Risotto Rice and Rices

watching doctor who, rose tyler, and jackie on a laptop

risotto with The Doctor

This post is about some of the varieties of rice in my pantry.
Mr. Tess made a delicious chicken soup, a very large pot of chicken soup which we enjoyed for two days. There was enough broth left to float a navy. I wanted refrigerator and freezer space to prepare a Japanese-style dinner for ten. Then I remembered risotto, how simple and pleasant.
Mr. Tess’ family gathered at our house
They had dinner, stayed overnight,
The first Monday in September
on the Thursday before Labor Day.
and went up North to walk the Bridge.
is the only day pedestrians can cross

the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.



Risotto is an Italian rice dish in which hot stock is gradually added as Arborio rice cooks.

Arborio rice, first grown in the Italian town of the same name, is known for its creamy texture around a slightly chewy al denté grain. It’s the most common variety used in the preparation of risotto recipes. But is the best arborio rice grown in Italy? Not necessarily, according to Cook’s Illustrated magazine (June, 2008), which gave the RiceSelect brand a “Highly Recommended” rating. RiceSelect captures the spirit of Northern Italy and the “creamy, smooth” grains of this Texas-grown rice won over the magazine’s tasters.

This September, America marks the 21st year of National Rice Month (NRM). Sponsored by the USA Rice Federation, NRM celebrates the rice harvest and helps increase awareness of U.S.- grown rice, which contributes $34 billion in economic activity in America and provides 128,000 jobs annually.


Sweet rice, also called mochigome (もち米) or glutinous rice. It is a hulled, short grain, white rice which is opaque when uncooked. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor and has a very high starch content, which makes mochi rice extremely sticky.

It is used for making mochi (餅): cooked rice is pounded until it becomes smooth and sticky enough to hold together to be shaped into balls or cakes.

Mochiko flour is made from this rice and used to make crackers or noodles.

Glutinous rice used in dishes such as sekihan (glutinous rice with red beans), a sort of snack or dessert. Sometimes steamed mochi rice is wrapped with seaweed or filled with little pieces of meat or seafood.


Haigami Rice is neither brown nor white rice! The rice bran is meticulously removed from Japanica rice, leaving the nutritious rice germ still attached to the kernel. Haiga is not a variety of rice, but rather the result of a particular milling process. The name haiga, which means embryo or bud in Japanese, refers to the rice germ. It’s being touted as a healthy alternative to white rice minus the tough bran fiber of brown rice. The rice is similar in taste to white rice with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Haiga is a good source of vitamins B, E and C. Haiga cooks with the same amount of water and in the same amount of time as white rice. Rinse gently, and only a couple of times, so as not to disturb the fragile germ.

Genmai: unmilled brown rice; sanbuzuki: milled until 30% of the bran is removed; gobuzuki: milled until 50% of the bran is removed; shichibuzuki: milled until 70% of the bran is removed; haigamai: milled, but germ intact; hakumai: completely milled (white) rice

from a Chowhound comment


Brown rice ((玄米) is not popular in Japan where white rice is the norm, both for taste and for cultural reasons.
“Nishiki,” the rice in my picture, is a brand name of JFC International a major wholesaler and distributor of Asian food products owned by Kikkoman. It sells Calrose and New Variety rice as well as Nishiki brand medium grain brown rice, which were developed in California in the late 1940 from strains of japonica.
But we like brown rice sometimes because it has a nutty flavor and tastes more hardy on cold days. My husband and daughter both like sweet brown rice (like the mochigami above but with the hulls) for breakfast.
In Japan, some unrelated breeds of rice also have “Nishiki” in their names, such as Yamada Nishiki, which is used to brew sake.

Kagayaki 6-Grain Rice includes black rice, purple barley, hulless barley, rye berries, red rice, and short grain brown rice to make a hearty healthy rice option.
Japanese people continue to prefer pristine white rice, though there is a trend among younger folks to eat “healthier.” Zakkokumai (雑穀米)is becoming popular: zakkoku means “mixed grains”, and mai is rice. One can purchase small packets of grain to add to rice in a cooker. A light colored version contains sprouted brown rice, pressed barley, hatomugi (Job’s Tears), millet, and white sesame seeds. The package touts the fact that the whiteness of the rice is maintained. A dark version includes black beans (kuromame), azuki beans, mung beans, pressed barley, black rice (kokumai), millet and amaranth. It colors the rice when cooked a slight reddish-purple.
In Korean households you will find many enjoying multi-grain rice called “Japgok-bap (잡곡밥).” Ogok-bap (오곡밥) five-grains rice is a kind of Korean food made of a bowl of steamed rice mixed with grains including barley, foxtail millet, millet and soy beans.
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6 thoughts on “Risotto Rice and Rices

  1. Great post, Tess! I am a rice-lover, and was fascinated by the mixed rice/grains you described – I bet they taste delicious!

    I need to perfect my preparation of black rice (the Forbidden rice of China), because so far my attempts turned up with mushy rice. Tasty, but wrong texture.

    • Interesting. I have not had trouble with the Forbidden rice, but wild rice is another thing. It always overcooks and splits open. Tasty, but it should not burst! I recently bought some sort of red rice: I think it is Chinese but it doesn’t have any instructions for cooking it. Any ideas?

    • I love all kinds of rice, but being the pasta queen it is always for me something to eat for a change. Oh but then there is bread. And barley. and potatoes. and couscous. and bulgar, millet, and cornmeal… So many choices.

      The placemats were on clearance for less than $1 each. Nice graphic design and they go through the dishwasher perfectly. Genuine plastic LOL.

  2. I love it that you got the Doctor, then Rose and then Jackie on the 3 shots of the same screen!

    • If you click that pic, then you can see another view closer bigger up sort of like a short staircase. and if you hover over the caption you get the info about the characters. coding nonsense that probably I am the only one who sees it.

      I’m so behind on posting to my blog I don’t even remember which episode of Doctor Who that was…

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