Rice plays an important role in Japanese culture. If you’ve been to Japan, you’d notice that the locals eat rice every day! It’s the quintessential staple in Japanese cuisine.
What sets Japanese rice apart from its counterparts are three key factors: sweetness, taste and variety. Japanese rice is sweeter than jasmine rice, as it is made with rich and clear water that runs in the country. It has a superb taste, and it retains its delicious quality even when it is cold.
There is a wide variety of Japanese rice products to suit all taste preferences, from plain to ready-made and sticky mochi. Japanese rice is also highly versatile and can be used as an accompaniment to Chinese or western main courses.
Singapore is the second-largest importer of Japanese rice in the world
Japan consumes more than 7 million tons of Japanese rice annually, with 3,879 tons exported to Singapore in 2019. Authentic Japanese rice that is cultivated in Japan is a round, short grain variety. It contains a lot of water and has a chunky texture when cooked. It has a sweet taste when chewed.
Japan’s Top Rice Producing Areas and Rice Brands
Rice is grown nationwide, but depending on the variety and area, the flavours are different.
The top 3 rice cultivars in Japan are Koshihikari, Hitomebore and Akitakomachi.
- Koshihikari has a rich flavour, sticky texture and pleasing sweetness. It is superb with spicy dishes such as curry.
- Hitomebore is refreshing, sweet rice with fine grains. It is also the most renowned rice brand in Japan. It pairs well with Chinese stir-fried vegetables and meat.
- Akitakomachi is sweet and has a slightly firm texture and a refreshing aftertaste. It goes especially well with western-style fish dishes.
Exclusive Japanese Rice and Specialty Products Now Available in Singapore
Japan Rice and Rice Industry Export Promotion Association (JRE), whose members include renowned Japanese rice, sake and rice confectionery manufacturers, is set to bring into Singapore four speciality rice products this January.
This initiative is supported by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
So if you’re like us, craving for a taste of Japan, be sure to check out Singapore Home Cooks Facebook on 18 and 25 January respectively.
Here’s what you can expect: