ThinkRice: Buy freshly milled Japanese rice online!

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If you’ve ever been to Japan and had a hot steaming bowl of rice, you might have thought to yourself that it tastes somewhat different from the Japanese rice you get in Singapore. Although subtle, the difference in taste is attributed to the fact that most rice served in restaurants in Japan is still considered freshly milled. This is why even a simple tamago kake gohan (卵かけご飯, egg on rice) with some soy sauce can taste so good in Japan.

In Japan, rice sold in supermarkets is usually milled 2 to 3 weeks beforehand. Anything longer than a month and the stocks will be considered defect goods. The standard Japanese rice that can be bought in supermarkets here is milled in Japan, then shipped to Singapore. Taking into account shipping time of a month and the average consumer’s shopping patterns, the rice that eventually reaches one’s dinner table will be at least 2 – 6 months after milling.

And now, ThinkRice and Kubota Rice Industry are here to change that. For those of you who are looking to experience the same exquisite taste of Japanese rice found in Japan, look no further than ThinkRice.

Established in order to provide the best quality rice for the market, ThinkRice has chosen to only provide fresh and locally milled rice that is imported directly from Japan with special care. Their partner (Kubota) is Japan’s biggest farm machinery manufacturer who specialises in the import, milling and sale of Japanese rice. Together, they are the power duo who are able to deliver freshly milled rice straight to your doorstep!

Exactly how do they do this, and how fresh is fresh? WAttention Singapore had the chance to visit their factory to uncover their secret.

For those of you who, like me, think rice milling is a simple process, you are actually wrong! The rice milling plant used by Kubota is a sophisticated machine that processes and mills rice in seven steps.

Rice milling machine
Rice at different stages of milling

At the end of the process, the rice is bagged automatically depending on the variety and brand:

All of Thinkrice’s stock is milled within 3 to 14 days upon receiving orders on their webpage, so you can be rest assured that you are getting the freshest possible rice.

Right now you must be thinking ‘OK lah, so the rice is milled fresh, but does it really affect the taste THAT much?’ My answer to that is an unwavering “YES!”

I had the opportunity to bring home a small bag of Uonuma Koshihikari (魚沼コシヒカリ) for a taste-test, and I found that there were hardly any broken grains, unlike some of the other Japanese rice I’ve bought in supermarkets here.

The rice grains were clear and when cooked, glistened in my bowl. I ate it with some simple home-cooked dishes and was surprised at how fragrant the rice was. The grains also retained more moisture than I expected, and there was also an underlying sweetness to the rice that I hardly get to taste in Singapore, bringing back fond memories of the meals I had while studying in Tokyo.

If it’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s rice. And Rilakkuma.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Japanese rice fix at Thinkrice and don’t forget to share with us your favourite way to prepare it!

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