Rice is the staple of Japanese food
Rice is the staple of food for the Japanese and is also eaten in foreign countries. We also eat bread and pasta, but most of the people in Japan eat rice at least once a day. Japanese rice is stickier and shorter compared to rice from foreign countries. It is also thicker and sweeter.
Every home in Japan has a rice cooker, and you can cook rice in just minutes with it. After it’s cooked, we set it to save mode to keep the rice warm.
The most popular rice brand in Japan is “Koshihikari”, and it smells intense. The texture and stickiness are well balanced. Recently, sprouted brown rice is becoming popular among health and beauty freaks.
There is even a certification called the “rice master”. You can see from this that rice is very important in Japan.
Red bean Rice is for celebrations
On a day of celebration, we eat rice boiled with red beans. We usually eat it with salt and sesame as a garnish. The rice is called mocha rice, and it’s even stickier than the typical rice in Japan.
In Japanese culture, the color of red is believed to exorcise demons and problems. The red bean rice is served during celebratory events (birthdays, school entrance ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, sixties birthday celebrations).
We eat porridge to cure colds
In Japan, we eat porridge when we catch a cold. Porridge is boiled with more water to make the rice softer, and you can really taste its sweetness.
If you eat it when you are cold, your body will become warm. Eating it with Umeboshi helps digestion, because it stimulates the secretion of saliva.
Eating porridge with Umeboshi also stimulates appetite and it’s good for recovering from fatigue!
Porridge has another recipe!
There is another recipe for porridge. It’s called “zosui” in Japanese. It looks much the same, but zosui is cooked with vegetables and other ingredients. During winter, leftover rice from the cooker is used for zosui with good soup.
When I was a child, I was told to finish all my rice. Rice has been eaten for over 3,000 years in Japan. Zosui is one of the ideas that suggests finishing every last morsel of rice.
You can also check the article about Tsukemono (Japanese pickles), and which go well with rice. There are many different types of tsukemono.