• Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK 2021 (Nishiki, Yumenishiki, and More)

Did you know that rice is the staple food of more than half of the global population? Japanese rice, which generally is short to medium grain with a slightly sticky texture, is incredibly popular all over the world. It can be used in savoury recipes like sushi and onigiri (rice balls), as well as being served alongside tofu or fish as a main meal.


If you want to recreate Japanese cuisine at home, you'll need the right type of rice. That's why we're here to help you select the best product, with recommendations from top brands like Nishiki, Yutaka, and Yumenishiki. Whether you'll be using a rice cooker, a microwave, or simply a saucepan, we'll help you prepare the perfect bowl with ease!

  • Last updated: 26-03-2021
  • 2,913 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose Japanese Rice in the UK - Buying Guide

There are many different varieties of Japanese rice, with each suited to different purposes - from simple white rice to accompany a delicious plate of curry to sticky grains designed for sushi. Plus, they can be prepared in a number of ways.

Which Japanese Dishes Do You Want to Make? Picking the Right Type of Rice for a Recipe

There are lots of dishes in Japanese cuisine that centre around rice - it is, after all, the nation’s staple food! However, before popping a packet into your shopping basket, you'll need to decide which dish you want to make and which type of rice will work best for your desired recipe.

Delicious Koshihikari Works in Most Savoury Dishes

Delicious Koshihikari Works in Most Savoury Dishes

Koshihikari rice is a short to medium grain rice that's probably the most popular and widely available variety. It's a general purpose rice that typically forms the bulk of main meals such as gyudon (beef bowl) and omuraisu (omlette with rice), but it can be used for making sushi and onigiri too.


Gloriously fluffy and sticky, with a slightly nutty taste, it’s no wonder this variety is the number one type of Japanese rice on the market!

Planning to Make Sushi? Go for Short-Grain Akitakomachi

Planning to Make Sushi? Go for Short-Grain Akitakomachi
Akitakomachi is a short-grain rice that clumps together together really well, making it perfect for sushi and onigiri. For this reason, it's often called sushi rice on packaging, which helps you spot it easily when shopping. 

So, if you want to try your hand at making sushi, it’s definitely worth investing in a bag of akitakomachi to get the authentic texture and flavour!

Genmai Brown Rice Offers Superior Nutritional Benefits

Genmai Brown Rice Offers Superior Nutritional Benefits

Although genmai rice trails behind other varieties in terms of popularity, its superior nutritional benefits shouldn’t be overlooked. It contains more fibre and protein than white rice, and when sprouted it offers even more nutritional bang for your buck! It's great as an accompaniment to a healthy dinner like grilled fish or baked tofu.


The slightly nutty, wholesome flavour of genmai won’t appeal to everyone; for those who are serious about making a nutritious meal though, it's an excellent choice.

Opt for Formats That Will Make Meal Preparation Easier

Life gets busy sometimes and finding a way to get meals on the table quicker can take the stress out of cooking - and save on takeaway bills! These days, as well as polished rice in bags, you can also buy microwavable, quick-cook, and even no-wash packets.

Microwaveable Instant Rice Is Ready in a Jiffy

Microwaveable Instant Rice Is Ready in a Jiffy

When you get home from a long day at work and need feeding fast, the last thing you feel like doing is slaving over a hot stove trying to get a pan of rice to boil.


Instead, why not try a pre-measured, microwavable pouch? Pop one of these into the microwave and you'll be enjoying a delicious Japanese meal in minutes!

Quick-Cook Rice Saves on Time Spent in the Kitchen

Quick-Cook Rice Saves on Time Spent in the Kitchen

Most rice is processed in some way, usually through milling, in order to get to the edible heart of the grain. Quick-cook rice benefits from a bit of extra processing - it's been rinsed, cooked, and then dehydrated. 


This means that as you’re essentially just rehydrating and warming up the rice, you'll save a lot of cooking time!

No-Wash Rice Saves Both Time and Water

No-Wash Rice Saves Both Time and Water

Washing your rice is an important step before cooking, as it removes any dirt as well as the starchy top layer on the grains. However, thanks to new milling techniques that are available, it's possible to purchase musenmai (no-wash) rice that doesn’t require rinsing.


