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 - front    Rice 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 grains    Koei foods 2

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

Rice cooker mix - front    Rice 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

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. Per her blog, these products are “100%植物性食品,” which means 100% made of plant ingredients.

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

Front of package photos courtesy of @jari.eats, June 2021.

• 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.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Barley-Seitan Genmai    Sea and Earth Deli Barley-Seitan Genmai ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Barley-Seitan Genmai stock photo

• Sea and Earth Deli 4 Kinds of 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.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Mushroom Genmai    Sea and Earth Deli Mushroom Genmai ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Mushroom Genmai 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), Japanese sweet potato, salt.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Sweet Potato Genmai    Sea and Earth Deli Sweet Potato Genmai ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Sweet Potato Genmai stock photo

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, greater burdock, 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.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Multigrain Genmai Porridge    Sea and Earth Deli Multigrain Genmai Porridge ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Multigrain Genmai Porridge stock photo

• 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.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge    Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Soymilk Genmai Porridge stock photo

• 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.

Online purchase link: Aeon Style Online

Second and third photos from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Tomato Genmai Porridge    Sea and Earth Deli Tomato Genmai Porridge ingredient list    Sea and Earth Deli Tomato Genmai Porridge stock photo

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 beans    Back of dry adzuki beans

Soy beans

Cooked soy beans

Black soy beans

Black soy beans

Pinto beans/うずら豆

Pinto beans    Pinto 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 mix    black soy beans

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

Chick peas    Chick peas 2    Kidney 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

The grocery store chain Seijo Ishii may be another good place to look for canned beans. It carries a lot of imported items and can sometimes be on the pricier side, but this imported can of Ottima black beans was selling for 129 yen in November 2020.

Ottima Black Beans. Ingredients: Beans (60%), water (38.97%), salt (1%), ascorbic acid (0.03%).

Ottima black beans Nov 2020    Ottima black beans back of package Nov 2020