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6 Best Korean Rice Brands 2021

by song-i
Korean rice brands

No Asian food is complete without rice! And if you want to make some delicious Korean delicacies you’ll have to get the best Korean rice brands.

There are several types of rice as any rice enthusiast would tell you. There’s the most commonly used white rice and brown rice, which is gaining popularity as a healthy alternative.

But apart from these you can also find GABA rice or glutinous rice which is used in preparing Sushi, wild rice, sweet rice, and several other exotic rice strains.

Related: Best Korean Rice Cooker

Apart from these varieties, rice also differs on the basis of it’s grain. You can find long grain rice such as basmati and short grain rice. Each of these is suited for different dishes. 

The one thing that needs to stay constant, however, is the quality of the Korean rice brands.

Korean Rice BrandsGrain TypeGrain Color
Nishiki Premium RiceMedium GrainWhite Rice
Kokuho Rose RiceShort GrainBrown Rice
Han Kuk Mi Wild Sweet RiceShort GrainPurple Rice
Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain RiceShort GrainWhite Rice
Premium Sprouted Brown Gaba RiceShort GrainBrown Rice
Nishiki Premium Brown RiceMedium GrainBrown Rice

How I tested the best Korean rice brands?

I bought a few of the most popular Korean rice brands, each having a different strain of rice. Next, I taste-tested them and ranked them on a scale of 1-5 based on the following factors:

  • Taste – The ultimate goal of the rice is to make you feel satisfied. So the flavor of the rice is of supreme importance.
  • Nutritional value – I also checked the amount of carbs, vitamins and minerals in each rice brand. Some varieties of rice like brown rice have a larger quantity of vitamins.
  • Price – Rice is a staple in Asian cuisine, and not a delicacy. So the price of these Korean rice brands needs to be reasonable. I also checked if the quantity of rice matches the price range.

Top Korean Rice Brands 2021

Given below are the top Korean rice brands in the market today. They come in several different varieties including brown, white, and wild rice. 

Check out the reviews below to see if these rice brands are the right one for your next Korean dish!

Nishiki Premium Rice

Nishiki Premium Rice isn’t just one of the best Korean rice brands available today. You’ll find that it’s Amazon’s top-selling rice as well.

It’s grown in California, but will still give you the authentic Korean taste. This Nishiki rice is a medium-length grain variety.

And this means that the rice is great for everyday consumption. 

nishiki rice

The best thing I like about this rice is that there is no special flavor to it. It’ll beautifully absorb the flavors from any sauces, curries, or seasoning you put on it. 

Another thing which impressed me was that you can cook it to different levels of stickiness.

So you can use the same rice to make fried rice by keeping it light and dry. And you can use it for Sushi by adding more water and making it sticky.

Fun fact, you can even make rice Sake with Nishiki rice. So if you want to try your hand at making this beverage at home, this is a good rice variety to start your process.

If you’re buying the rice online, I suggest taking a keen look at the manufacturing dates to get as fresh a product as possible.

Some users have reported rice bugs in some of the packages, but I was lucky enough to get a good batch.

What I Liked:

  • Medium-grain
  • Multipurpose
  • Can be used for Sake

What I Didn’t Like:

  • None

Kokuho Rose Rice

If you’re looking for a short grain rice to make Sushi or rice balls, the Kokuho Rose Rice is the best choice.

It’s also a California-grown rice like the Nishiki Premium, and it has been Kosher-certified as well.

The short grains do not need to be rinsed before cooking. The Kokuho Rose Rice makes the best sticky rice for a number of Korean dishes like samgyetang, yaksik, and kimbap.

I’ve also used it to make Thai sticky rice with mango and it turned out pretty good.

types of korean rice

This is one of the gluten-free Korean rice brands. So those allergic or sensitive to wheat or gluten can use this without a hitch.

The only thing that disappointed me about this Korean rice was the price. It’s a lot more than what you’d pay for an Asian brand.

But considering that Nomura & Co, the parent company, name the Kokuho Rose rice as their very best variety, I’m not surprised.

What I Liked:

  • Can be used for sushi and to make sticky rice
  • Gluten and wheat-free

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Slightly expensive

Han Kuk Mi Wild Sweet Rice

A lot of people are surprised at this rice, especially at it’s purple color. But wild sweet rice is one of the healthiest rice strains out there. And the Han Ki Mi is one of the best Korean rice brands.

Just like brown rice, wild rice too is a whole grain. This means all part of the rice grain, including the bran, endosperm, and germ is present for eating. 

