Event to Promote Japanese Rice Held in London

Jiji Press
Daisuke Hayashi, third from right, owner-chef of Japanese restaurant Roketsu, cooks a dish using Japanese rice at an event in London on Monday.

LONDON (Jiji Press) — Japan’s agriculture ministry held an event to promote Japanese rice in London on Monday.

Some 50 participants including local restaurant owners and chefs listened to a lecture on Japanese food culture and the “umami” savory taste, and enjoyed just-cooked rice and dishes using rice flour.

Japanese rice is sweet, puffy and elastic, Daisuke Hayashi, owner-chef of Roketsu, a Japanese restaurant in London, said at the event.

During a question-and-answer session, participants asked how to wash rice and what the best rice brand is.

Elsewhere in the event, famous Italian chef Francesco Mazzei demonstrated how to make gnocchi with rice flour, instead of wheat flour.

Rice flour is easy to handle and tasty, he said.

The event came as the British government scrapped in June last year its import restrictions on some Japanese foods imposed after the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.’s tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Wagyu Japanese beef and sake have so far been promoted. “We want to sell rice, Japan’s staple food, further in overseas markets,” an official of the Japanese ministry said.