huge amount of rice grown in Japan but think about it, 130 million people that eat rice literally every day for at least one or more meals and it all can't be grown in Japan because there is not enough arable land, small fields and costly production.

-4 ( +4 / -7 )

Among all I found Indian Basmati is best in taste and aroma, while Japanese Sticky rice unique in nature but problamatic for next morning...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Depends in the meal some rice are better for certain recipes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saying Japanese rice is best is the best way to cut short boring and repetitive conversations about food when you are obliged to drink with coworkers.

2 ( +4 / -1 )

Come in. Rice is rice. Some of it tastes good, some of it doesn't. Country of origin has absolutely ZERO importance (even though I'm sure a lot of Japanese would claim otherwise.).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Meh. Gimme brown rice any day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gimme brown rice any day

Erm, Japanese rice is brown rice when it comes out of the field. It's only white and nutritionless when it's been polished to death. Ask for genmai.

More Indian restaurants these days are serving long-grain/basmati rice. My local has a corner where they sell imported rice, spices, tea etc. Last time I looked the basmati was ¥3,350 for a 5kg bag. I didn't buy any.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

More Indian restaurants these days are serving long-grain/basmati rice. My local has a corner where they sell imported rice, spices, tea etc. Last time I looked the basmati was ¥3,350 for a 5kg bag. I didn't buy any.

@Cleo

This in one of the main reasons I want Japan to join the TPP and get rid of the tariffs on foreign rice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

sometimes Japanese rice is good when you eat it with some pickles(oshinko) because the texture is sticky and it matches well with side dished. But Jasmine rice will always be my all time favorite!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese rice is ok, certainly is BEST for certain J-foods, would be nice to have more choices readily available at reasonable costs!

As Cleo said the usual J-rice is highly polished nutritionally VOID of anything good for you...... last batch I got polished I did so its genmai, I prefer that, more taste & at least some nutritional value.

I also go for Thai 2-3times a month to get that lovely long grain stuff.

Too bad most locals feel they lose a bit of their Japanese-ness if they try non-J-rice haha!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's adequate. No more.

I never understood the North Korean-style GroupThink here that "Japanese rice is the most unique and delicious in the world" and no other opinions may be considered, when most people never get the chance to taste any other kind of rice unless they leave the country.

It's like a grown man insisting his mother has the best boobs on earth because they were the first he ever go a hold of.

-1 ( +5 / -5 )

Quit eating white rice esp. Japanese white rice. No taste and not worth the calories. No nutritional value.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We eat koshihikari that was grown in the U.S. It tastes very close to Japanese rice, at less than half price.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People seem to be under the misconception that "Japanese rice" is limited to polished, white rice, when genmai (brown rice) is produced here it is also Japanese rice (not that it's not produced elsewhere). So, to say you prefer brown rice to Japanese rice is a bit of a conundrum, if the brown rice is from Japan.

That said, I much prefer Basmati or Jasmine rice to Japanese rice, and when I consume rice at home it is always Japanese brown rice, grown locally. I agree that the polished, white rice goes best with sushi and other Japanese foods, but on its own I find it a little bland, and it is not healthy as it has been polished.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We have rice in Britain just like Japanese rice. We call it pudding rice and cook it with sugar and milk. If we eat rice as a vegetable rather than a dessert, we use some other kind such as basmati, patna, Thai Jasmine or some other long grain variety. Japanese rice may be good for sushi but it is bland and stodgy and useless for fried rice. It is better as genmai. For sticky rice I like the Thai or Lao type.

Japanese rice may be easier than Thai to eat with chopsticks.

Many Japanese who say Japanese rice is the best have probably never tried any other kind.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I love any type of rice and I think Japan is the world leader in terms of rice cookers. Would like a larger selection in the supermarket, though (bismati, jasmine etc.). Brown rice here is ridiculously expensive!

The quality of supermarket bread, here on the other hand...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you aware that rice cultivation (while the rice fields are flooded) is one of the top producers of methane, a greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My local JA farmers' market polishes the rice as it is sold, and if you ask for genmai they charge you less than the listed price because it involves less labour and (they reckon) your purchase contains more worthless nuka rice bran and less wonderful gleaming white rice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In my local supermarket, the Japanese rice costs between ¥700 and ¥2,500 per kilo, and I can't tell the difference. What is more, several of my Japanese guests have expressed their delight at the delicious taste of some of the cheapest rice — maybe because my rice cooker is over 30 years old, and it reminds them of the way it used to be cooked and taste.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

philsandoz: As much as many Japanese would contest the fact, they can't tell the difference either -- with the exception, perhaps, being freshly harvested rice vs. stuff harvested a while ago. That's why mislabeling is such an utter success in Japan; you tell them it's "Shimmanto Gawa no Kaori" from Kochi and they'll believe it and shout "umai" even if it ends up it's really Mikasa tainted rice.

Brown and white polished rice are of course different in taste and moreso in texture, and rice produced in different regions, like in SE and Western Asia differ greatly. The first time my wife tasted Thai rice she loved it and insisted we use it at home once in a while. She gradually got sick of it, but still we use it or Basmati as an alternative once in a while -- and that is the key: variety. How anyone who eats the same thing constantly and nothing but can proclaim it to be superior is beyond me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Between 8,000 and 9,000 a 30kg sack of genmai where I live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is texture not being confused with flavor here? I cannot say I have ever detected a flavor with white Japanese rice. In my mind what makes Japanese rice special is the texture. Japanese rice is certainly special and unique, but that is not to be confused with overall best. Its not.

My favorite is wild rice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Look, I know the Japanese cr*p on about their rice, and I've just had my wife's family stay with me for a fortnight and it absolutely infuriates me to listen to comments at the dinner table on how soft the gohan is, or how good the smell of the gohan is, or how god damn oishii the god damn gohan is every god damn dinner time, but as much as it pains me to say it, they are right. It's bloody good rice.

My mother in law tells me that Japan's very, very best rice is grown on Sado, incidentally. She's a rice farmer too.

My other favourite is a red/brown rice from Indonesia. Don't know the name of it, but it's got a killer flavour and texture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's really hard to compare Japanese-grown rice with rice grown in other countries because Japanese rice is medium grain and "stickier," while in much of the world rice is long grain is "drier." The "stickiness" of Japanese rice makes it easier to pick up by a pair of chopsticks, especially from a bento box.

That said, the best rice in Japan is said my many to come from near the town of Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture--the famous koshihikari rice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for the tip, Cleo. Down the street from me is an old, traditional rice seller. They polish the grains right there. I am going to see if they can give some genmai. As I am from San Francisco, a center for enlightened food, I also limit my white (useless nutritionally) rice intake. Brown rice is much richer in flavor for cooking and general use.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese rice is delicious, but I was raised on brown rice in California and I much prefer Japanese rice that is NOT polished completely. Fortunately my husband, who is Japanese, also prefers not completely polished rice! We buy 5x polished rice at an organic foods store, the "gobuzuki" rice. It tastes nuttier, and has better health benefits because the rice germ is not removed. Recently we have taken to adding red and purple artisan grains of rice, which further adds taste and (I think) vitamins, and makes the rice purple!

Of course I thoroughly enjoy eating basmati and California short and long-grain rice whenever I can! If I knew where to find it in Tokyo, I would also buy the "wild rice" that we can find in California. Haven't see it here. The more rice varieties, the merrier! Having said this, I agree with Japanese who say their rice dishes are not what they expect when another country's rice is used in their dishes. I disagree that it tastes BAD, but I agree the taste and texture is different.

Of course I prefer to eat basmati rice with Indian food in a restaurant, and disapprove of restaurants catering to the tastes of Japanese customers. I'm a purist, you see.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can hardly tell the difference between some types of rice. Basmati, wild rice, etc all have their own fragrance and flavors due to the nutrients the plants absorb while growing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Honestly, I love rice but I don't find any perceptible difference between a Japanese short grain rice and, say, a California short grain rice. I have always found the rice isle in Japanese grocery stores to be befuddling - a profusion of meaningless choices. I just sort of randomly pick one that isn't too expensive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IT depends on what you are accustomed to eating! Who cares who has the best rice!!! IS this news?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Our rice comes from less than a cycle ride away which is fantastically environmentally friendly. It's madness to import rice 5,000 miles. We order it brown and grind to taste depending on use. It's great. "Know thy rice farmer" is the best rule. The difference between fresh rice and old rice which may have been hanging around for years is far more noticeable.

Japanese farmers are the caretakers of the countryside. Their small fields cannot compete economically against the huge fields in, say, California which is why the TPP is this department is suicide.

Destroy Japanese agriculture and you will destroy the already challenged countryside. "Rice" is not just about taste, it's about supporting individuals who maintain the countryside.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Mister Ed ... Destroy Japanese agriculture and you will destroy the already challenged countryside. "Rice" is not just about taste, it's about supporting individuals who maintain the countryside.

Excellent point. I would venture that rural Japan has a higher birthrate than urban Japan; the countryside is also better at growing children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"As I am from San Francisco, a center for enlightened food, i.e. fruits, nuts, and flakes" Sorry, made me giggle since I must be a plebe.

As to rice I prefer long grain, brown, or basmati myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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