Koshihikari: Heirloom Rice
Koshihikari is an heirloom variety of rice from Japan that originated in the 1920s. Popular as a sushi rice, the flavour and texture of Koshihikari lends itself to many dishes and it’s fantastic in risotto, paella or simple served as a side. The Randall family in NSW are one of just a handful of Australian farmers who are growing Koshihikari organically.Content information
- Oct 06, 2016
Peter Randall had a dream to grow and sell his own organic rice for over 10 years before it finally came to fruition in 2011. His commitment and hard work was honoured this year when his semi-brown Koshihikari rice won a 2016 delicious State Produce Award – it’s flavour and texture blowing away the judges. ‘The taste of the Koshihikari is so good that it can stand alone by itself, as well as being used in dishes,’ says Pete. ‘It also has a lower GI than most other rice’s including Arborio.’
Famous as being Japan’s favourite rice, the heirloom variety is relatively new to Australia and was introduced in the 1980s. ‘It’s well suited to organic farming as it’s tall growing, so it can compete with weeds. Most of the rice grown in Australia is from new dwarf varieties, which are bred to depend on herbicides and fertilisers to perform,’ says Pete.
The majority or rice produced in Australia is pooled into ‘one basket’ of rice and sold through a large cooperative, which dominates the supermarket aisle. Peter is unique in that some of his rice is sold directly to the customer. This ensures that the flavour profile of the rice – which is heavily influenced by the region it’s grown in – is maintained.
Once harvested Peter strives to retain as much of the nutritional value of his rice as possible. ‘White rice usually has around 99.9 per cent of the bran removed. We’re much gentler with our mill; we leave on 30-50 per cent of the bran with our semi-brown rice. Also our rice is fresh because we mill every week just in time for orders. The conventional rice that comes from the large companies has usually been sitting on the shelf for 6-12 months and they fumigate it before they package it to stop the weevils.’
How to cook Koshihikari?
To cook plain rice we recommend rinsing with water prior to cooking. Then cook using the absorption method and use 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice for moist rice. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes.
For brown rice cook for 25-35 minutes and use approx. 2 ½ cups of water to 1 cup rice.
By Koshihikari now from Randall Organic Rice