Posted August 20th, 2011 in Food, Japan 8 Comments »

Rice is something I need to eat at least 6 times a week.  It’s just because I’m Japanese and rice is the source of everyday power… My grand parents and parents used to tell me “if you don’t eat rice, you have no energy to do anything.”  Because I was raised with rice (2~3 times a day for 365 days), my body really became like that – I get no energy if I don’t eat rice for 2 days.

The typical breakfast at my house was rice and miso soup.  When I woke up, rice was always in a rice cooker – freshly cooked each morning.  Although my dad enjoys eating toast and coffee in the morning at cafe these days, he used to only eat rice while I was a teenager and that’s why my mum cooked this “Japanese style breakfast” everyday.  Leftover from last night’s dinner was usual side dishes, plus some pickles and seasoned nori (seaweed) or furikake (rice seasoning).

I was surprised to know how expensive rice was in Perth since I came here.  I mean, short grain rice.  I’d never paid money for rice as my family own rice fields and grow rice by ourselves – so rice was always in our kitchen.  Lots of them.  Here, I need to “buy” rice from stores and I felt it’s bit strange at first.

I had never eaten long grain rice while I was in Japan, but I like it pretty much now.  I like the little dryness of long grain rice when eating with something soupy such as curry.  They are cheaper than short grain rice (or Sushi rice) too.  But, when making sushi, onigiri or zosui, I need short grain (or medium grain) rice.  The stickiness is very important when making those Japanese food.

Some of the short grain or medium grain rice sold here are from USA, Taiwan, Korean and elsewhere.  As long as the rice was grown in water like Japanese rice, they taste pretty alike.  In some countries, rice is grown in soil and it tastes different.

Rice imported from Japan is always expensive, but the price of rice (short/medium) from USA and other countries had suddenly increased few years ago because of drought.  Now, the price had dropped little bit, but I still feel they are expensive…  I found Korean rice is cheaper and is very good quality.  Japanese rice, such as Akitakomachi, Akitaotome, and Koshihikari, are very expensive – even in Japan.  They are like brand. Omi-mai is the rice my family grows, and they are very good too.  Oooo I just miss eating it.  I think my dad should consider exporting his rice to Australia.

When buying rice here, you should be careful that some rice is more than few years old….  Rice should be eaten within one year after harvest.  At my house, we replace old rice with new rice after harvest season each year.  New rice (shin-mai) tastes so juicy and fresh.  You need less water to cook as they are so soft and fresh.  When preparing some rice sold here, if you think they are pretty old, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking (or add more water when cooking) so they become softer.

Ummmm  I feel like having wafu breakfast for a change.  I need to be away from peanut butter toast!


8 Comments on “Rice”

  1. 1 Kat said at 10:00 am on August 20th, 2011:

    I think rice is definitely an Asian thing. I’m Filipina and I eat rice around the same amount as you do. Even some of the desserts I eat are made of rice and can count as a full meal in itself. I like eating sandwiches and the like but they never seem to fill up me up as an actual meal with rice. 🙂

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 1:52 am on August 21st, 2011:


    Rice is definitely something we need everyday… isn’t it? Other carb don’t fill me up either and I get hungry pretty quickly :p

  3. 3 Jo said at 9:39 pm on August 20th, 2011:

    Hi Ume,

    I love those flavoured rice that I had a lot of whilst I was in Japan! Did you make it yourself, or did you use those packets of flavouring bought from the store?

    I wish I could cook Japanese food like you. I love Japanese food but cooking from recipe books just doesn’t produce the authentic flavours I get at good Japanese restaurants 🙁

  4. 4 umepontarou said at 1:55 am on August 21st, 2011:

    Hi Jo,

    Oh I made them myself! You can click on the image and it links to the recipe page 🙂

    At Japanese restaurants they probably make good dash stock and use superb quality food, and they could be the reason 🙂

  5. 5 [email protected] said at 9:41 am on August 22nd, 2011:

    I am Chinese so I also understand the need to eat rice everyday. One thing that I love to do with rice is to add it to soups.

  6. 6 umepontarou said at 12:20 pm on August 22nd, 2011:

    Hi Apex,

    I think most Asia people are the same 🙂
    Add to soup, you mean like ochazuke, or rice soup?

  7. 7 [email protected] said at 2:17 pm on August 24th, 2011:

    Any kind of soup – sweet corn and chicken soup, tom yum soup, sichuan hot and sour soup 🙂

  8. 8 umepontarou said at 7:07 am on August 25th, 2011:

    Oh yes, I love eating these soup with rice too! Yum..

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