Long Grain Short Grain
Non-sticky Most common rice in the US. Jasmine, basmati, generic supermarket or Chinese restaurant rice. Often fragrant. Good for fried rice. Recommended brands: Trader Joe’s (Basmati and jasmine), Tilda (Basmati), Golden Phoenix (Jasmine). Japonica or calrose rice. Sushi and risotto rice. Arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano, bomba, valencia, koshihikari, and Carolina Gold are all different varieties of this rice. Best for fried rice. Springy or creamy texture, depending on how it’s cooked; rarely fragrant. Recommended brands of Japanese-style rice: Niko-Niko, Kokuho Rose, Tamaki Gold, Nozomi.
Sticky Thai sticky rice/glutinous rice. Must be soaked and steamed and nearly always eaten with fingers. Staple food of Laos and northern Thailand. Mochi rice/sweet rice; used for pounding into mochi or ground for sweet rice flour. Steamed in banana leaves at dim sum. In Japan, cooked with other ingredients (beans, meat, root vegetables, other grains) to make okowa, sekihan, or takikomi gohan. Recommended brands: The one we used for the show was Shirakiku, and it was good.

*OKOWA WITH PORK AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS*
Adapted from “Kyoto Foodie”:http://kyotofoodie.com/salt-pork-mochi-rice-okowa/

2 cups mochi rice (also sold as sweet rice or short-grain sticky or glutinous rice), or substitute short- or medium-grain Japanese-style rice
4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
1 cup chopped roast pork (any kind, including leftovers, is fine, or substitute fried tofu)
6 tablespoons sake or Chinese rice wine
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups water
1 lime

1. Wash the rice. The easiest way to do this is to place a large strainer into a slightly larger bowl, and place the rice in the strainer. Wash in several changes of water until the water runs mostly clear, rather than milky. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.

2. Put the drained rice into a rice cooker. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lime, and start the cooker. If you prefer to make rice in a pot, just do it your usual way, with the added ingredients.

3. As soon as the rice cooker beeps, open and stir. (Mochi rice doesn’t hold well in a rice cooker.) Spoon the rice into four bowls and garnish each with a light grating of lime zest and a squeeze of juice. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings