Japanese New Texture Rice “Yukiwakamaru” Characteristics and cooking tips
What is the “new texture” of “Yukiwakamaru (雪若丸)” rice like?
“Yukiwakamaru” rice is said to have a “new texture” with both a firm grain texture and stickiness.
“Yukiwakamaru” is a new rice that just debuted in 2018. It has been highly acclaimed, receiving an “Extra A” ranking in the “Rice Taste Ranking”. Let’s check out the characteristics of “Yukiwakamaru”!
This article is about
- What are the characteristics of “Yukiwakamaru”?
- Is “Yukiwakamaru” tasty?
- What’s the best way to eat “Yukiwakamaru”?
- What is the point of cooking “Yukiwakamaru”?
- Why is it called “Yukiwakamaru”?
Main production areas
“Yukiwakamaru” is a brand of rice produced in Yamagata Prefecture.
Yamagata Prefecture is a famous rice-producing region with the Shonai Plain. It is also a snowy prefecture, with abundant spring water rich in natural minerals from the snow that falls in the mountains during the winter.
The climate, with its hot summers and cold winters, is ideal for rice cultivation, and the rich soil also contributes to the production of delicious rice.
“Yukiwakamaru” is a rice that just debuted in 2018. The development of “Yukiwakamaru” started in 2003, and it took 15 years of trial and error.
It is a hybrid of “Yamagata No. 80” and “Yamagata No. 90,” and is resistant to rice downfall, high temperatures, and rice blast disease.
Origin of the name
“Yuki” refers to snow in Japanese. “Yukiwakamaru” is a name that symbolizes the snow country of Yamagata.
The name was chosen to evoke the image of “snow” because of the outstanding whiteness and glossy appearance of the rice, which is as beautiful as snow. The masculine name of “wakamaru” was chosen because of its firm grain texture and masculine appearance, and because it is the younger brother of “Tsuyahime,” which made its debut in Yamagata Prefecture earlier.
“Yukiwakamaru” is said to have the following characteristics
- The grains are large
- Outstanding whiteness and glossy appearance
- The grains are well formed and each grain has elasticity
- Light and elegant taste
- Moderate stickiness
- It does not become hard even if it cools down
The outstanding whiteness and glossy appearance of the rice are similar to the characteristics of “Tsuyahime,” the sister rice of “Yukiwakamaru“. It is also said to have a “new texture” with a firm grain texture and moderate stickiness.
Received an “Extra A” rating in the “Rice Taste Ranking”
“Yukiwakamaru” is a new rice variety that has received an “Extra A” in the “Rice Taste Ranking” published by the Japan Grain Inspection Association.
The production areas and years in which the rice received Extra A are as follows
- Murayama: 2018 and 2019
- Okitama: 2019
- Mogami: 2018
It is said to have a better eating quality than “Haenuki,” which has been awarded “Extra A” in the “Rice Taste Ranking” for 15 consecutive years.
What is “Rice Taste Ranking”?
“Rice Taste Ranking” has been conducted annually since 1971. In the test, a blend of Koshihikari rice from multiple production areas was used as the reference rice and compared to the variety from the area under the test.
The rice is evaluated as follows: “A'” for rice that is generally equivalent, “extra A” for rice that is particularly better than the standard, “A” for rice that is good, “B” for rice that is slightly inferior, and “B The results are compiled and published as a taste ranking every year.
A delicious way to eat
“Yukiwakamaru” is an elastic rice with a light flavor.
It goes well with rice bowls, meat dishes, omelet rice, paella, etc. Also, curry is recommended. The firm and chewy texture enhance the flavor of the curry. They do not dissolve in the curry and can be enjoyed in soup curries as well.
Its firm texture is also suitable for onigiri (rice balls) and bento boxes.
(1) Don’t rinse too hard
Rice polishing technology has improved, so there is no need to rinse rice hard.
If the rice is rinsed too hard, it may crack or shatter, so lightly rub the rice against each other. Change the water about 2 to 3 times. If the water is changed so much that it becomes clear, the flavor of the rice will be lost.
(2) Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes
Soak rice in water thoroughly before cooking. The standard is 30 minutes in summer and 60 minutes in winter.
(3) Add ice before cook rice
Rice tastes better when it takes as long as possible to boil.
Therefore, adding ice before cooking rice will result in tasty rice. Please reduce the amount of water for the ice.
The market price
The approximate price of “Yukiwakamaru” is as follows in Japan.
- 2 kg (4.4 lbs): 1,700 – 2,000 yen
- 5 kg (11 lbs): 2,500 – 3,500 yen
- 10 kg (22 lbs): 4,500 – 5,000 yen
- “Yukiwakamaru” rice has a new texture with a firm grain texture and moderate stickiness
- Curry rice is recommended
- Prices range from 2,500 – 3,500 yen for 5 kg (11 lbs) to 4,500 – 5,000 yen for 10 kg (22 lbs)
I hope you try the rice and enjoy the texture!