another way to use…

© EunYoung Sebazco

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Another way to use the rice plant is for Japanese traditional New Year decorations. On the house entry door or on the porch to prevent malicious spirits from entering, a special knitted rope is made from rice straws called Shimenawa (しめなわ, 注連縄). Rice Straw: This brings hope for a good harvest season, Tangerine: Continue great descendants, Pine tree twig: Works against evil spirits,  Mizuhiki: Traditional Knot, Hope for great connection and Shide: Paper Deco, Symbol of a sanctuary. Great Workshop Conducted by Master Florist Yumi Ichihashi of Baum at Globus Washitsu.

Pink Glow

© EunYoung Sebazco

cherry blossom rice

Once a while cooking rice with cherry blossom pickle (Sakura-Tsuke) stimulates my appetite. This tasteful Sakura-Tsuke is usually the first in my pickling season. The floral scent and mild saltiness bring me back to spring season all year round with a pink glow. It’s perfect to recall the Sakura season from time to time. Bless for what beautiful mother nature creates.

Nothing goes to waste

© EunYoung Sebazco

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I have explored about the rice plant more and more. Who knew dry rice straw has been using as Japan’s oldest pottery making technique which is called “Bizen ware“. Rice straw wrapped around pieces creates red and brown scorch marks while in woodfire. Ceramic Artist Ristuko Moore is trying Bizen Yaki with Rice Straw from NY! I can not wait for her Bizen Yaki.

55% refined rice

© EunYoung Sebazco

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These brilliant educational tools were provided from Melotti Farm in Italy. Davide Mantovani is the one of educators from Melotti Farm and created these tools. He has given wonderful classes for school groups using these tools. The two clear containers demonstrate each milling process. The photo on the right is 100% paddy rice and will separate to hull, green, bran, broken rice and rice. Each of the contents will be used differently, letting nothing to go to waste!  It is amazing to see the amount of work that goes into the 55% white rice, which mainly consumed by humans. The others are consumed by animals and used in other byproducts, Wow, I deeply appreciate rice farmers for their hard working.

Rice season starts!

© EunYoung Sebazco

rice seeds

Rice season starts! (Early May)

I have been involved with the rice project at Randall’s Island Urban Farm since 2011. My small curiosity had got me into starting to grow Rice plants, which are still the first known rice paddies in New York City. With my grandmother’s tutorage and my horticulture bible, we had a successful rice season and harvest. We have had some challenges and small issues, but we have improved and are excited to have the 4th Season. This year, we are growing Italian rice; “Carnaroli” and “Vialone,” which are from Melotti’s Farm. I look forward to seeing different varieties of rice growing in our rice paddies at the Urban Farm.

KOME, The Art of Rice

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Exhibition “KOME- The Art of Rice” in 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT.  Directed by Shinichi Takemura cultural anthropologist and Taku Satoh graphic designer.

“Amid the turning point of the lifestyle and values ​​and global environment rapidly changing, positioning of rice as a staple food also fluctuates, in this exhibition, and look back with fresh eyes the Invision of rice that forms the foundation of our culture will continue. And, as a major issue to be undertake in society as a whole, we will think of everyone with visitors its vision.”

Fermented Rice Bran Pickles

© EunYoung Sebazco
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One summer’s day, I received an email from one of my Japanese friends, Aya saying, “Nukazuke is ready. Come over”. Nukazuke (糠漬け) is a type of fermented Japanese pickle that uses rice bran powder (nuka). So, I stopped by the next day to pick it up. She has been making it for me the past few months. She handed me a small container with full of pickles and a bag of rice bran powder. I was excited! I have never thought that I was able to make Nukazuke. I thought it would be very difficult to make process. My old Japanese friend, Sakai, had introduced it to me long time ago. When she took the pickles out of her old jar, the pickles were covered with brown crumbs which was different than I was used to seeing. In Korean culture, we make so many different types fermented pickles that most of them are soybean based or red pepper based. So, I was very happy to hear from Aya to remind me of another way to use rice. The more I learn about rice, the more curious I become. Any edible vegetable and fish can be pickled in Nuka. The taste of nuka pickles can be sour and salty. However, the flavor of pickle opens the appetite and after the meal helps digest the meal.

Ingredients
Slightly roasted nuka
Salt
Water
Dried kelp (Kombu)
Chilli
Vegetables (Cucumber, Carrots, Radish, etc)

Directions
1 Mix the salt and roasted nuka powder together in a container.
2 Add water, a little at a time, until you have a fairly dry paste.
3 Submerge kombu (kelp) and chilli in the paste (being careful not to break the chilli and release the seeds), and pat down the surface of the paste until smooth.
4 wipe the excess paste from around the edge with clean damp cloth.
5 Cover with a lid. Keep in a cool and dark place in the kitchen (or refrigerator) . Stir the paste at least twice a day, three times in hot weather.
6 After a week, the paste should be ready to use and have a slightly sour smell to it like sourdough starter does. Remove the chilli and kombu.
7 Place the slightly salted vegetable into the nuka paste.
8 After a week, They will be ready to eat.
* You will need to add nuka powder when you see the moisture on paste or when you place new vegetable or lose the pickle from the nuka paste.