Chefs in Japan Get Creative with U.S. Medium Grain

Aug 31, 2016
First place: Image of Hiyajuri
Japan-Medium-Grain-Cooking-Contest,-Restaurant-1st-Prize
TOKYO, JAPAN – The marriage of U.S. medium grain rice with Japanese cuisine was the theme of the fourth annual U.S. medium grain professional rice cooking contest held here earlier this month.  Fourteen finalists prepared both hot and cold dishes for the contest and competed for top honors in two categories - Restaurant and Deli.  

In the Restaurant category, first place was awarded to “U.S. Medium Grain Soup, Image of Hiyajiru,” a refreshing cold miso soup gelee.  Second prize went to a Chinese cuisine-inspired entry, “Stuffed Chicken Wingtip with Spicy U.S. Medium Grain Rice,” featuring a fried chicken wingtip stuffed with U.S. medium grain atop a base layer of crispy-textured spicy rice.

“Recipe contests like this are designed to familiarize the Japanese foodservice industry with the attributes of U.S. medium grain,” said USA Rice Vice President of International Promotion Jim Guinn, who attended the event.  “At the same time, USA Rice is learning about new and creative uses of U.S. rice in Japanese menus.”

New to this year’s contest was the Deli category.  The first place prize winner was “Stew Pot Pie of Salmon and U.S. Medium Grain,” an easy prep recipe that can be prepared at home.  Second prize in the Deli category went to “Sardine Confit and U.S. Medium Grain, Yuba Roll of Crabmeat Tomato Risotto.”  In this dish, U.S. medium grain serves as a base for a combination of risotto, crab meat, and tomatoes wrapped in Yuba (bean curd skin).

Guinn noted, “This is the first year for the “Deli” category in this contest and gave us insight into how a different segment of the Japanese foodservice industry evaluates U.S. rice for use in deli and take-out food manufacturing.”