Our guest today is Marie Akizawa, the 6th generation rice merchant Yamadaya Honten in Tokyo, which was founded in 1905.
Rice is a quintessential food in Japanese culture since it started to be produced 3,000 years ago in the country. Japanese people enjoy plain rice like the best part of the meal. Also, Japanese chefs are crazy about their choice of rice. For instance, at a fancy kaiseki restaurant, the last savory course of the menu is often a bowl of shiny plain rice. You would be surprised how much deliciousness is packed in it!
However, rice consumption in Japan has been steadily declining since the 1960s due to the diversifying diet of the people. But Marie is convinced that the future of rice is bright and its potential is huge.
She is certified as a “rice meister” (rice expert) as well as a “kome shokumi kanteishi” (rice sommelier). She actively visits farms she works with and often participates in rice production.
In this episode, we will discuss how essential rice is in Japanese food culture and the people’s mindset, Marie’s innovative and successful strategies to make rice popular again, different flavors of rice depending on the varieties and milling rates, how to enjoy rice at home and much, much more!!!
- Here is how to cook rice at home by Marie Akizawa!
① Prepare 180g of rice and 200g of water, and a pot with smaller size.
② Put 180g of rice in a bowl and rinse it with water, then drain the water quickly as the rice will absorb first- round water quickly.
③ Add second-round water and stir it gently for about 30 seconds and drain water.
④ Repeat this procedure three times.
⑤ Drain the water completely and put the rice in the pot.
⑥ Add the clear water of 200g and soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes or 1 hour.
⑦ Cover the pot with a lid and heat it until it boils. Then leave it for 2 seconds.
⑧ Turn down the heat to medium low for next 3 minutes, then simmer it with low heat for 5 minutes.
⑨Then turn off the heat and let the cooked rice rest for 10 minutes.
⑩ Gently overturn the rice and briefly stir with a flat wooden spoon to let the steam escape.
Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!
Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.