新米 Shinmai

111109 rice package

I received a care package from my mom in Japan. What’s in a care package from my mom? Rice, of course.

Premium organic Akitakomachi shinmai to be exact. Shinmai literally translates to  “new rice” and is the freshest harvest of the year. It is characterized by higher moisture content and slightly more stickiness and shine. Rice that has been stored after the autumn harvest and packaged at a later date is no longer called shinmai, and simply becomes regular rice.

あきたこまち Akitakomachi refers to the variety of rice. You may have also heard of コシヒカリ Koshihikari, ササニシキ Sasanishiki, and ひとめぼれ Hitomebore, which are some other popular premium varieties of rice. As for me, all it says on the rice I buy is “California Shortgrain Rice” so this was a special treat for me.

111109 rice bag

111109 rice uncooked

My mom buys her rice direct from a local farmer who makes organic rice during the spring-autumn months and nori (seaweed) during the winter months. These farmers, the Hoshi family, used to make rice the traditional way using pesticides until they got sick. Suspecting exposure to chemicals as the cause of their illness, they’ve since been working hard for over a decade pursuing their passion to create food that’s good and safe to eat.

111109 rice cooked2

I wanted to appreciate the rice in its purest form, so that night I made myself a dinner that I call “Rice, three ways”. I had it with my favorite rice accoutrements: umeboshi (it can’t get any simpler than this!), kimchi, and okura natto. As my mom always says, 日本人に生まれて良かったー (I’m so glad I was born Japanese)! Oh wait, kimchi is Korean.

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1 Response to “新米 Shinmai”



  1. 1 新米 (Fresh Rice 2009 Harvest) « Ramendo Trackback on November 17, 2009 at 7:18 pm
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