Sustainable Japanese seasoning uses rice bran often thrown in the rice milling process

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As many of our readers surely know, rice is a staple food of the Japanese people. In the process of milling rice, rice bran, known in Japanese as komenuka or simply nuka 糠, is created as a by-product. One of its traditional uses is stripping. Make a fermented bed of nuka and other ingredients in a technique known as nukazuke is a time consuming process. Some houses still prepare pickles this way, and pickles are also made commercially. However, the majority of nuka created as a by-product of milling rice, unfortunately ends up being thrown away.

Okazu Komenuka

Japanese company REshikuru (RE シ ク ル), operated by Vibin LLC, has been striving to efficiently use agricultural by-products since 2018. In order to solve the problem of food waste, it created お か ず 米 ぬ か okazu komenuka, a seasoning made in Karuizawa from rice bran. The product was developed from scratch by high school students at an international school in Karuizawa, based on the idea of ​​creating a system where “producers who want to deliver delicious food” and “consumers who want to eat delicious food”. delicious meals ”can co-create a food culture using ingredients that would normally be wasted.

Okazu Komenuka presents the aroma and sweetness of roasted rice bran, mixed with sesame seeds, soy sauce, nori seaweed and dried bonito flakes to create a versatile seasoning that can be used not only as furikake rice garnish, but also in ochazuke (green tea, hot water or dashi on rice), or as an accompaniment. It can be enjoyed by everyone from small children to the elderly. No chemical seasonings, preservatives, flavors or other food additives are used, and it contains only natural and safe ingredients that can be found in every home. It’s a delicious and easy way to add nutrition to your daily diet.

The rice bran used in the production of this product is supplied by a local rice farmer in Karuizawa. By using local ingredients, REShikuru also tries to reduce the environmental impact of purchasing ingredients.

Benefits of rice bran

Although most of the rice bran created as a byproduct of milling rice in Japan is thrown away, it actually has various beauty and health benefits as it contains many nutrients. It is rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats and is known as a super food with strong antioxidant properties. It also gained attention during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic as people became more aware and concerned about lack of exercise and maintaining health.

Product information

Product name: okazu komenuka

Weight: 50 grams per pack

Price: 400 yen single pack / 1,180 yen set of three packs (tax included)

Availability: From September 1, 2021 while stocks last

Sold online: Amazon.co.jp

Ingredients: Rice bran, soy sauce (defatted soybeans, wheat, salt), sesame oil, chicken extract (salt, chicken extract powder, lactose), sesame, dried bonito flakes, seaweed

In addition to okazu komenuka, REshikuru also sells rice bran cookies. For more information, visit their official website here (English).

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