Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Storage and Display: How to Store your Rice

In Japan we cook and serve rice just about every day. As you can imagine, the storage of our rice is probably the first thing we think about when setting up our kitchen. I am sure some of you have ventured to the Asian or Japanese markets and bought a large bag of rice, then after using the rice for the first time, have thought “what should I do with it now?”, “Should I clamp a clothes pin on the end of the bag and leave the rice in the package?”, “should I keep it in a sunny or dark location?”, “how long can I keep the rice?”.

Well first, we should not keep it in the bag for a long time. The bags are not typically airtight and they do not provide proper long-term protection from humid air, kitchen scents, or even small insects. It should be transferred from the package to a sturdy container (preferably a sealed vessel). Also the container should protect the rice from picking up food scents from the other items.
Second, rice does not like hot or humid locations so don’t store rice near the sink, stove, or in the direct sunlight. If you have the space for it, your fridge is actually the perfect spot to store your rice.
Lastly, rice has a shorter shelf life than most people realize. Rice keeps fresh and tasty for about 1 month. After about 1 month the taste of the rice will be impacted. You should only buy rice quantities that will be used in 1 month.

I store my rice in an antique glass jar right up on the counter but in the corner where it doesn’t get the direct sunlight. I typically have brown rice, mochi, rice, and good quality Japanese rice each in their own glass jar. The glass containers protect the rice well and I love to see the view of the rice in my kitchen. The different sized containers with the color contrast of the different rice give visual impact. This is my storage and display idea for rice.

Remember, when you transfer your new rice to your storage container, you need to finish up the current rice and wash the container first.

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