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Rice in Asian cuisine

Rice is the staple food of most Asian countries. In fact 90% of rice is grown in Asia. China, India and Pakistan make up over 70% of the cultivating amount, and the remaining 30% is grown in Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

In this blog by Yatabe sensei, she gives us a general introduction to rice in Japan.

Read this blog for Japanese learners, and listen to the video which is narrated by Yatabe sensei and watch the pictures, all drawn by Yatabe sensei, for a free Japanese learning tool !



By YATABE Kumiko







To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.







The staple food for Japanese people is rice. The type of rice that is commonly eaten with meals is known as Uruchimai, and the rice that makes up the ingredients in Mochi rice cakes is known as Mochi kome.

The types of Uruchimai that are eaten in the world are mainly Indica rice and Japonica rice. Indica rice is long and thin and lacks stickiness, whereas Japonica rice is short and fat and is quite sticky.

Indica rice is the most cultivated rice in the world and it accounts for over 80% of the world's production. However, the rice that is sold most in Japan is almost all Japonica rice. It would probably be difficult to make sushi or onigiri (Japanese rice balls) if you don't use Japonica rice.

In each area in Japan, various breeds of rice are cultivated. When you go into a supermarket, you find many brands of rice on sale. I've never seen Indica rice in any supermarkets around me, you can only by it at imported food shops or from online shops. I like to eat Indian and Thai cuisine, so I think it would be nice if they sold even a little Indica rice at the supermarket.

米(こめ) rice

主食(しゅしょく) staple food

普段(ふだん)の ordinary, regular

もち rice cake

材料(ざいりょう) ingredient

主(おも)に mainly, mostly

細長(ほそなが)い long and thin

粘(ねば)り気(け) stickiness

栽培(さいばい)する cultivate, grow

生産量(せいさんりょう) production volume

占(し)める account, cover

各地域(かくちいき) each area

品種(ひんしゅ) breed

銘柄(めいがら) brand

輸入食品店(ゆにゅうしょくひんてん) imported food shop


Konnichiwa. My name is Kumiko Yatabe. I live in Saitama, just North of Tokyo.

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Guest Saturday, 17 March 2018