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Feb 23, 2010 10:58 AM

where to buy organic long grain rice in the south bay


we are looking to switch to organic rice. besides Whole Foods, are there other stores or farmer's market around Mountain View/ Sunnyvale/ Palo Alto that carries bulk bag (i mean big, like 20-50lb , because we eat a lot of rice) organic long grain rice. both brown and white are fine.

short grain organic sushi rice from chinese/ japanese markets are a bit too sticky for our taste. we currently eat imported white jasmine rice from thailand so it has this fragrance that i have yet to find in rice from other sources, so rice type similar to it is preferred though not essential. Whole Foods I notice carry Lundberg but want to explore other sources as well if available.


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  1. Shopping at Lien Hing on Clement St in SF today, I noticed a floor display for a brand of organic rice called Chimes Garden. The organic brown long grain jasmine rice was 5 lbs for $10. I didn't see any larger package sizes.

    The distributor's website is . You might ask where it's sold in the South Bay and please let us know what you find out.

    P.S. Other rices were available, as well as organic mung beans and black eyed peas under this label.

    Edited to add: Recently I tried Lundberg long grain rice and was quite disappointed. A lot of broken grains and cooked unevenly. The first time I used the amount of water recommended on the package and ended up with a soggy mess. I used a third less the next time and still too wet.

    Lien Hing
    400 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

    10 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Trader Joe's has a wonderful organic brown Basmati rice. This is a sturdy grain that can be cooked casserole style for up to 90 minutes and not end up as a slushy mess.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        thanks. i called Roxy up and they said that most of the supermarkets should have it, like 99 ranch. although i don't recall seeing it in the rice section before. but it'd be nice to have this as another option.

        i haven't tried Lundberg yet since last time i posed the question. i ended up trying a couple of bags of organic basmati and jasmine from whole foods. don't see a brand name on the bag.

        the basmati is pretty fragrant and nice texture. the jasmine less fragrant. can hardly smell anything. the texture is also less attractive, to me. they both around $2.3 or so per pound i think.

        whole grain rice is trickier to cook. i followed the recommended amount of water once but its too much just like you mentioned. those recommendations perhaps is for some other type of container or for cooking to a risotto type of texture. i cook mine in a rice cooker and i usually add 20% more water compared to white rice. and they come out fine. if they taste hard, you may need to soak the rice for a few hours or overnight before cooking.

        1. re: ckshen

          i ended up buying a couple of bags of organic brown rice from 99. one is from Chimes Garden. the other was medium grain brown rice. they are ok. wife wasn't very impressed when she compared them against the WH basmati/ jasmine.

          someone on chowhound suggested a while ago that Costco carries some Lundberg (maybe short grain). I have to go check it out.

          1. re: ckshen

            Have you tried Massa's, 20 lb for $29. I see them at several farmers markets. It may not be long enough for you.

            1. re: wolfe

              I wrote Greg Massa back in March to ask about his rice. I vaguely recalled that he sells the rice at the ferry building and a few farmer's markets further north, but none in the south bay. so i didn't pursue at the time.

              but these few months after trying a few long grain brown rice, i found out that just being long grain doesn't guarantee flavor, so i am now ready to sample some medium grain ones.

              1. re: ckshen

                I really enjoy Massas but it is a shorter grain. For awhile they had it at Sigona's in Palo Alto, but haven't seen it recently. But they may be in more places now.

                1. re: jsaimd

                  I got a couple of 20lb bags of Massa's organic medium grain brown rice at the thursday Los Altos Farmer's Market. The taste is pretty nice, has a nutty flavor to it. The texture is closer to a short grain sushi rice than it is to a long grain rice in terms of stickiness. Soaking it overnight helps making the brown rice softer (this applies to all brown rice i have tried so far). I will buy it again. Given my personal affinity to long grain rice, I will probably mix in half long and half medium when cooking when I get my hands on some long grain, although just by itself the Massa rice is good. Perhaps I will try to make a risotto with the medium grain.

