Sweet rice, also called sticky rice, is a glutinous rice that has been common in Asia for over a thousand years. It is called glutinous rice not because it contains any gluten, but because its consistency has been compared to glue-like substances. Actually Sweet Rice doesn’t contain any gluten, and is safe for gluten free diets. What distinguishes it from other types of rice is having little to no amounts of amylase, and high amounts of amylopectin. Amylopectin is responsible for the sticky quality of glutinous rice. The difference has been traced to a single mutation that was selected for by farmers.
Sweet Rice Uses:
The sweet rice is a common staple food in most dishes in Asia. However, the rice is also used to make a series of alcoholic beverages such as sake, beer, and even a type of fermented Vietnamese pudding. Tests have even shown that rice was used as mortar for parts of the great wall of China.
Japanese Sweet Rice
The Japanese have developed many different ways to eat and utilize sweet rice, whish is called Mochigome in Japanese (もち米). They use it to make rice crackers, as wells chazuke, which is rice with green tea. They are commonly known to make sake and sushi with their rice. They often top their rice with furikake, which is a series of spices and dried fish. It is also frequently used to make mochi, which is famous for being made into mochi ice cream.
Chinese Sweet Rice
Sweet rice in China is called nuòmǐ (糯米). The Chinese often use the rice as a thickener for baking, and they use it to form a type of glutinous flour which they often use to make treats commonly eaten around Chinese New years. These include niangao and sweet filled dumplings called tangyuan. Lo mai gai is a common dish for rice, in which rice and chicken are wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed.
Wasabi Powder vs. Wasabi Paste
At Asian Food Grocer, we carry both wasabi powder and wasabi paste. We have received client questions asking us what the difference is and when you would use one over the other. The long and the short of it is that both are good and it is ultimately up to personal preference. When asked this question, we generally recommend that you try both ways and see which works better for you. Some people like the ease of the wasabi paste in a tube, while others think that adding water to wasabi powder is an easy and efficient way to use this flavoring.
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