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Thread: Kome no Kuden

  1. #1
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    Default Kome no Kuden

    The thread is for the discussion of Rice. You would think that something as simple as rice would be simple to make, but it seems to have an almost esoteric quality about it. So, how do YOU cook it? Heard any good kuden from Japanese wives? Do you wash the rice before? Stir or don't stir during cooking?

    Ok, now for a bit of trivia. How can rice be used in conjuction with a Japanese sword, in terms of using the rice to do something...
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Default Of Rice Cooker Catastrophes

    My latest method -- I use a little plastic microwave cooker (sacrilege! ) I bought locally. About 1-1/2 cups medium grain rice, rinse it until the water runs *reasonably* but not completely clear, cover with water up to a depth of about the knuckle on my thumb, cook in a 1200 watt microwave for about 15 minutes at 50% power. Comes out OK. *Must* be careful to not overfill it, or to use too high a power setting -- result in those cases is a stream of rice goo out the vent holes.

    Used to have a low-end electric rice cooker -- loved it, but then it died after 4 years of steady use. Replaced it with another, also low-end electric rice cooker: Damned thing kept boiling over and leaking regardless of how much rice/water was in it (it wasn't gasketed like some higher-end models). Of course, I could just use a pot on the stove . . .

    Trivia -- isn't rice glue (a product not unlike the result of my rice cooker explosions) used when wrapping same on a tsuka?

    Good luck. Your mileage may vary.
    Rev. Sean Taizen Breheney
    KoKoDo Kyu Shin Ryu Jujutsu
    Pacific Grove, CA

    "The problems we face today cannot be solved from the same consciousness that created them." - Albert Einstein

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    Hey this is a little off thread, but besides don-buri dishes like oyakodon, kaisendon etc, don't you lose something by not putting the 'okazu' and sauces straight on top of gohan?!? Kinda uncouth, I know, but this is something I wish the Japanese would've picked up from the chinese and koreans...

    Back to the thread now! I hear some folk cook their rice with a little charcoal to purify the flavour of their favourite mai.

    Daniel Lee

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    Little known secret outside of Japan. Akita prefecture is famous for four things... The Akita bijin, Akita inu, Akita sake and, most importantly to this thread, Akita komachi, which is regarded by many as some of the best rice in all of Japan (hence why Akita sake is also very highly thought of). Throughout my travels in Japan I have met many a local claiming how good their local rice was, but I always asked if it was better than Akita komachi, and no one ever was able to reply yes. I once also received a lecture from one of my college prof. on the fact that the rice in Akita is so good that you can actually buy the cheap sake in a box in Akita and still have it be extremely good (I am told that sake in a box is the mark of cheap rice fuel). Of course there are many a kuden about the Akita komachi, but they are for members of the prefecture only...

    Rennis Buchner

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    I reckon the rice in Ishikawa is pretty good - especially when you can get it straight from the folks farming it - but it sounds like I should check out some of your akita komachi too, Rennis!

    BTW, why is it that jasmine/thai rice is so cheap over here?!

    Daniel Lee

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    but it sounds like I should check out some of your akita komachi too, Rennis!
    Yup them Akita people take their kome seriously... it is, after all, one of the few things people in such an inaka part of the country can take pride in. If you think they don't take their rice seriously, take note of the fact that they drained the second largest lake in all of Japan, and built a huge rice farm and town on top of it because they could grow even better rice there!!!

    Rennis Buchner

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    Back to kome no kuden... I'd like some explanation as to all the various different types of rice. Being an American gaijin I was raised on corn and wheat (which isn't corn for you blasted Britishers). I know only enough about rice to cook it, and to get a good rice cooker so as not to always burn the stuff.

    I know the difference between brown rice and white rice. Brown rice has only been slightly processed, and is much more healthy but slightly less 'flavorful'.

    Mochigome is the odd looking short grained rice with lots of sugar. It's used to make mochi by pounding it into a paste.

    What about long grain and short grain white rice? What's the difference? Which is better? And what's jasmine rice? What about Californian rice? How's that different from the rice grown in China?
    James A. Crippen

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    Hi James,

    I'll start this off and hopefully people more in the know than me can come in after and keep the ball rolling.. short grain rice, like Japanese kome is great for it's stickiness (great to eat in a seperate dish along with okazu mains). Long grain rice, like much chinese, thai/indian jasmine rice is great because of it's fluffy, non-stick qualities (great in fried rice, and to pour some curry, sauce etc on!).

    I'd love to hear people's opinions about rice grown in California and Australia as compared to the Asian varieties!

    Daniel Lee

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    Although mochigome must be soaked overnight and then steamed for some time before it becomes soft enough to eat, mochiko (mochigome flour) becomes instantly soft when combined with water.

    Because mochigome is stickier than ordinary rice and because it has a slightly sweeter flavor, I like to mix my ordinary rice with one or two tablespoons of mochiko for each cup of dry rice. If you simply pour it on top you end up with a slimy goo on top of your rice, though.

    My waza is to reuse the water used to wash the rice in as the water for boiling, thus retaining all the good stuff that is washed off. When adding the water for boiling I sprinkle the mochiko evenly over the top of the rice, then stir gently to get it distributed throughout the rice grains. Stirring too much will cause the mochiko to settle at the bottom however, and then you have a sticky goo at the *bottom* of the pot instead of the top.

    The end product is a slightly stickier and sweeter rice. It works particularly well with brown rice, enhancing the perhaps dull flavor of brown rice a bit and increasing its stickiness to a level closer to that of white rice.

    Using mochiko works equally well with stovetop, microwave, or rice cooker methods of rice preparation. It also doesn't seem to confuse rice cookers that know too much about cooking rice.

    Joshinko (plain rice flour) can also be used for a similar purpose, but it's not as flavorful.
    James A. Crippen

  10. #10
    Ginzu Girl Guest

    Talking A little asbestos with your rice, anyone?

    Originally posted by J. A. Crippen
    My waza is to reuse the water used to wash the rice in as the water for boiling, thus retaining all the good stuff that is washed off.
    I believe that "stuff" on the rice is some type of starch--I'm not even sure it's rice starch. I believe the only purpose for the starch is to make the rice look white and pretty. Back in the good old days, it was very important to wash the rice thoroughly until the water ran clear. Why? Because the best rice was covered in talc--it said so right on the bag. Even though I realize it's perfectly safe nowadays, I don't think I could eat my rice without washing it.

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