Rice selection?

Aleria
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 41 weeks ago.

Okay, so I've finally decided to venture into proper japanese rice. (Yes, until now I've been eaten long grain, non sticky rice. Blasphemy!). I have bought it in the past, but that was about 3 years ago when I made sushi in Foods class, so needless to say I don't remember much. I did read the rice posts on here, so I had some idea of what to look for, but I'm not sure which of these are actually japanese rice and are going to give me that nice stickyness necessary in order to make things like onigiri.
Choices:
1. Labeled as: "Kohuko Rose".
Ingredients listed as: 100% california medium grain milled rice (water mill polished)
Price: $10CA/2kg
Appearance: small grains, no white stuff. Bag had some asian-looking symbol on it, but all writing was in english.
2. Labled as: Short or Medium Grain Rice
Ingredients listed as: Short/Medium grain pearl white rice
Price: $4CA/1kg
Appearance: pretty much the same rice, couldn't even tell which was short and which was medium. Plain, english boring bag
3. Labeled as: Sun Rice Sushi Style
Ingredients not listed
Price: $6/750g
Appearance: Lots of asian designs, sushi recipe on the back. Couldn't see the rice.

So, are these all Japanese rice? Is the only difference quality? Are they all going to be pretty much the same to someone who's not an expert in rice (because if that's the case, I'm going with the cheapest! University is expensive.)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: Rice selection?

A lot of the California grown Japonica grains make it to London (the Nishiki brand is one of the most ubiquitous and offers good value but Kokuho Rose also makes its way over here and is widely used by the Japanese community)

I've used Kokuho Rose and found it was fine for general purposes.
It's a dollar a kilo more than option 2.
In your position I'd get the Kokuho Rose, but also get 1 kg of the second kind and make a direct comparison. If you're happy with it, continue to get the cheaper kind, otherwise stick with Kokuho Rose - a good solid choice.

(As a bonus, this webpage - the information seems absolutely reliable to me - makes a case for Kokuho Rose being a perfect rice for paella should you ever want to give it a go http://www.csl.cornell.edu/~martinez/paella/ )

Aleria
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: Rice selection?

Thanks for the advice! I bought the Kohuko stuff, since it was still reasonable and more likely to be good quality. Made some tasty onigiri, following Maki's rice cooking and saran wrap onigiri method.
But I have another question about rice.. is the 1/2 hour draining time and the 1/2 hour soaking time mentioned in her directions absolutely crucial? Because one of my favourite reasons for eating rice is that it's easy and quick. I like being able to eat my rice when I finish papers at 10:30 pm and realize I haven't eaten yet. The washing stage doesn't take too long, so it's about half an hour from start to finish.. but with the resting times that turns into an hour and a half! So can you cut these times down, if not out all together?

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 48 weeks ago.
Re: Rice selection?

Draining and soaking aren't vital for edible rice, but they are helpful, the soaking more so. I usually don't drain my rice. I do soak for about an hour, though. Would it be easier for you to wash the rice in the morning and let it soak through the day? You should get good results that way if the room is cool or you soak it in the fridge (can someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong?) If you don't soak, your rice will certainly be edible, but may not be sticky or may take longer to cook.

I second the kohuko rice choice. It's the only non-long grain/non-sushi rice that my local Asian market sells, and I've always had good results with it.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: Rice selection?

Don't forget that Maki has high standards (and must have picked up a thing or two about rice seeing that her mother is accomplished in making sushi). It's one of the many reasons I love her sites so much!
If you're referring to these instructions: http://www.justhungry.com/2003/11/japanese_basics_1.html
Then I'd say no, stage 5 and the part just afterwards about the rice soaking are not strictly necessary - but they will get the best out of your rice.
Why not make a taste comparison one day when you have a little time? See if you can taste the difference if you leave out either, or even both those stages. And if you can, decide for yourself if that difference in taste matters.

Personally, although I try to follow these guidelines, I have to admit that I don't always thoroughly drain or soak the rice before cooking it. And my husband never does.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
The same rice?

I'm confused

There are now three posts discussing Kohuko rice. I initially thought it was a typo (like the one I made at the end of my first post - and have now corrected) but as the Kohuko spelling is dominating this thread, I'm not so sure anymore.

The rice I have in mind is definitely spelled KOKUHO ROSE

Can I just make absolutely certain we're discussing the same brand
http://www.thirdplanetfoods.com/Kokuho_Rose_Logo.gif

Tanuki
Bento-ing from: seattle › USA
Joined: 16 Oct 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 32 weeks ago.
Re: The same rice?

Yeah, it's Kokuho. There aren't any brands that have a similar name that I've seen. I tend to go dyslexic when reading it sometimes, in my mind I think 'Kohuko' or something. But my eye follows the romaji first before anything else. Lots of people I know have the same problem pronouncing 'Sudoku' in such fashion. Your brain just tricks you into thinking what will be easiest to pronounce, and that becomes a habit further demonstrated in writing.

Aleria
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: The same rice?

0.0 That is the same brand. I probably misread it, one's brain isn't exactly functioning normally after a day of university.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: The same rice?

I'm always mixing up the syllables in Japanese. Thanks for clarifying.
(I still remember Europe in the 80s when there was a flood of products with names and logos very similar to global brands but with slightly different spelling - Raywok sneakers anyone? Although you might need to speak Spanish to get why I'm still tickled by this example nearly 3 decades later :D )

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

New forum activity since your last visit

TitleAuthorAnswersLast Postsort icon
Sesame salad dressing Supertaster951 weeks 22 hours ago
Authentic paella? maki101 year 1 day ago
IMPORTANT: If you have a blog on JustBento... maki21 year 2 weeks ago
Shiso - uses for this herb Loretta01 year 4 weeks ago
Fuki (Japanese Butterbur) Tsukemono Recipes kumo51 year 4 weeks ago