Level Up Your Grain Game with a Seasonal Rice Subscription
Discover the difference using not just seasonal, but micro-seasonal, Japanese rice can make with a subscription to food advocate Momoko Nakamura’s brown-rice blends
Portland-born, Japan-based Momoko Nakamura (a.k.a. Rice Girl) helps preserve traditional Japanese farming methods with her company, Kiki Musubi, which blends brown rice varietals according to the season and delivers a bag to your door every few weeks. We spoke with Nakamura about why you should work this specialty ingredient into your dinner rotation.
How Is Seasonal Rice Different from Supermarket Rice?
“My seasonal rice is made in alignment with the Japanese micro-seasonal calendar of 24 seasons across the year,” Nakamura says. “There are about 300 varietals of rice in Japan, but most people can only name one or two. I blend about three varietals each time for a quirky, unique batch.”
Thomas J. Story
Do You Have to Cook It Differently?
Nakamura’s preferred way of cooking her rice is to scoop uncooked rice into a bowl, add a generous amount of water, and clean the rice by using her hand to gently stir the water in a circular motion. Drain the water and repeat two more times, then transfer the rice to a Dutch oven or kamado-san rice cooker. Add twice the amount of water as there is rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add a pinch of salt, turn to high, and let cook 1 minute. Reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Turn off heat; remove from stove, uncover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff and transfer rice to a bowl.
What Should We Eat It With?
During autumn, Nakamura’s favorite way to enjoy rice is to mix it with roasted root vegetables or a variety of roasted mushrooms for a simple, warming meal. We like a blend of enoki and shiitake mushrooms and chopped onions softened in a little butter over medium heat.