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Storing rice as brown rice and polishing before cooking

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Some restaurants store their rice as brown rice and polish it with a polishing machine before cooking it. This seems to be associated with making the best quality white rice but I don't see the advantage.

How can you store brown rice for one year without it going rancid?

What is the advantage over pre-polished rice?

If this really is the best way to make rice can someone help me understand the differences in cooking freshly polished rice and the system of storing it?

Is there a huge difference between consumer rice polishing machines?

Thank you.

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I do this...but it is more practical for me, cooking bento and dinners for a family daily, than it would be for a single person or DINK couple who eat lunch and dinner out often.

I don't even consider buying a year's rice at one time. It might be possible if you bought UNHUSKED rice, which keeps better than brown or UNMILLED rice. However, while a restaurant might be able to run a husking machine, I've never seen a household rice polisher that would deal with unhusked rather than simply brown rice (I got curious and checked when I got my polisher!).

I buy 30 kgs and have it delivered in 10kg bags. I keep 10 kg in my kitchen in a dispenser, and the remainder in a carton in my cool, north-facing entrance porch. I also avoid buying a large store of rice right at midsummer.

My motivations were 1) high price and deteriorating quality of supermarket rice, 2) reluctance to store large quantities of polished rice at home, and 3) desire to eat less highly polished rice without distressing my husband, who not only dislikes brown rice, but has trouble digesting it.

There are two types of household rice polisher - the type that cuts or chips off the skin, and the so-called pressure type that wears off the skin. The latter is considered to generate less heat and produce better rice.

I ordered the cheapest 30 kg amount of rice available, and was very surprised to find that it was better than any of the supermarket rice I had bought recently - the grains were evenly sized and translucent, none of the mixture of chalky broken and whole translucent grains I was getting sick of seeing. The cooked rice was shiny, fragrant, and stayed moist and resilient in lunchboxes, whereas cheap supermarket rice is sometimes chunky and crumbly even when fresh. Last year's rice harvest was not of good quality, so I'm not sure that will continue to be true this year. You could probably get 10 kg bags of rice over the internet that would be at least reasonable in price but also of reliable quality.

My machine is a Yamazen model no longer made. Cheap and efficient but I don't think you can really produce as much variation in the degree of polishing as the dial indicates. It is similar to this more expensive and apparently better Zojirushi rice polisher.

The bran is very attractive to insects and rodents, so you need to keep the unit fairly clean and dispose of the bran efficiently. You can use quite a lot of bran in making rice-bran pickles (and I could swear that the pickle bed did not go sour as easily with fresh bran freshly toasted) and small amounts in other dishes, but most of ours went into the compost heap. It makes excellent compost for the same reasons that whole wheat flour makes good sourdough starter - the outer skin and hulls of grains contain micro-organisms that aid fermentation. You do have to be careful not to add too much rice bran to the heap though.

Other household uses for bran - tied up in slightly loose-woven cloth and tossed in the bath, or used (also in bags) to polish/clean floors and other wood surfaces.

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thanks for the great reply Helen. I'm looking for information about polishers now online. Read quite a bit about "why" in Japanese today, starting to see the advantages.

p.s. I hope everyone is ok after the earthquake/tsunami today. I, of course, was cooking a the time. In Osaka there was just mild swaying for a few minutes.

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I don't polish my own rice but I do order it as brown rice online (I think its the same place Helen uses :smile: )and ask them to polish it. So I basically get it the day after it's polished and I can go through the 10kg bag in about 2 weeks, sometimes 3, so it stays quite fresh. It tastes much better than the supermarket stuff that could have been polished months before.

This place only sells it in shipments of 30kg but they'll divide it into 3-10kg bags so 2 neighbors and I share it.

Glad to hear that you're ok. We got shaken pretty badly here. I hope we hear from Helen soon she is quite a bit closer to the epicenter than I am.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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