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Japanese Cuisine Series Part Two: Rice

Rice is so important in Japan that it has been called the entire essence of it's culture. What many consider some of the most beautiful components of Japanese social behavior, harmony and consciousness of others, derives from the early days of wet rice cultivation. Even the Emperor ordained with priestly functions must grow rice and create sake and a kind of mochi to honor rice as sacred symbol.

 a white plate topped with meat and vegetables

Japanese sushi chefs see rice as the most critical component in the art of making sushi. Have you ever been in a Japanese restaurant that will charge you for left over rice? It's nothing personal. It's just in the hopes of getting other cultures to honor it too. Rice is something American's and other's take for granted in many respects. So, we thought we would visually reveal the manner in which it's cooked and why it's so important as well as why it's so delicious!

a white plate topped with different types of food

It's particularly important to note that Japanese chefs make their sushi or "shari" rice as a way to stay in touch to it's rich history and honor the hard-work of the elders. The handling of the rice, the washing, the drying, soaking, cooking-it's all a ritual that requires precision and care. It's a kind of meditation for Japanese sushi chefs and we hope you will see it as the same after watching this video.