Hatsuga Genmai (germinated rice)

This is called “hatsuga genmai” in Japanese, literally “whole rice with a start of germination” and that’s the healthiest way to prepare our rice. The taste is slightly closer to white rice than to brown rice.

C’etait la facon traditionnelle de preparer le riz, il y a tres longtemps, dans la plupart des pays d’Asie et cela revient a la mode. On l’appelle “hatsuga genmai” en japonais, litterallement ca veut dire “riz complet avec un debut de germination”et c’est la facon la plus saine de preparer le riz. Le gout est plus proche du riz blanc que du riz complet.

Why ?
The common white rice is mostly starch. Certain white rices still contain their germs, it has more nutrients and elements. Brown rice still has a skin rich in fibers. “hatsuga genmai” has all of that and a very increased level of GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). 10 times as much as in ordinary rice, 3 times as much as in non-germinated rice. That GABA has been know to have many healthy effects, to help regulate the blood sugar level and stimulate brain activity.

Pourquoi ?
Le riz blanc ordinaire contient essentiellemet de la fecule. Certains riz blancs ont encore le germe qui est plus nutritif et le riz complet qui a encore son enveloppe est riche en fibres. Le hatsuga genmai contient tout cela, et en plus il a un taux plus eleve de GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). Il en contient 10 fois plus que le riz blanc, et 3 fois plus que le riz non-germe. Le GABA, d’apres de recentes recherches, a des effets tres benefiques pour la sante. Il aide a reguler le niveau de sucre dans le sang et a stimuler l’activite cerebrale.

How to get it ?
-If you have too much  money, you can buy dehydrated hatsuga-genmai. In average you will pay it twice the price of the same brown rice. It doesn’t taste good, so you will want to eat it mixed with white rice.
-It’s very easy to germinate it yourself. All you need is time. A morning, put your rice in a sieve, pass water to rinse it. Transfer to a bowl, largely cover with lukewarm water. Let it sit all day, at night change the water. Next morning, change the water… Depending on room temperature, you will get the germs like on the photo in 24 to 72 hours.

On peut en acheter mais il est aussi tres facile de le faire germer soi-meme. Il vous faut juste un peu de patience. Mettez votre riz complet dans une passoire, rincez-le bien sous le robinet. Transferer dans un saladier et couvrez d’eau tiede. Laisser a temperature ambiante de votre cuisine. Changez l’eau chaque matin et chaque soir. Selon la temperature, le germe apparait -comme sur la photo- au bout de 24 a 72 heures.

How to cook it ?
Just like white rice. In the rice cooker, on white rice program. It is very softened so it cooks quickly. I’ll make another post about other ways to cook rice soon.

Vous pouvez ensuite le cuire de la meme facon que le riz blanc.

Nutrition :
-Brown rice (from 40 g of raw rice) :
137cal F1.1g C36g P3.5g
-Hatsuga genmai (the same 40 g of raw brown rice germinated) :
132cal F1g C27.4g P3.1g

17 thoughts on “Hatsuga Genmai (germinated rice)

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  8. I showed this article to Chef YoungSun Lee and he said, “A long time ago in Korea, most people had rice just like that. They used to soak the “brown rice” and germinate them. then cook. Basically, the “white rice” is dead rice. You try to germinate this, it won’t happen. Brown rice is sleeping rice, and “brown rice with sprout”-in Korean 발아미- is living rice.”

    • I’m not surprised the Koreans did that too. It seems that was done in Nepal till recently, and in many other countries. The “techniques” to stock white rice for many months are very recent and before they had to store brown rice. In the more “refined” kitchens, they would polish it just before using, or maybe they polished white rice only for occasions. Then the “proper” way to cook rice is still to soak it overnight (if you tried, you know that’s a bit short to germinate in Winter). I don’t know when they stopped doing it… well, not everybody stopped . For instance, my rice shop is old fashioned -one of the few left. They only have brown rices. Like specialty roasters sell only coffee in beans and grind it for you if you want, they polish the rice if you wish. Some families have polishing machines at home.
      Now, scientists say the general availability of “dead” rice is very detrimental to health. I don’t eat so much rice. It’s especially for people that eat a lot on a daily basis. They should consider germinating systematically. A market for “dried” hatsuga genmai has developed, but it’s “dead rice” too. I’m sure it’s better to make it fresh.

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