This not only saves water but it's a small way to shave a few minutes off your meal prep time - every second counts when you're hungry!

The Origin of Your Rice Affects Its Flavour and Quality

While most varieties of Japanese rice originate from Japan and much of the expertise in growing these varieties of rice is maintained there, they're cultivated in other countries too. Japanese rice grown in countries such as the USA and Italy is more readily available and cheaper, but can vary in quality.

For Truly Authentic Cuisine, Choose Japanese-Grown Varieties

For Truly Authentic Cuisine, Choose Japanese-Grown Varieties

Japan prides itself on its rice-growing heritage and with good reason - having developed different varieties over generations, no-one knows these grains quite like Japanese rice farmers! In fact, different regions within the country are famous for specific varieties of rice, with Niigata prefecture being generally regarded as producing the best-tasting koshihikari.


As a result, Japanese-grown rice tends to be more expensive and many varieties can be difficult to get hold of in the UK. Still, if you want to make authentic Japanese cuisine at home, it's worth splashing out in order to get a premium product.

You Can't Beat Rice Grown in the USA for Affordability

You Can't Beat Rice Grown in the USA for Affordability

With the rise in popularity of Japanese rice, growers in the USA cultivate products for both domestic use and export. Most USA-produced rice is grown in California, where the weather conditions ensure good-quality grains.


Rice from the USA is readily available and an affordable option, so it's a great choice for those on a budget. However, the quality is unfortunately (and understandably) not as high as that of rice grown in Japan.

Italian-Grown Rice Is High-Quality and Readily Available

Italian-Grown Rice Is High-Quality and Readily Available

Italy has expertise in growing the short-grain rice varieties used in risotto and other Italian national dishes, so naturally it produces excellent quality Japanese rice.


With a much shorter distance than Japan or the USA to transport rice to the UK market, Italian-grown grains are both cheaper and more readily available to British consumers. In fact, some of the leading brands of Japanese rice in the UK are actually those from Italy!

Select a Packet Size Based on Your Household’s Rice Consumption

Select a Packet Size Based on Your Household’s Rice Consumption

Depending on your needs, you can buy Japanese rice in a range of quantities, from one-portion pouches to huge catering sacks. If you have a small household or don’t eat rice very often then a 500g or 1kg bag is likely to suit you best. 


However, if you eat rice regularly then a 2kg, 5kg or even 10kg bag will be a more cost-effective purchase in the long run. Those new to Japanese rice might want to start off with something smaller though, in order to decide which brand they prefer!

Top 10 Best Japanese Rice in the UK

There are so many different varieties and brands of Japanese rice available that it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. Fortunately, we've rounded up the top 10 tastiest packets available in the UK, just for you!

10

Toyo RiceKinmemai Microwaveable Milled Hull Brown Rice

Pack of 3

£12.95

VarietyGenmai
Suitable ForMain meals
FormatMicrowavable
Country of OriginJapan
Packet Size450 g x 3
9

I-SushiPremium Sushi Rice

£18.25

VarietyAkitakomachi
Suitable ForSushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginItaly
Packet Size10 kg
8
Variety-
Suitable ForSushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginItaly
Packet Size500 g
7

NishikiQuick Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice

£35.99

VarietyGenmai
Suitable ForMain meal, sushi, onigiri
FormatQuick-cook grains
Country of OriginUSA
Packet Size6.8 kg
6
VarietySelenio
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginItaly
Packet Size500 g
5

Maruchan Attaka Gohan Microwaveable Rice

Pack of 3

£6.99

VarietyKoshihikari
Suitable ForSushi
FormatMicrowaveable
Country of Origin-
Packet Size600 g x 3
4
VarietyKoshihikari
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginJapan
Packet Size1 kg
3
Variety-
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiri
FormatMusenmai
Country of OriginUSA
Packet Size1 kg
2

YumenishikiSuper Premium Short-Grain Rice

£4.25

VarietyKoshihikari
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginItaly
Packet Size1 kg
1

ShinmeiAkafuji Koshihikari Rice - Uonuma

£18.95

VarietyKoshihikari
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiri
FormatStandard polished grains
Country of OriginJapan
Packet Size2 kg

