How Is Rice Grown? A Complete Guide

The first step in how to grow rice is to prep the rice fields or rice paddy. Rice is planted anywhere between February and May, as it requires constant irrigation all season long. Unlike other crops, rice grows in heavy clay and silt loam soils because they can retain water. It’s widely grown throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and the southern United States.

To prepare the field, farmers will level the ground with GPS or laser-guided grading equipment, which helps the farmers conserve water. Then, fertilizer is added, and a few weeks later, the field will be ready for planting.

Planting

While the fields are irrigated with consistent levels of water, rice seeds will be soaked and planted into the fields. Sometimes, planes that are flying at up to 100 miles per hour will shoot out seeds into the fields, and other times, they will be planted by a grain drill.

Growing

Rice plants will quickly grow up to three feet within a few months of being planted. Farmers will continue to flood their fields to maintain water retention, and also punch holes into the fields for even and efficient watering. The key here is to conserve water while maintaining constant levels of irrigation to keep the rice plants fed and thriving. After a few months, you will be able to see the rice plants show grains on top of the plant, which means that they are maturing and will be ready for harvest.

Harvest, Milling, and Storage

Once the rice is mature, the water from the field is drained and the plants get harvested. The plants are then moved to drying facilities to reduce moisture content, so they are ready to be stored and milled.

Once dried, the hull is removed, which results in brown rice. Then, further removing of the bran layers, or “polishing,” leaves the inner grain, which is white rice. White rice is often enriched with vitamins to replace some of the nutrients lost during milling.

The Best Way to Prep Rice: Rice Cookers

Using a rice cooker is the best way to cook your rice. It’s easy, and most importantly, it will always be cooked perfectly every single time. At Zojirushi, we have dedicated ourselves to the art of perfect rice for many decades, and test thousands of pounds of rice every year! Learn more about our rice cookers by viewing our selection.

Isn’t it an amazing journey that rice takes to make it all the way to our tables? We are thinking we should cook a batch and enjoy it with greater appreciation. Don’t forget to share how you like to enjoy rice by using #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! We would love to see all your tasty rice dishes.

A Guide to Different Types of Rice

You might be familiar with white and brown rice, and perhaps even a few others, but did you know there are thousands of types of rice found around all corners of the world? From basmati, wild, long-grain, and short-grain rice, there are countless families of rice that you can explore to broaden your culinary horizons. Today, we’ll be looking at the main families of rice that you should know about, as well as the types of rice you can cook in our Zojirushi rice cookers. So, are you ready to become a rice expert? Then, let’s get to it!

Rice Types
Though rice comes in many unique shapes, colors, and flavors, there are two main families of rice that you should familiarize yourself with: Indica and Japonica. Indica is long-grained and aromatic rice that grows near the equator, so you’ll see them in countries like India, Indonesia, Southern China, and Africa. Japonica rice is short to medium-grained, which, unlike Indica, has little to no aromas. They also tend to stick together, whereas Indica grains will remain separated. You can find this type of rice in East Asia, like Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam. Fun fact: Indica is more widely consumed than Japonica!

Here are some of the most popular rice varieties that we recommend you try if you haven’t already:

  1. Arborio Rice: This short to medium-grain rice from Italy has a high starch content and becomes firm yet creamy when cooked. They are often used for risottos and can be easily identified by their short and round grains.
  2. Basmati Rice: this rice is known for its pandan leaf-like aromatics and soft and fluffy texture.
  3. Black Rice: Commonly referred to as “forbidden rice,” this purple to black-hued rice boasts a wide range of health benefits and antioxidants. It has a mild nutty flavor and is harder to grow than other rice varieties.
  4. GABA rice: The brown rice version of sushi rice is “GABA,” which means that the rice has been germinated to increase its nutritional value. Look for this labeling on your rice if you are looking for this particular type of rice. Or if your Zojirushi rice cooker has the GABA brown rice setting you can use that instead of buying it!
  5. Jasmine Rice:this rice is widely consumed in Thailand and is beautifully aromatic. It is slightly shorter and plumper than Basmati.
  6. Sticky/Glutinous Rice: Also known as “sticky rice,” sweet rice has a sweeter flavor because of its higher starch content. As the name suggests, it also becomes very sticky when cooked. You cannot cook sweet rice like regular white rice and must use less water and controlled temperatures to get it to its ideal texture.
  7. Sushi rice: polished short to medium-grain Japanese rice that is highly desired for its stickiness and fluffiness. It is almost always consumed as a white rice variety.
  8. Wild Rice: Wild rice is long-grain rice native to North America and is almost always brown or black in color. It is high in nutritional value and has a distinctly earthy and smoky flavor when cooked.

