Top 10 Most Expensive Rice in the World
Rice is a staple food that captures the hearts and palates of people around the world, and for good reason. Its widespread popularity can be attributed to its incredible versatility, comforting taste, and undeniable nutritional value. Rice serves as a reliable source of energy, offering a substantial amount of carbohydrates to fuel our daily activities.
Additionally, it contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine, niacin, iron, and magnesium, which are vital for maintaining overall health. Whether it’s the fluffy texture of steamed rice, the creaminess of risotto, or the aromatic delight of biryani, rice effortlessly complements a variety of cuisines and dishes, making it a beloved choice for countless meals.
But rice comes in many forms and it’s sold under many different brands. One thing that also varies a lot is its price, with the most expensive in the world costing as much as $100 per kg (roughly 2.2 pounds).
So let’s discover the most expensive rice brands in the world and what makes them so special.
1. Kinmemai Premium (Japan) | ~$109 / kg
This exceptional rice is carefully crafted from a selection of five award-winning rice varieties sourced from different regions of Japan.
After undergoing a unique flavor-aging process for six months, it goes through a unique milling process (described as proprietary technology by its producer). The combination of carefully chosen rice grains and proprietary milling technology makes this rice unique and worthy of a stellar price tag.
Minamiuonuma, a prominent region for Koshihikari rice cultivation in Japan, is nestled amid picturesque hills and mountains. Its basin-like topography allows for a significant temperature range and access to mineral-rich waters from Mount Echigo-Komagatake’s natural springs.
These favorable conditions contribute to the cultivation of larger-than-average rice grains, forming the foundation of Kinmemai Premium™ rice.
2. Tropics Toasted Young Rice: Pinipig (Phillipines) | ~$75.8 / kg
Pinipig rice, known as Tropics Toasted Young Rice, is a distinct rice variety commonly found in tropical regions. Its unique preparation involves harvesting the rice grains at an early stage and toasting them to achieve a light and crispy texture. This process not only enhances the flavor but also creates a nutty, toasted aroma.
Pinipig rice finds its place in a wide array of culinary creations, including desserts, snacks, and traditional Filipino dishes. It is extensively used in the Philippines for making rice cakes, puddings, and sweet snacks. Moreover, its versatility shines as it serves as a delightful topping for ice cream, a crunchy addition to cereals, or an ingredient that adds a unique taste and texture to various recipes.
3. BSD Organics Thooyamalli Rice (India) | ~$64 / kg
BSD Organics is an Indian company that places a strong emphasis on organic and sustainable farming practices and the production of top-quality agricultural goods.
Thuya Malli, a traditional rice variety originating from Tamil Nadu, boasts a fine-grained white texture. It is great for preparing a wide array of rice dishes and biriyani.
4. BSD Organics Mappillai Samba Rice (India) | ~$60 / kg
BSD Organics Mappillai Samba Rice, also known as red rice, is a variety that is highly regarded for its nutritional benefits and unique characteristics. This rice variety is primarily cultivated in the southern regions of India, particularly in Tamil Nadu.
Mappillai Samba Rice gets its name from its historical significance, as it was traditionally served during weddings in Tamil Nadu. The term Mappillai means son-in-law, symbolizing the importance and auspiciousness associated with this rice variety.
Red Rice has a distinct reddish-brown color due to the presence of natural pigments in the bran layer of the grain. It is known for its nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture. The red bran layer is rich in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, making Mappillai Samba Rice a healthier alternative to refined white rice.
This rice variety is often favored by the health-conscious due to its high nutritional value and lower glycemic index compared to white rice. It provides essential nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are beneficial for overall health.
Mappillai Samba Rice is commonly used to prepare traditional South Indian dishes such as biryanis, pulaos, and mixed rice varieties. Its unique flavor and texture make it a popular choice for those seeking a wholesome and flavorful rice option.
