Rice, Grains, and Beans

White/polished rice is everywhere in Japan, but it is a little harder to find brown/whole grain rice. When you can find brown rice/玄米 in the supermarket, often there is only one brand to choose from (similarly whole grain pasta is not widely available in Japan). Specialty rice, such as red rice and black rice, can be found in some natural food stores. Below is an example of uncooked brown rice packaging.

Brown rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

It sounds odd, but you should check that the rice you want to buy is vegan. The rice below contains collagen, so it is not vegan (see the third ingredient – コラーゲン).

Rice with collagen - frontRice with collagen - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also buy excellent bags of mixed rice, grains and beans to add to your regular rice when cooking it in a rice cooker. Below are some examples.

House Foods Group Rice Cooker Grains. Ingredients: Glutinous rice, black rice, corn, adzuki beans, barley, soba (buckwheat), Job’s tears, black soybeans, black sesame, sprouted brown rice, white sorghum, glutinous foxtail millet, glutinous common millet, amaranth.

House Foods Group House Foods Group - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koei Foods Rice Cooker Grains (10 Grains). Ingredients: Common millet, foxtail millet, corn, soba (buckwheat) seeds, mung beans, pearled barley, brown rice (domestic), black rice (domestic) rolled barley, amaranth.

Koei foods grainsKoei foods 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rice Cooker Grains. Ingredients: Mung beans, millet, buckwheat, rolled oats, regular brown rice (purple rice (Japan)).

Rice cooker mix - frontRice cooker grains - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grains/seeds like amaranth and quinoa can also be found in specialty stores and some grocery stores. For example:

Amaranth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These bags of quinoa, amaranth, and black rice were found at a Peacock grocery store.

20180630_190115 - copy

The following brand of premade quinoa salads are available at specialty and import stores. These three flavors are marked vegan on the package and can be eaten cold or heated in the microwave.

Cucina and Amore Quinoa Quick Meal (Mango & Roasted Pepper/Artichoke & Roasted Pepper/Spicy Jalapeno & Roasted Pepper):

Mango & Roasted Pepper (Ingredients): Quinoa, Piquillo Pepper, Mango, Sugar, Jalapeno, Cane Vinegar, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Onion, Lemon Juice, Lactic Acid, Parsley, Garlic, Cumin and Potato Starch.

Artichoke & Roasted Pepper (Ingredients): Quinoa, Artichoke, Sunflower Oil, Onion, Roasted Pepper (Red & Yellow), Lemon Juice, Salt, Parsley, Lactic Acid, Garlic, Citric Acid and Black Pepper.

Spicy Jalapeno & Roasted Pepper: Quinoa, Red Pepper, Sunflower Oil, Cane Vinegar, Potato Starch, Salt, Jalapeno, Hot Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Garlic, Parsley and Spices.

The Basil Pesto flavor is not vegan as it contains dairy cheese.

quinoa ready meals

Some AEON and AEON-affiliated stores carry a line of products called Sea and Earth Deli, produced by Mayumi Nishimura, a well-known macrobiotic chef. Seasonings (amino acids, etc.) are not used. Per her blog, these products are “100%植物性食品,” which means 100% made of plant ingredients. See the entire line-up of 18 products here.

The following products are meant to be boiled in the package or heated up in a microwave.

Sea and Earth Deli Barley-Seitan Genmai/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ プチプチ食感が楽しい丸麦とセイタンの玄米ご飯. Ingredients: Organic brown rice (domestically grown), pearl barley, seitan, soy sauce.

Product contains soybeans and wheat.

Second and third photos from website.

sea and earth deli, barley-seitan genmai    sea and earth deli, barley-seitan genmai, stock photo, back of package

sea and earth deli, barley-seitan genmai, stock photo, contents of package

Sea and Earth Deli Mushroom Genmai/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ 4種のきのこの香りと旨みたっぷり 玄米混ぜご飯. Ingredients: Organic brown rice (domestically grown), vegetables (shimeji mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, eringi mushrooms), soy sauce, dried shiitake mushrooms, sesame oil.

Product contains soybeans, wheat, and sesame.

Second and third photos from website.

sea and earth deli, mushroom genmai    sea and earth deli, mushroom genmai, back of package, stock photo

sea and earth deli, mushroom genmai, contents of package, stock photo

Sea and Earth Deli Sweet Potato Genmai/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ ほっくり国産さつまいもと有機もち米入り ほの甘芋おこわ. Ingredients: Organic brown rice (domestically grown), organic glutinous brown rice (domestically grown), satsumaimo, salt.

Second and third photos from website.

sea and earth deli, sweet potato genmai    sea and earth deli, sweet potato genmai, back of package, stock image

sea and earth deli, sweet potato genmai, contents of package, stock image

There are also some products available in retort packs. These can also be heated by boiling or microwaving the bag (without opening it).

Sea and Earth Deli Multigrain Genmai Porridge/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ 玄米と雑穀 お豆・野菜を合わせた福福粥. Ingredients: Organic brown rice (domestically grown), millet, vegetables (shimeji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, gobo, lotus root, maitake mushrooms), salt, black rice, red rice, green rice, Job’s tears, pearl barley, rolled barley, soybeans, black beans, adzuki beans, millet, Japanese millet, goji berry, pine nuts, sesame, dried daikon radish, dried carrot, dried shiitake mushroom, kombu seaweed powder, wild sesame, amaranth.

sea and earth deli, multigrain genmai porridge    sea and earth deli, multigrain genmai porridge, back of package, stock image

sea and earth deli, multigrain genmai porridge, package contents, stock image

Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ 野菜ときのこ 昆布のだしが美味しい 洋風豆乳粥. Ingredients: Soymilk, organic brown rice (domestically grown), vegetables (onion, enoki mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, celery, mushrooms), kombu seaweed powder, olive oil, salt, dried shiitake mushrooms, garlic powder, white pepper.

Second and third photos from website.

sea and earth deli, soymilk genmai porridge    Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge back of package stock photo

Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge package contents stock image

Sea and Earth Deli Tomato Genmai Porridge/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ 丸麦と野菜のうまみを味わう玄米トマト粥. Ingredients: Organic brown rice (domestically grown), vegetables (onion, celery), tomato puree, pearl barley, kombu seaweed powder, salt, olive oil, white pepper, garlic powder, basil.

Second and third photos from website.

sea and earth deli, tomato genmai porridge        sea and earth deli, tomato genmai porridge, back of package, stock image

sea and earth deli, tomato genmai porridge, package contents, stock image

As for beans, adzuki beans and soy beans are the most common beans in Japan and can be found in regular supermarkets (dry or cooked). However you can still buy other types of beans, such as chick peas (garbanzo beans), kidney beans, and pinto beans. Below are some examples of dry beans available in Japan:

Adzuki beans:

Dry adzuki beansBack of dry adzuki beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soy beans

Cooked soy beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black soy beans

Black soy beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinto beans/うずら豆

Pinto beansPinto beans label

 

 

 

 

 

 

The canned beans available in most supermarkets are small and relatively expensive. Below are some examples (120g three bean mix of chick peas, kidney beans and soy beans – about ¥100; and 110g black soy beans – about ¥160):

Three bean mixblack soy beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best and cheapest place to buy canned beans appears to be Gyoumu Supa, a wholesale supermarket chain. They sell large cans of chick peas and kidney beans for around ¥100.

Chick peasChick peas 2Kidney beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also find various canned beans and lentils in foreign food stores. They are larger and more expensive (usually between ¥300 and ¥500). For example:

Lentils