Rice is a part of Japanese culture
Japanese food was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.
Everyone loves homeland food.
Japanese are also proud of Japanese food
And rice is playing such a huge role of it.
There are rice and rice culture all over the world, but Japanese rice is called ”Japonica rice”.
“Indica rice” is the most popular outside of Japan. However, for Japanese people and its culture,
Japonica rice is the best for reasons. We’ll explain about why is it so, below.
Why Japonica rice is the best match to SUSHI
SUSHI is made out of rice and ingredients. The rice is vinegared rice, which is made with vinegar. Light and sour, but it never too sour because it is created from warm japonica rice.
If the rice doesn’t have those qualities of the shape and dryness, it is not perfect to make SUSHI.
On the other hand, too sticky rice isn’t good for the SUSHI as well so SUSHI professionals need to study about how to choose rice as well.
Types of rice
In the first place, rice is a grain of a plant called rice.
Rice is roughly divided into African and Asian rice, and Asian rice is Japonica rice and Indica rice.
Also, there are many Asian rice such as Japonica rice, Indica rice, Thai rice, and Indian rice.
And there are many small types of japonica rice.
There are Koshihikari, Sasanishiki, Yumepirika, Hitomebore, Akitakomachi, and more various varieties.
All the rice made in Japan is Japonica rice, so no matter which variety you choose, it basically goes well with sushi and Japanese food.
Taste good and Great stickiness after got colder
The reason why Japonica rice goes well with sushi is that the deliciousness of the rice does not go away even when it gets cold.
Japonica rice goes through a cooking process called “cooking” and “rice cooking.” You cannot eat raw rice. All you have to do is suck water and put it on the fire.
Then you can eat rice that has been swollen with water or hold it as sushi.
The deliciousness of freshly cooked rice is exceptional.
However, it is a great strength of japonica rice that the taste does not deteriorate even when it got colder.
SUSHI is made by cooling freshly cooked rice before sushi, but that doesn’t mean that the taste has diminished.
Stickiness is decent too.
There are some varieties of rice that have a strong stickiness, but SUSHI involves a cooking process of squeezing, so
If it’s too sticky, it sticks on your hands and you can’t keep the shape of the SUSHI.
The looks is very important for Japanese food in general.
The beauty of rice itself is also important in order to maintain beauty that seems to confine nature. Therefore, there are many SUSHI professionals who are particular about water.
There is a song; “First a little bit then more”
When you start looking up about how to do the rice, you will end up finding a song.
“First a little bit then more, when it’s boiled, turn off. A pinch of burning straw, and do not take the lid off even there’s a crying baby “
This has been singed among Japanese people from long time ago. This song is about how to cook rice.
●First a little fire
●then make the fire bigger
●when it is boiled, make the fire stronger
●take the time as sufficient as a pinch of straw get burned.
●do not ever take off the lid
This song explains how to cook the rice by order. Before cooking the rice, it is so hard and you cannot eat it. And it get so much tender after you do the rice, but hard part in the rice can be left if you messed up how to do the rice.
It would be a little difficult to eat it when there is hard part left. When the rice is nicely and perfectly cooked, There is no hard part left in the rice so it is called “rice is standing”. We’ll explain about what exactly is “rice is standing”, later.
The song we talked about is that the best steps to cook the rice good. There are multiple rhythm to sing to it, however the most important part is that the lyrics.
Expression of “Rice is standing”
When there is no hard part left in the rice, the rice shape is vertical when the rice is done. It is because the rice contains water and it is well balanced. These rice taste very sweet and delicious for sure. When people say rice is standing, it is a good thing to hear because it means the rice cooked very well done.
The relationship between rice and Shinto ritual
In fact, the existence of rice in Japan has a close relationship with Shinto ritual.
Since Japan has a small land area and most of it is a steep land, it has long stored mountain water as a natural dam through rice cultivation.
Rain water returns to the sea with nutrients, enriches seafood, and returns to the mountains as rain.
Abundant nature leads to a rich diet.
Japan’s natural circulation system has been working good since ancient times, and its relationship with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) has become stronger recently.
Rice is staple food for Japanese people, also it is an important existence that is related to God.
Rice is also used as an offering during Shinto rituals because it gives you the blessings of nature.
Probably it is the most important of all Japanese food ingredients.
There is an expression, “Umai”. “Umai” came from the word “Amai”(sweet) and it also has a unique expression, “Umami” as well.
It is difficult to explain what is “Umami” so please experience this “Umai” and feeling “Feeling Umami” by eating rice!