Compare the Best Japanese Rice

Image
1
Shinmei Akafuji Koshihikari Rice - Uonuma 1

Shinmei

2
Yumenishiki Super Premium Short-Grain Rice 1

Yumenishiki

3
Nishiki Nishiki Rice 1

Nishiki

4
Shinmei Koshihikari Rice - Toyama 1

Shinmei

5
Maruchan Attaka Gohan  Microwaveable Rice  1

Maruchan Attaka Gohan

6
Clearspring Organic Brown Sushi Rice 1

Clearspring

7
Nishiki Quick Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice 1

Nishiki

8
Yutaka Sushi Rice 1

Yutaka

9
I-Sushi Premium Sushi Rice 1

I-Sushi

10
Toyo Rice Kinmemai Microwaveable Milled Hull Brown Rice 1

Toyo Rice

Name

Akafuji Koshihikari Rice - Uonuma

Super Premium Short-Grain Rice

Nishiki Rice

Koshihikari Rice - Toyama

Microwaveable Rice

Organic Brown Sushi Rice

Quick Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice

Sushi Rice

Premium Sushi Rice

Kinmemai Microwaveable Milled Hull Brown Rice

Features

A Premium Product From the Japanese Rice Capital

Grown in Italy Using Traditional Japanese Methods

An Affordable Pack of No-Wash Rice

Versatile and Slightly on the Sweet Side

The Secret to Speedy Homemade Sushi

Perfect for Preparing Healthy Dinners

Nutritious and Deliciously Nutty

Designed Especially for Sushi-Making

A Bulk Bag of Premium-Grade Grains

Convenient and Packed With Health Benefits

Price£18.95£4.25£4.99£8.94£6.99£2.89£35.99£2.29£18.25£12.95
VarietyKoshihikariKoshihikari -Koshihikari KoshihikariSelenioGenmai-AkitakomachiGenmai
Suitable ForMain meals, sushi, onigiriMain meals, sushi, onigiriMain meals, sushi, onigiriMain meals, sushi, onigiri SushiMain meals, sushi, onigiriMain meal, sushi, onigiriSushi, onigiriSushi, onigiriMain meals
FormatStandard polished grainsStandard polished grainsMusenmaiStandard polished grainsMicrowaveableStandard polished grainsQuick-cook grainsStandard polished grainsStandard polished grainsMicrowavable
Country of OriginJapanItalyUSAJapan-ItalyUSAItalyItalyJapan
Packet Size2 kg1 kg1 kg1 kg600 g x 3500 g6.8 kg500 g10 kg450 g x 3
Link

How to Make Perfect Japanese Rice Every Time

How to Make Perfect Japanese Rice Every Time

There are so many different ways to make rice, but getting it right without a rice cooker can be tricky! Ensuring that each grain is fluffy and slightly chewy without being soggy is no easy feat. So, how can you make the perfect Japanese rice with just a saucepan?


The first important step is to measure out your rice. Measuring by volume makes it easier to add the right amount of water, so it's a great idea to use cups. For the average adult, roughly one cup of uncooked rice per person is ideal.

How to Make Perfect Japanese Rice Every Time

Next, you'll need to wash your rice. Place the uncooked grains in a saucepan and add water up to about an inch above the rice. Swirl the rice and water with your fingers until the water gets cloudy, then drain the rice using a colander or sieve. Repeat this step twice more or until the water runs clear.


Add one cup of water for each cup of rice, then place the saucepan on the stove over a high heat. Leave the pan uncovered until the water starts to boil, then put the lid on and turn the heat down to simmer. Let it cook for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat, leaving it to sit for 15 minutes with the lid on - no peeking! Finally, take the lid off and use a spatula or a large spoon to fluff up the rice before serving. 

Stock Up on More East Asian Goodies

Stock Up on More East Asian Goodies

If you're feeling inspired to try making more East Asian dishes at home, why not have a look at some of our other food-related articles? Purchase some of these delicious goodies and you'll be cooking up a storm in no time!

Summary

Since choosing the best Japanese rice can be a daunting task when there are so many varieties on offer, we hope our guide has helped you learn more about these delicious grains. Whether you plan to make sushi or a simple bowl of fluffy goodness to accompany your main meal, enjoy your Japanese cooking journey!

Author: Sonata Winchester

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