[dropcap size=small]K[/dropcap]inmemai Premium, manufactured by Toyo Rice Corporation, is the new caviar of the rice industry. In 2016, it was recorded as the world’s most expensive rice, selling at USD $109 per kilogram.

Ochazuke by Chef Stephan: bouchot mussels, butter poached egg yolk from Japan, saffron mussel stock and salad burnet

At pre-launch event held at the Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, I tucked into a plate of Ochazuke, which was specially crafted to accentuate the flavour of the star of this article, Kinmemai Premium.

Glistening even in its uncooked form, Kinmemai Premium earns its price tag with more than just appearance. Bite into a spoonful of cooked rice and the first sensation that greets you is sweetness. It is fluffy, the right amount of sticky, and leaves an aftertaste on the tongue that leaves you wanting for more.

Kinmemai Premium is made by blending several varieties of grains. These are selected from top quality brands such as Koshihikari from the Niigata prefecture and Nikomaru from Kumamoto, which have been singled out from over 6000 types of rice in an annual international rice tasting contest in Japan. Every aspect of the grains are scrutinised, down to their showing in cooked or pre-cooked forms.

They are further shortlisted by Toyo Rice Corporation based on their compatibility with each other, and aged for half a year to enhance the texture and flavour. The brown grains then undergo what is termed the Kinmemai process. They are polished with the use of patented technology and only the indigestible wax layer is removed. This allows the grains to retain a particular layer where nutrients are stored, unlike in traditional white rice.

The final product boasts vitamins B1, B6, E, B3, folic acid as well as contains six times the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as regular rice. The combined effects are a boosted immune system and decreased likelihood of cancer.

With the amount of effort invested into manufacturing the famed staple food, it’s little wonder why Kinmemai Premium touts itself as top quality with such a high market price.

On Nov 1, Toyo Rice Corporation will be launching its sale outside of Japan for the first time, with Singapore as its target market for the health-conscious. Production of the rice began in 2016. Packed in a box with six sachets of 140 grams of pre-cooked rice each, Kinmemai Premium retails at SGD $155 per box. Purchase can be made online via their website and shipped directly from Tokyo, where its headquarters are located.

For those looking for a healthier choice to the usual white rice, Kinmemai Premium may be the answer.