For Japanese people rice is the main source of energy, but it’s so much more than that. It is also a source of pride and identity. And Niigata prefecture’s Koshihikari rice is the best the country has to offer.
A group of foreign students from Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan got a chance to savor the best rice in Japan at our special tasting event, where they shared their impressions after eating a delicious bowl of Koshihikari Niigata rice, cooked in an earthen pot.
Testimonials from foreign students after eating Niigata rice.
Rachel Tan Yee Fay from Singapore
In Singapore we usually eat long grain rice which has less of a texture, we don’t really enjoy to eat rice just by itself. We usually eat rice to accompany different dishes, but in Japan, the rice by itself is full of texture and it’s just really flavorful. Before eating the rice, I was expecting very soft rice but when I was actually eating it, each single grain of rice retained its original shape and it had great texture, I felt it was just the right balance between softness and chewiness, it was very good.
In Singapore they do sell Japanese rice at markets, so on occasions when we want to celebrate something we tend to buy Japanese rice and we cook it once every couple of months. It’s quite different compared to the rice I’m used to eat, it’s a lot softer, stickier, chewier, and I like it a lot more, that’s why we have it for celebratory occasions, and that is why I was really happy to be able to come to Japan to study and eat my favorite rice all the time.
Teng Siao Shuen from Singapore
Chih-Hsuan Chen from Taiwan
Japanese rice is fresher and even if you have it with just a few side dishes, it’s delicious. In Taiwan, you have to eat rice with something else, otherwise it tastes a bit plain. In Taiwan rice is thought of food to fill your belly, whereas in Japan they are very strict about the hardness, the flavor and the aroma of their many types of rice.
It was very delicious, so much so that I ate around 3 to 4 bowls of rice. It was chewier and smoother than other types of rice, and appearance-wise, you can see it reflecting the light much better than other rice. I think it would go really nice with the Singapore Chicken rice. The Niigata rice would absorb very well the garlic and the chicken broth, also the texture of this rice compared with the Thai rice that we use it’s more chewy and moist, so it would taste quite well in Singaporean dishes.
Cheryl Ng from Singapore
Sophit Wiboonwithayanan from Thailand
Japanese rice and Thai rice are quite different, Thai rice is a bit harder and has a strong aroma so it goes well with Thai curries but Japanese rice goes well with fish or any type of set meal, it’s very delicious. Niigata rice is the most delicious Japanese rice I have ever tasted, even it’s appearance is great as it seems to sparkle. I think Thai people like Japanese rice, but it is thought of as a luxury product because it’s expensive, so we only have it at Japanese restaurants.