What is Mineasahi rice

To find out more about other varieties of Japanese rice, see our main page.


Why is Mineasahi rice special?

Hailing from the picturesque mountainous terrains of Aichi Prefecture, Mineasahi rice stands out as a symbol of the prefecture’s effort to produce a high quality rice, earning the distinguished honor of Special A ranking from the Japan Grain Inspection Association, a testament to its exceptional quality and a first for the prefecture. 

While more premium rice varieties are usually accompanied by a large amount of prefectural funding for marketing campaigns to ensure success, Mineasahi rice flies under the radar by having virtually no marketing behind it. In fact, there is very little available information on this variety and due to its small production size, is even harder to purchase even if one knows about it.

However, its taste and texture is on par with big names such as Tsuyahime and Seiten no Hekireki, allowing it to be dubbed as the “phantom rice”. 

Further information about Mineasahi rice

The story of Mineasahi rice began with a goal to create a rice that thrived at high altitudes, particularly in the mountains of Aichi prefecture that tend to have large diurnal temperature swings. 

Crossbreeding tests carried out by the Aichi Prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station resulted in a variety not only suitable to be cultivated in mountainous areas with an altitude of 300 to 500 meters but was also delicious in taste. In 1980, this variety was registered under the name Mineasahi and as of writing, makes up 5% of the prefecture’s rice cultivation.

Mineasahi 1

Mineasahi’s name and logo design concept

Due to the lack of a marketing campaign and low availability of this rice, Mineasahi does not have an official logo accompanying it. 

Its name comes from the word ‘asashi’ (旭) which was a much older variety with a good taste, combined with the word ‘mine’ (峰) to represent the mountainous region. 

How does Mineasahi rice taste?

We recommend reading our article on how rice is evaluated in Japan and our in depth discussion on how rice selection charts work to better understand this section. 

Mineasahi is characterized by small grains with a moderate taste and light flavor not dissimilar to Massigura rice produced in Aomori prefecture. Therefore, we recommend Massigura rice as a substitute as it can be hard to source Mineasahi.

In comparison, we have found Mineasahi to have a more balanced texture compared to Massigura, though it still has the same light and fluffy texture that we think makes it a good rice for breakfast. We personally find that it pairs well with fish though we do not recommend its use in preparing sushi rice. 

It is used by the famous restaurant Tempura Kusunoki for their final tendon dish. 

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