September 12th, 2018
Table of Contents
・Relationship of Japanese and Japanese Rice
・Difference of Japanese Rice and other Rice
・Varieties of Japanese Rice
・Bento and Ongiri from SAMURICE
Relationship of Japanese and Japanese Rice
Japanese rice is an inevitable topic when it comes toJapanese history.
Ever since rice had been imported from China, approximately 3000 years ago, Japanese rice has been taking a huge part of Japanese society.
It goes without saying that Japanese rice has been an important preserved food, but Japanese rice means a lot more than just a food.
Once rice was imported from China, Japanese people built a community called “Yui(結)” to harvest rice as efficiently as they could, which thrived over the century.
Furthermore, Japanese rice was had a political meaning as well. Japanese rice was regarded as an index to show government’s wealth and power.
There was a system that landowner lend a part of his land to citizens to harvest rice, and once the rice is harvested, the citizens give part of their harvested rice as a tax to their landlord. Rice was stored in the container called “Kome Tawara(米俵)” and stacked in the storage.
For landlord, the amount of rice they have at his storage shows how strong and wealthy he and his land are.
In modern society, Japanese government promoted a campaign to breed a rice so that there will be more variety of rice. There are more than 300 varieties of Japanese rice, including ”Koshihikari” and “Akita Komachi”. There is a Japanese rice brand named “Out of the Blue” which was ranked AA for 3 tiems in a row.
As you can see, rice has been more than just a food for Japanese people, and Japanese history cannot be spoken without mentioning Japanese rice.
Difference of Japanese Rice and other Rice
This background might make you think: “Japanese rice is a soul food of Japanese people, so Japan should be the country which consume rice the most among the world!”
Unfortunately, you are wrong.
The country which consume rice the most is Bangladesh, where people eat more than 10 onigiris in average every day.
Japan is ranked 50th, and Japanese people eat 3 onigiris per day in average.
Other than Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and other Asian countries are ranked relatively high.
Now we know that rice is popular among Asian countries, but are thereany differences between Japanese rice and rice consumed in other countries?
There are 3 types of rice; “Japonica”, “Indica” and “Japanica”, and Japanese rice is classified as “Japonica”. This type of rice has a round shape and gets sticky when heated. 20% of rice produced in the world is “Japonica”.
On the other hand, “Indica” rice has long shape with less moist texture compared to “Japonica” rice. “Indica” rice is harvested in wide range, from India, Thai, Vietnam, China to the U.S. It is said that 80% of rice in the world is classified as “Indica” rice.
Varieties of Japanese Rice
It seems like rice consumed in Japan and that in other countries are classified differently.
Although Japanese rice is classified as “Japonica” rice, there are varies of Japanese rice brand in Japan, each taste differently.
There has been breeding of Japanese rice to adjust a sweetness or stickiness of rice. Breeding is to develop a rice that can bare a coldness and diseases at the same time. There are over 700 different rice brands created. Though more than 300 of them are raised and harvested in Japan, top 10 brands such as “Koshi Hikari”, “Akita Komachi”, “Hino Hikari” take over 80% of the Japanese rice produced in Japan.
Other than Japanese rice, there is a special type of rice called “Mochi Kome(sticky rice)” which is stickier than usual Japanese rice, cooked as Red Rice, Mochi, Chimaki or Okowa(similar to mixed rice).
Red Rice is one of the dish that is for special occasion, seasoned with red beans. It is called red and colored in red because red is a traditionalcolor of celebration.
Japanese rice before processed is called Brown Rice, which contains more minerals and vitamins compared to Japanese rice. Click here to read an article talks about Brown Rice in interested.
△Brown Rice (玄米)
Bento and Onigiri from SAMURICE
Other than its sweetness and stickiness, Japanese rice has one more great feature: its texture and taste remains even after it gets cold.
SAMURICE use Japanese rice for our onigiri and bento, which are available at our 5 outlets and online as well. If you order online we can deliver our bento and onigiri so that you can enjoy Japanese cuisine anytime, anywhere.
We have many different onigiri fillings, varies from traditional taste such as roasted salmon to enjoyable taste such as Salmon Wasabi Mayo.
△Salmon Wasabi Mayo Onigiri
You have a lot of options for Bento, such as daily bento, Unagi Jyu and Karaage Bento. We also have a bento that is Halal or Vegetarian friendly.
Order online and enjoy our onigiri and bento.