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

17 Comments

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Different courses for different horses / different horses for different courses, they say.

And "Japanese rice" is not some uniform, monolithic thing. The rice produced in Japan comes in so many varieties. I mean, there is a huge difference between genmai and koshihikari. And even between koshihikari and hinohikari.

I think it is fair to say that the quality standards for rice produced in Japan are as high or higher than any other country in the world.

But, that said, the rice you would want to eat will very well depend on the food you are eating it with.

I mean, there are some meals / dishes where a basmati or jasmine rice is far more appropriate than a Japonica rice.

There is a reason why there are different types of rice in different countries around the world.

For me, I LOVE a bowl of koshihikari or Akitakomachi by itself fresh out of the rice cooker. Just amazing. But, its not what I want if I am going to be making / eating, say, red beans & rice.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

No real taste unless in certain instances when it is cooked the traditional way over a fire it has an exceptional taste. I would prefer Thai long grain rice.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Not much flavor with the common Koshihikari, it’s more about the texture: sticky and lumpy. It’s great for sushi, but for curries and most other dishes, I much prefer long grain rice from places like Thailand.

Genamai is the exception, with its wheaty flavor, but is quite rare.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japanese white rice is not bad but, to get the best out of it, it needs to be steamed for a morning in muslin cloth bag and then eaten with milk, a bit of nutmeg and golden syrup (Tate and Lyle, of course). Aaaahh! Can't be beat.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The taste of good quality Japanese is tasty. The quality of taste varies from area to area. I like Thai rice. Nepalese black rice. Indian basmati rice.

Mostly we eat brown rice but certain Japanese dishes require white rice. Last night was an Indian-type curry with brown rice.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its a common mistake from people overly keen on bigging up Japanese rice, but Japanese rice is not about the "taste". It's taste is very neutral, only subtle notes and generally a similar blandness to commercial white bread. For taste, it is inferior to high quality fragrant rices from other counties, like Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Japanese rice is all about the texture and all the things you can do with it. Overboil or underboil some Japanese rice to destroy the texture and you won't be left with something that "tastes" nice. By comparison an overcooked steak, something easily done and very common, will still have a good taste.

Japanese people admit this themselves, since a common way to praise toppings and pickles is to say "gohan ga susumu", i.e., the added flavour helps you eat more rice.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you put salt and oil, it tastes. Otherwise, it's just rice and doesn't have much taste.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As others have said, Japanese rice is great for Japanese food but no so good with Indian or Thai curry.

A better question would be "How does Japanese Japonica rice taste compared to Japonica rice grown in California or Australia?" The answer would be ... Almost identical which is why you are not going to see it in your supermarket as it is less than a third of the price so Japan inc never let it in.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Koshi hikari of Niigata is the best! I can it without any okazu..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Gen ji mai rice is a Japanese short grain japonica cultivar not milled. It is brown japonica rice or hippy rice as it is refer to in the industry . The taste different is due to the husk material. Japanese grown japonica rice is mile above any other Japonica cultivars grown in other countries and superior to any other cultivars. The Japanese water quality is the most import medium that creates the superior taste. Yes there is subtle taste difference in Japanese grown japonica rice but it still miles above other japonica grown in other countries and other rice cultivars. You would not eat basmati if you knew of the water quality that went into the harvest. Filthy creek water contaminated with human and animal waste with no quality control. If you enjoy basmati you must enjoy eating your rice from a toilet bowl. In Japan the Perfectures control the water quality and the time of release of water for rice farming. The water quality has to pass a group draw from JA quality control board and nominated farmer from the Prefecture before the Perfecture can open up the gates for water release. This is the most intense time during the harvest and it happening right now. Farmer dislike a late release like in 2016 when in Iwate the gates did not open until the beginning of May. But the farmer know and have the confidence that the water is at it optimum and taste will be superior. Also the water you cook the rice is very important. Will get a subtle inferior taste if you cook Iwate grown rice with water not from the same district. Japan rice is the world best grown to world best practice.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

California grown rice and Japanese grown rice tastes exactly the same to me.

When I served Calrose Rice to my visiting family or friends from Japan, they often expressed surprise that they tasted so similar.

The big difference, of course, was that California rice was less than half the price.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

fwiw, Japanese rice is grown with world leading amounts of agricultural chemicals. Absolutely tons of them.

Chemical use per unit area is five times the US, home of Monsanto etc. For rice grown in Niigata, chemical fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide, selective weedkillers etc. will typically be used 19 times in total. For some fruit and veg, its over 50 times.

https://musubi-ichiba.jp/blogs/syoku/noyaku-genjyo

You can come to your own conclusions about what this means relative to local climates, water quality, and the like. fwiw with Niigata, the climate in recent years has been bad for koshihikari because high temps produce white spots on the grain, downgrading the rice and lowering its sale price.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

What variety of rice? Rice quality is important but also the rice preparation, cooking and the water used too.

In general, rice in Japan is very different from something you can eat in others country.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Koha: USA rice is inferior because it not wet rice farming. As for chemicals the frogs, the fish, the eels and the birds that feed in Japan rice fields return every season. the aquatic life are random selected for testing by the farmer and sent to JA. Where in the area in USA where rice is grown. There is no birds, no frogs, on eels on insect life in these area because they have killed off everything hence they use far less chemicals. All farming even "organic" farming use chemicals and animal waste to produce their crops.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Don't eat rice, but it smell good.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nothing beats the good old fashioned way of preparing rice in Japan. I would love to own my very own kamado one day to make delicious traditional food.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

for me rice is rice

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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