Does anybody know what type of rice is used at korean restaurants? I know it is definitely not the same as the Jasmine rice or chinese type rices I usually eat. It's like a short grain rice that's a cross between glutinous and regular rice. I love the texture and korean food isn't the same without it. I went to my local korean grocery store and there were a million brands and types and I had no idea which one to chooose
in restaurants in the US, i've often found it to be a medium-grained white rice, sometimes short grain. kokuho rose is super common, or Calrose, which i believe is a branded hybrid medium grain. it has about the same tactile properties as short grain rice, so its sticky, but the grains are longer than what i remember from korea, where the rice was short grain.
major brands like kokuho rose or nishiki are likely what you're eating in korean restaurants in the US. rhee bros. might be another likely culprit. kokuho rose and nishiki are also widely used in japanese and or sushi restaurants. there are many other brands, but i think what you're looking for is california grown short or medium grain rice. here in california i usually end shelling out a bit more for in-state grown "premium" rices usually marketed to japanese/japanese-american customers, though i am korean by heritage. its good rice, and totally appropriate for korean food. tamaki and tamanishiki are two of my favorites. but the bigger players, kokohu rose and nishiki, are excellent and cheaper.
I am a born and raised Korean and I happen to live in Southern California. Firstly, I have hard time finding real korean rice in Us based Korean market.what I mean by Korean rice is rice imported from Korea.It is packed fabuloiy and it always give the impression that it is from Korea. Read the enlglish label if there is one. All I could find in Korean grocery market is not real korean rice. It is Calrose grown up in California. I guess all variety of rice brand in Korean market is pretty much similar stock. Most Korean family uses Kukuho, Botan, and Nishiki. But anything labeled calrose will do for this purpose.
But Korean style rice is not about variety of rice. it is about the way of cooking and amount of water. I would like to let you know that many older generation in Korea used to eat this Calrose or similar rice. USA send a lot o food material from 1950s to 1970s. They send us wheat, sugar, corn and this rice. So I would like to tell you that it is not always about variety of rice, but art of cooking rice. Actually many people calls it art of cooking perfect rice. Many people does not master during their lifetime.. Personally, I have not mastered it yet. Many people would depend on rice cooker heavily but many food critics from Korean tell you that it is not the way to east delicious rice.
my recommendation is these: soak the rice few hour ( I am sometimes lazy , so I soak overnight) and use more water than when you cook jasmine rice. There is no rule about exact amount of water. We do trial and error many times over and get the hang of right amount. Personal preference varies very much. Most Korean love glutinous, sticky, and moist rice. But personally, I do not prefer it. I am happily settled for Chinese, Jasmine rice. I am not really partial to this sticky texture. it sometimes gives me indigestion. I am happily settle for vietnamese or Indian rice. Most of my Korean friend and family does not understand this preference.
But if you do not want this trouble and you are ready to spend money, rice cooker may be answer. Try to buy Korean rice cooker named cukcoo. But as I mentioned earlier, beware, it is not a way to eat delicious rice.