Whole grains like these are more nutritious than other varieties of rice and they also contain more fiber.  

And call me petty, but the color of this wild sweet rice is just about the most gorgeous thing ever! It’s purple and gets darker when you cook it. 

So if you have guests over and want to impress them with a fantastic presentation, this Han Kuk Mi rice is a good choice.

best korean purple rice brand

I loved the nutty, earthy and slightly sweet flavor of this rice as well. It’s very different from the regular premium rice varieties you get. 

But this is a downside sometimes as the taste can clash with your sauces or curries. So you need to match the flavors carefully.

I love using this rice for a hearty chicken soup or for making fried rice by adding just a hint of vinegar and chilli. But you can use it for a lot of other dishes as well.

What I Liked:

  • Crunchy, chewy texture
  • Flavorful
  • Full of fiber and vitamins

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t suit a lot of dishes

Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Rice

Tamanishiki is among the best Korean rice brands if you want premium quality short grain rice. 

This type of grain is suitable for Sushi, rice balls, Kimbap, and other dishes which require rice to be sticky and glutinous.

best sticky rice brand

The Tamanishiki is another California-grown rice of high quality. I loved how the grains soaked up water to give you soft delicious grains. 

You’ll find that the grains do not have any specific flavor of their own unlike wild sweet rice.

So it’s a good match for flavorful curries and sauces. It just soaks all those flavors up!

But at the same time, this rice has a mild aroma and taste to it that doesn’t require much seasoning in the first place.

What I loved most about this Tamanishiki rice is the amount of control it gives me over the rice texture.

You can cook it with less water to create a more dry, fluffy consistency. Or you can make it really starty and glutinous to make Sushi.

I will admit the rice is very expensive. And that is one disadvantage. 

What I Liked:

  • Can be cooked in several ways
  • Takes on flavor well
  • Soaks up water very well

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive

Premium Sprouted Brown Gaba Rice

Listen… there’s rice you can use for Sushi. And then there is Sushi Rice!

While the Kokuho Rose Rice and Han Kuk Mi short grain rice are all fantastic options to use for sticky rice, the most preferred variety is the GABA rice.

GABA rice is a type of unpolished brown rice that has been allowed to germinate and sprout. Doing so increases the nutrients, most importantly gamma amino butyric acid, in the grains.

This nutrient is a neurotransmitter that helps improve brain and muscle function in the body.

This type of rice is also very starchy. So you can make Mango Sticky Rice, Sushi, Kimbap, and other such Asian dishes with it.

Korean gaba rice brands

You need to be careful with the water levels while making this rice. 

If you don’t use the right measurements, there will be absolutely no grain separation and the rice can come out one congealed lump.

What I Liked:

  • Very healthy
  • Good for making sticky rice
  • High fiber content so it’s easy to digest
  • Flavorful

What I Didn’t Like:

  • None

Nishiki Premium Brown Rice

Here’s another product by Nishiki! This time I got their brown rice variety instead of the white one.

And I really loved eating it. The cooking part, not so much! 

This Korean rice tastes really good. It’s flavorful without being overpowering and takes up seasoning well.

However, it takes forever to cook. Or maybe it was just my rice cooker. Even after the specified 50 minutes, the rice still felt crunchy and dry.

So I suggest using a bit more water and letting it cooker for a while longer.

This California-grown rice is, however, full of nutrients like vitamin B3, phosphorus, and fiber. So it gets an extra point from me. 

What I Liked:

  • Nutrient-rich
  • Can be used for everyday cooking
  • Takes flavor well

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Takes longer to cook

Which Korean rice brand is the best?

After looking at several Korean rice brands and cooking them myself, I’ve decided that Nishiki Premium Rice is the best Korean rice brand out there.

The Nishiki Premium Rice is one of the top Korean rice brands as it is a medium-length grain. So it can be used in Sushi and a number of Korean dishes. Other brands offer little variety, but the Nishiki Korean rice can be cooked as sticky or fluffy as you choose. So you can experiment with the texture. 

In this article, I’ve listed out the best Korean rice brands you can find in the market and their uses. 

You can select any of these rice varieties the next time you try your hand at making an Asian dish.

Also Read:

Best Korean Instant Ramen

Where to Buy Korean Red Ginseng

Nishiki Premium Rice

The best Korean rice brands let you create several Asian rice dishes at home. The Nishiki Premium Rice can be used to make both glutinous and sticky and fluffy rice.

Product SKU: NRQH49Y9H2

Product Brand: Nishiki

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $20.98

Price Valid Until: 2022-07-10

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5

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