What Is Rinse-Free Rice? Here’s Your Complete Guide

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Rice in a sackloth and in a wooden scoop with a text "rinse free rice"

Most rice requires rinsing before cooking. But, a company from Japan developed rice that doesn’t need rinsing. What is rinse-free rice? How is it different from conventional rice?

Rinse-free rice is similar to conventional rice but contains less starch. This rice undergoes an additional buffing step during milling, removing most of the starch from the rice grain. Rinse-free rice is environmentally friendly since it requires less water. 

What Does Rinse-Free Rice Mean?

Rinse-free rice is a type of rice that doesn’t require rinsing. It was developed in Wakayama, Japan, by the Toyo Rice Corporation. 

Rinse-free rice is called Musenmai. Rinse-free rice is environmentally friendly because it uses less water than conventional rice. It doesn’t need water for rinsing, but still benefits from soaking if you have time. It would make a great addition to an emergency pack since it requires less water than regular white rice. 

What’s The Difference Between Rinse-Free Rice And White Rice?

Rinse-free rice goes through an extra buffing process to remove excess starch. The Toyo Rice Corporation created this unique buffing step to help reduce water pollution in Japan. 

Since most of the starch is removed, it doesn’t need to be washed before cooking. No-rinse white rice looks almost identical to conventional white rice.

Rice Water Pollution

Rice water pollution, called togijiru, causes an imbalance in Japan’s waterways. Togijiru contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and other organic matter that water treatment plants can’t remove. 

When rice water enters lakes and rivers, it creates an overabundance of algae because of the nutrients it contains. Toyko urges its citizens to use rinse-free rice to help maintain the correct nutrient balance in the waterways. 

Kinmemai Rice

Kinmemai rice is a brand of rinse-free rice created by the Toyo Rice Corporation. Kinmemai rice comes in three varieties:

  • Kinmemai Better White
  • Kinmemai Better Brown
  • Kinmemai Premium

All three varieties are a trademark of the Toyo Rice Corporation.

Kinmemai White Rice

KInmemai white rice has the wax and the bran layer removed. Each grain only contains the sub-aleurone and germ layers. Kinmemai white rice contains less starch than regular white rice because of an additional buffing process. It tastes buttery and nutty with a creamy texture. 

Kinmemai Brown Rice

Kinmemai brown rice contains the bran, sub-aleurone, and germ layers. It’s just as nutritious as regular brown rice. But because the wax layer is removed, it’s easier to digest than regular brown rice. Kinmemai brown rice also has a fluffier texture and is slightly less chewy than conventional brown rice. 

No-rinse brown rice still benefits from soaking before cooking. Soaking allows water to penetrate all grain layers and reduces cooking time. Ideally, soak Kinmemai brown rice for one hour before cooking. I find it challenging to remember to soak my rice for that long. I’ve cooked no-rinse rice after only soaking it for 20-30 minutes and still had good results. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is No-Rinse Rice?

No-rinse rice is the same as rinse-free rice. The Toyo Rice Corporation created the no-rinse rice brand called Kinmemai. It is the only rinse-free brand of rice. All other white or brown rice needs rinsing before cooking to remove excess starch. 

Where To Buy Rinse-Free Rice?

Rinse-free rice is easy to find in Japan but is less available in the rest of the world. Find Kinmemai rice on Amazon. Or, go to Kinmemai’s website and click on the “Where to buy” section for the most up-to-date places. 

What Rice Doesn’t Need To Be Rinsed?

Aside from Kinmemai rice, don’t rinse parboiled rice. Parboiled rice is already partially cooked to speed up the cooking process at home. Don’t rinse rice packaged with seasonings or as part of a kit with other ingredients. You’ll wash the seasonings off.  

Hypermarket aisle stocked with a variety of rice goods.

How To Cook Rinse-Free White Rice

On The Stovetop

If possible, let your white rice soak for 30 minutes before cooking. 

  1. Measure one cup of water for every cup of white rice.
  2. Heat water in a large pot until boiling. 
  3. Add the rice and let boil for 9 minutes. 
  4. Turn the heat low and let your rice simmer for 12 more minutes. 
  5. Test a few grains to make sure they are cooked to your liking. 
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. 

In A Rice Cooker

If possible, soak your white rice for 30 minutes before cooking.

  1. Fill your rice cooker with water to the lines indicated by the manufacturer according to how many cups of rice you want to cook. 
  2. Then, add three more tablespoons of water. 
  3. Add the white rice and close the lid. 
  4. Cook on the ‘white rice’ setting. 
  5. Let the rice rest for 15 minutes after cooking.

Some rice cookers have a built-in soak before cooking rice. If yours does, that’s the perfect way to ensure the best texture of your white rice.

Rice cooker cooking rice with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

How To Cook Rinse-Free Brown Rice 

On the Stovetop

Ideally, soak your brown rice for one hour before cooking.

  1. Measure 1 ½ cups water for every cup of brown rice. (I prefer slightly more than 1 ½ cups). 
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. 
  3. Add the rice and continue boiling for 10 minutes. 
  4. Bring the pot down to a simmer for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let your rice rest for 20 minutes before serving. 

In A Rice Cooker

Soak Kinmemai brown rice for one hour before cooking. Or, use your rice cooker’s soaking cycle. 

  1. Measure 1 ½ cups water (or slightly more) for every cup of rice. 
  2. Add the water and rice to your rice cooker. 
  3. Close the lid and cook on the ‘white rice’ cycle. 
  4. Let your brown rice rest for 15 minutes after cooking. 
Close up image of Rice cooker wih rice cooking with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

Use rinse-free rice in paella, risotto, biryani, pilaf, or for a great-tasting table rice. 

Final Thoughts

Rinse-free rice doesn’t need rinsing, though it still benefits from soaking beforehand. Both white and brown no-rinse rice cook in about 20 minutes. They have similar textures and tastes to conventional rice. Both white and brown varieties can be used in any recipe calling for rice. 

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