How to Cook Rice in Your Zojirushi Rice Cooker

If you read this month’s Product of the Month blog, you’ll see that the Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NS-TSC10A/18A can cook up to five different rice categories (white/sushi, mixed, quick, long grain white, and brown). Now that you understand the difference between Indica and Japonica rice, can you guess why these different types of rice cooking settings matter? Here are some Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NS-TSC10A/18A settings, explained:

  • Mixed – though this setting doesn’t specify a type of rice, it is useful for cooking Takikomi-Gohan, a popular menu item in Japan. These “mixed rice” one-pot meals are made by adding seasonal ingredients and rice into the rice cooker and pressing start.
  • Long grain white – this rice setting will make sure that your long grain white rice is always loose and fluffy. You can also add a few seasonings to level it up like this “Buttered Lobster Rice” recipe.
  • Brown rice – we tested tons and tons of brown rice to carefully fine tune the cooking flow for this setting to ensure that the brown rice is always perfectly cooked. Here are some great and easy recipes that you’ll want to try with your brown rice.

To learn more about how to cook different types of rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker, take a look at our “Know Your Rice” guide. You can also find tips and tricks to cook perfect rice by visiting our “About Rice” page.
Do you learn anything about rice varieties today? Is there a new type of rice you’re looking forward to trying? Let us know on social media by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer NW-JEC10/18

Are you ready to meet the newest member of our Zojirushi lineup? Our highest quality pressure IH rice cooker to date is here – the Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer NW-JEC10/18. With up to 49 different customization settings, superior induction heating (IH) technology, our signature fuzzy logic smart rice cooking technology, and all made in Japan, this rice cooker truly cooks your rice your way. There are many more special features that we are excited to show you on this Zojirushi rice cooker, so let’s get to it!

A Quick Look

NW-JEC10/18 is available in two sizes: 5.5 cups and 10 cups

The Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer comes in a sleek “Silky Black” color with a large easy-to-read, orange LCD control panel located right on top. Available in two sizes, 5.5 cups or 10 cups, this versatile rice cooker also features a detachable inner lid with an integrated steam vent that makes the cleaning process simple and hassle-free.

As always, all surfaces that come into contact with food are BPA-free, and the iron coated and platinum infused nonstick inner cooking pan changes the water quality for sweeter-tasting rice and provides even heating.

Don’t forget the accessories! Cook your rice perfectly every time with the dedicated rice measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker and fluff your rice with joy with the included self-standing spatula.

Iron coated and platinum infused nonstick coated inner pan, self-standing spatula, and rice measuring cup.

The Technology

We know that this is a pretty-looking appliance on the outside, but it’s really what’s on the inside that counts. Here’s a look at the technology that truly makes this rice cooker stand apart from the rest:

  • Pressurized Cooking: The simultaneous pressurized cooking and steaming infuses the sweetness back to each grain during the cooking process and produces sticky and plump rice. No need to worry about dry or overcooked rice – ever. The multiple fail-safe measures guarantee safe pressure cooking. And the sensors make sure that all parts are set up properly before starting to cook.

Strong convection brings out the sweetness of the rice.

  • New Premium Convection: Combining high heat with high pressure creates strong convection that stirs the rice while it cooks, enhancing the sweetness and delicious flavor of the rice.
  • Artificial Intelligence: We designed this Zojirushi rice cooker with our signature advanced fuzzy logic technology with AI, which intelligently adjusts the cooking cycle to cook rice to perfection regardless of season or ambient temperature. There is also a self-cleaning function that keeps the rice cooker clean and prevents any unpleasant odors from lingering over time, keeping this rice cooker good as new for years.

Just input how the rice turned out (firmness and stickiness), the rice cooker will make small changes to the cooking flow until it gets to the way you like it

  • Multi-menu Cooking Functions: This appliance comes packed with settings that allow you to cook different types of rice. The new “My Rice (49 Ways)” menu setting makes small changes to the cooking cycle based on your feedback on the firmness and stickiness of white rice. But that’s not all! This appliance includes umami, mixed, sushi, Jasmine, porridge, congee, brown, GABA brown, steel cut oatmeal, quick white, and quick Jasmine menu settings.

 To see this rice cooker in action, make sure to watch the product video for more info. You can find plenty of rice recipes on our website as well, on zojirushi.com.

What is your favorite feature on the new Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer NW-JEC10/18? Be sure to share your thoughts with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

You Love Your Rice Cooker. Now, Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Rice.

