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Sep 22, 2008 03:28 PM

Green Rice - what is it? why is it?

I was at one of the larger asian grocery stores here in Honolulu the other day (Don Quijote - yes, i know...that's how they spell it) and they had these jars of green rice. All the writing was japanese, so I have no idea what is was, what is is used for. I don't know if it is soaked in something to turn it green... but I'm sure curious. If anyone has any answers I'd love to hear them. A quick google search turned up nothing.

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  1. If it was a short grain rice and was a bright grassy green, it was probably Bamboo rice - which is rice that has been "infused" with bamboo juice - it looks great, has a little bit of green tea flavor. Supposedly it's good for sushi too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: harryharry

      I was going to guess green tea infused rice with a green tea flavor.

      1. re: harryharry

        Yep, exactly what it is and a great description.

        One brand is Jade Pearl rice. Here's my previous post about it.

        It is supposed to be slightly more nutricious with some health benefits.

        What I do like so much about the rice is the texture which is a little sticky yet light and fluffy. It holds together nicely, so if using it for a molded rice salad it would keep its shape.

        I am hooked on it. I guess it is the color I like. It does fade a bit after cooking but still is pretty. I use pink beans to make my own version of red beans and rice ... well, pink beans and green rice. Nice with a fried egg on top.

        Also I've done spoonfuls of red, green, and black rice with an entree. Looks good.

        I buy this rice regularily now and more than other type.

        1. re: rworange

          thanks folks, i tried doing a chow search, but this isn't the right forum for that thread. I'll have to give it a try, wonder how the price compares between Whole Foods (if they have it) and the asian grocery.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            I don't remember the exact price, but the store I buy it from the bulk bins charges about twice the price of other rices. When it first came out it was three times the price. Haven't seen it at my local Whole Foods.

      2. Can you buy this in LA? I've never seen this at local Japanese and Asian markets.

        1 Reply
        1. re: roadfix

          Try Surfas in Culver City. I got a small container of it from there. I've yet to go hopping to all the various markets to find it. 99 Ranch Market off of Sepulveda doesn't have it. I'm going to check out the A1 Market off of Sunset in Echo Park.

        2. I found it at Whole Foods here in Marietta, Georgia. I bought a bag but have yet to try it. I have a rice cooker so I'll probably make some this week. The folks at Lotus Foods suggest using this rice as a side dish and not as a main. Whether that is because it has enough flavor to stand on its own or because of the guilt felt at charging what they do for it is still a mystery right now. The prices vary WIDELY depending on whose brand you buy. Lotus Foods brand was about $4 for a 15 oz bag whereas Nirmala’s Kitchen or iGourmet will charge you $13 for the same amount.

          One thing that really surprised me was seeing it in my favorite Asian Grocer for $13 for a jar containing 15 oz. This across an aisle from a pallet of rice bags that go for $17.99-$24.99 for a 50 lb bag. Asians are VERY frugal when it comes to buying any kind of rice. They won't buy it at American grocery stores if they can help it and I only buy my bulk rices at this Korean place for the same reason. No one else can touch those bulk amount prices.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cremon

            The only things to consider if using it as a main
            - is the texture right for the dish
            - would the very subtle flavor throw off the taste of any dish
            - even tho it fades, would the color be wrong for the dish

            After you cook it plain, you can decide how it might work for you.

            I like it mainly for the color in the glass jar when I store it. I always have some on hand. Still $13 is highway robbery. Even $4 is pushing it.

            1. re: rworange

              The color and texture are impressive and would go with most dishes. You get some high quality grains of rice with this dish and they cook up separate which is odd for a short grain rice. And I agree with you - for a decoration, this rice is worth the $4.

              I cooked the rice for my wife and I, our 3 children and my in laws. The 15 oz bag gave me 3 japanese cups of rice for my Zojirushi and provided enough rice for everyone to have some as the main served with short ribs. It was not a rip off for $4 but the flavor was light enough to make me wonder if my $30 per 50 lb bag of new crop California grown japanese short grain would have been just as good with the ribs.

              Though the green color was rather novel. My conclusion was that I would do it again for that price.

          2. I finally cooked my green rice. It smelled like bamboo the whole time I steamed it in my Zojirushi. We cooked peking style short ribs to have with it (which were awesome) and it did taste good, but the flavor is very subtle. I tasted green tea and not a lot of bamboo. The rice they use is a short grain but every rice grain cooked up separate which you ordinarily only see in parboiled rices. The texture was excellent. I don't know if I'll buy or use it often but I would definitely get it again. I am used to paying $36 for a 50 lb bag of Japanese short grain or Thai Jasmine rice so this stuff is pricey.

            One thing I learned - do NOT rinse this rice before you cook it or you'll rinse away all the infused flavors. Just measure the rice and put it in your steamer - add filtered water, close the cooker and start it.