                  The Los Altos farmer's market are not going to be around for the rest of fall and winter so I am going to have to write to Massa again to find out where else they sell the rice in the south bay.

                  $30/bag at Los Altos.

                  1. re: ckshen

                    Thanks for the continuing series of your shopping finds. It's going to be helpful to many other.

            2. re: ckshen

              Tried the costco organic Lundberg short grain. it was not bad. i actually kinda like the flavor and texture even though i started the search looking for long grain. there is a mild aroma to it. its definitely better than the lundberg long grain that i have had before (not from costco, not very flavorful). the texture is more sticky, but not to the point of a typical sushi rice. the texture is more like a CA medium grain.

              it comes in 11 lb bags. i forgot the exact price. but its roughly $1.1-$1.4 per pound. since its organic, its a good bargain if you have the membership or can shop with someone who has.

              1. re: ckshen

                so after a few years of eating Lundberg medium grain brown from Costco, There was this 'arsenic' concern about 2 years ago about rice, and especially, brown medium grain rice. so I switched to

                Lundberg long grain basmati (25lb bag, $6x at WF, $4x at Rainbow)- i ate this for about a year or two after the report suggested that longer grain seems to absorb less arsenic.
                Fragrance= not much
                Texture= I couldn't eat this by itself. the grain almost felt like its disintegrating. had to mix in some quinoa to 'firm' it up.
                not comparable to Indian basmati or Thai jasmine.

                given WF where i usually go to raised the price to about $2.5/lb, Rainbow is far for me and I can't justify the price with the so-so quality, i am now on a renewed quest to find good organic long/ medium grain brown rice. and i tried a few more recently:

                Mogami organic long grain brown (99 Ranch, $7.99 for 5 lbs) from Thailand
                fragrance- non-existent
                texture- feels short grain rather than long, its a mushy mess that doesn't taste great

                Chimes organic brown jasmine (99 ranch, $10.99 for 5 lbs) from Thailand
                i tried this a few years back and found it so-so last time. This time i found it to be better. still not comparable to a typical top-notch white jasmine from Thailand but possibly a candidate into the regular rotation.
                Fragrance- there is a bit of pleasant rice fragrance when eating.
                Texture- fine

                24 Mantra Organic Brown Sona Masoori Rice - 11 lbs (at almost all Indian grocery stores, around $11.99?)
                Fragrance- quite pleasant grassy smell
                Texture- looks more like a short grain but tastes like a medium grain. it is fine.
                overall i found the Sona Masoori to be comparable to the Chimes Garden Jasmine, and cheaper

                Whole Foods 365 organic long grain brown basmati, 2 lbs
                Fragrance- non-existent
                Texture- not good
                in the last month WF pulled almost all of those 2 lb packaged rice from the shelves.

                off-topic- i was going to order some Lotus organic rice from the web. but the big online retailer suddenly had a overnight significant price hike to all different types, e.g. forbidden, madagascar, bhutan, etc. so i had less of an incentive to sample them for now.

          2. CK, I appreciate your updates on what you're finding out there. I'm wondering if you've checked Nijiya market in Mtn View. The chain prides itself on having more organic and healthy options, might be worth a look.

            Nijiya Market
            143 E El Camino Real Mountain, View, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Nijiya carries a range of brown rice with different milling ratios. If you find the typical short-grain rice too sticky, maybe the brown-rice version will be less sticky (tougher) and more to your taste?

              1. re: vincentlo

                Haven't had a chance to make it to Nijiya again yet. I remember I went about half a year ago and saw a selection short grain brown rice. Today I checked out Nijiya's web site and it seems like they carry three types of rice (at least on the web site)- Akitakomachi (short grain), Nijiya (medium grain) and Koshihikari (short grain). When I run out of rice at home, I will give the medium grain a try.