5. Rajamudi Organics (India) | ~$54 / kg
Rajamudi, a Bengaluru-based company founded in 2021, specializes in natural, organic, health food products, ensuring that their offerings are free from harmful fertilizers and chemicals. All products are sourced and manufactured in Karnataka, India, with a strong emphasis on supporting local farmers involved in procurement and production.
Organic black rice, renowned for its deep black color that turns deep purple when cooked, is a powerhouse of health benefits. It is a rich source of the B vitamin complex, known to potentially boost immunity, promote better sleep, and enhance skin firmness.
6. Kuromai Japanese Black Rice (Japan) | ~$52 / kg
Black rice, also referred to as forbidden or purple rice, is a distinctive rice variety praised for its unique health benefits. The captivating black-purple color of this rice is attributed to its rich anthocyanin content, a pigment known for its potent antioxidant properties.
In ancient China, black rice held an esteemed status as an incredibly nourishing and rare grain, exclusively reserved for royalty. Today, black rice has worldwide popularity due to its delightful mild, nutty flavor, satisfying chewy texture, and the wide range of nutritional benefits it offers.
Kuromai, a specific type of Japanese black rice, is cultivated in the illustrious rice-growing region of Kikuchi, Kumamoto. Known for its exceptional nutritional profile, Kuromai is enriched with polyphenols, renowned for their antioxidant properties, as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
7. Calasparra Rice (Spain) | ~$37.5 / kg
The first non-Asian product in our rankings is this Spanish premium rice blend. It is a rice variety produced in the region of Murcia, Spain. The use of terrace irrigation and well-drained soil make the region ideal for rice cultivation.
8. Tamaki Gold Rice (California, US) | ~$33.8 / kg
This is a premium Japanese variety of rice that’s produced in Northern California.
Selecting only the finest Koshihikari paddy, cultivated near the majestic Sutter Buttes in the Sacramento Valley, Tamaki Rice Corporation blends cultural practices, soil characteristics, climate, and pristine mountain water to create the perfect Koshihikari kernel.
9. Sugiura Aizakura Rice (Japan) | ~$27 / kg
Aizakura dried rice koji is a key ingredient in creating the beloved Japanese rice drink, amazake. This fermented food is a delightful homemade way of enjoying delicious amazake at any time.
Crafted from carefully selected non-glutinous rice sourced from Mikawa in Aichi prefecture, Aizakura rice koji is produced using traditional cultivation methods. The rice grains undergo meticulous growth, closely monitored and controlled for temperature and quality. Notably, Aizakura rice koji possesses a distinct and robust sweetness that adds an extra layer of flavor to your amazake.
In addition to its role in making amazake, this dried rice koji can be utilized as a seasoning for savory dishes, crafting traditional Japanese sweets, or even creating other types of Japanese koji such as salt koji or soy sauce koji.
10. Tamaki Haiga Mai, with Rice Germ (Japan) | ~$25 / kg
If you find yourself torn between the delectable taste of white rice and the nutritional benefits of brown rice, then haiga-mai rice might be the perfect choice for you.
White rice is loved for its mild flavor and quick cooking, but it lacks the outer husk (bran) and the nutritious germ of brown rice. Haiga-mai rice offers a solution by undergoing a special milling process that removes the bran while retaining the germ.
This unique process makes haiga-mai rice fast cooking, gives it a tender texture, and makes it easy to digest, like white rice, while still retaining the nourishing germ found in brown rice.
Haiga-mai rice is also known as semi-polished or half-milled rice and offers the best of both worlds, combining the convenience of white rice with the nutritional advantages of brown rice. So, whether you’re seeking flavor, ease of preparation, or nutritional value, haiga-mai rice provides a satisfying compromise.
The world of rice presents a captivating tapestry of diverse varieties, each offering its own unique set of characteristics, flavors, and culinary applications. Whether savoring the fragrant long grains of basmati rice, indulging in the sticky perfection of sushi rice, or delighting in the delicate floral notes of jasmine rice, the possibilities are endless.