Zojirushi has been making rice cookers for nearly 40 years, so we like to consider ourselves experts in the field. Therefore, we test our products with the most modern technology to ensure that our appliances can make the best quality cooked rice every single time. For example, our new Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18 is equipped with a special umami setting that features technology that soaks and steams your rice for longer, which results in an enhanced rice flavor. This is in addition to our signature Fuzzy logic technology, which can cook a variety of different grains to perfection. 

But, did you know that rice is the most important human food crop in the world, feeding more than half of the world’s population? In Japan, rice symbolizes blessing and joy and is a staple for every meal in every household. Not only are rice crops a staple in Asian countries, but the gluten-free grain is essential in cuisines from Africa to Latin America. Today, in honor of our love of rice, we will be exploring the history of rice, where rice comes from, and other ways that the rice plant contributes to human culture worldwide.

What is Rice?

In simple terms, rice is an edible starchy cereal grain produced from a grass plant. Specifically, the grass species or rice plant that rice comes from is called Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). There are many other rice species within these classifications, such as Japonica, Indica, Aromatic, and Glutinous. Overall, it is estimated that there are up to 40,000 different types of Oryza sativa all over the world. 

 

Where Did Rice Originate From?

The oldest rice species is thought to have originated about 14 million years ago in what is now the Philippines. Over time, this species became cultivated by humans, and the rice plant evolved to produce rice grains that were more palatable to the human taste. Asian rice was first domesticated in China between 8,200 and 13,500 years ago and then spread to other parts of the world. 

Where is Rice Grown?

 

Because rice is a resilient plant that can grow in various wet or dry climates and withstand extreme weather conditions, it can essentially be grown anywhere in the world (except for Antarctica). There are more than 144 million rice farms worldwide, ranging from Asia, West Africa, the Middle East, and South America. The Oryza sativa can be grown worldwide, while the Oryza glaberrima is grown in West Africa. In 2017, China produced the most paddy rice in the world, clocking in at 210.3 million metric tons. India had the largest harvest area of rice in the 2017-2018 season, coming in at 43.78 million hectares of farmland. 

 

Global Rice Consumption

 

Rice is most widely consumed in Asia, providing up to 50% of the dietary caloric supply for millions in the region. However, we are seeing other countries in Latin America and Africa adopting rice as an increasingly important part of their diets as well. According to recent studies, rice consumption around the world is expected to grow steadily at 1.1% per year until 2025. Thanks to rice, we are able to fill hungry stomachs around the world and even use every part of the rice plant to build houses, make clothing, or even make rice-based beauty products. At Zojirushi, rice is a way of life, which we celebrate daily in our commitment to making the best rice cooking appliances.

 

Did you learn something new about rice today? What is your favorite type of rice, and how do you like to prepare it? Let us know if you have any more rice trivia by tagging Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

 

 

 

Product Inspirations –
Automatic Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-RPC10/18)

You know about our microcomputer-controlled rice cookers, but did you also know that we have a great line of conventional rice cookers, too?

Our new Automatic Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-RPC10/18) adds style, ease and function to any kitchen – with great features and amazing ease of use.

This rice cooker comes in two capacities, either 5.5 cups or 10 cups, which are ideal for making small to large batches of rice. It also comes in two lovely finishes – Tulip and Metallic Gray – that coordinate with almost any kitchen decor.

The rice cooker is simple to use. It features a one-touch operation that starts cooking rice immediately. Simply wash the rice and presoak it for the desired amount of time, and then push on the switch to activate the rice cooker.

The triple heater is built into the bottom, side and lid of the rice cooker, and generates uniform heat all around the nonstick inner cooking pan, cooking the rice at an ideal temperature so that it’s fluffy when done. Once the water in the inner cooking pan is absorbed by the rice, the rice cooker switches to Keep Warm mode, indicated with an illuminated light, keeping the hot rice tasting fresh.

The best white rice is easy to make in this rice cooker. And that white rice can be used to make delicious dishes like Crisp Grilled Yaki-Onigiri and Hawaiian Loco Moco.

Along with its simplicity, this Automatic Rice Cooker features a convenient body style. The lid comes with a streamlined handle and can be opened with the push of a button. The hinge on the lid allows for convenient serving, and when closed, the lid snaps tight. The rice cooker features a dew collector, which traps condensation that collects when the lid is opened.

As with all of our products, cleaning and maintenance are simple. The inner lid and dew collector, as well as the nonstick coated inner cooking pan, can be removed and washed with mild detergent and warm water.

The unit comes with a detachable power cord, and accessories including a rice measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder. And these accessories make preparing rice super easy! Check out the steps to making great Japanese rice on our rice cooking tip page, and don’t forget to share how you make your rice at home. Just leave a comment below with your favorite tips!