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Can rice get old?

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Can rice get old?

Bonko | Jan 8, 2003 02:46 PM

My family makes mochi (Japanese rice cakes) every year. It’s made from a glutinous rice sold specifically as mochi rice in Japanese markets which is soaked, steamed, then pounded (either by hand or in our case by machine) into a paste which is made into cakes. The finished product is supposed to be super-soft and sticky, but this year the rice, despite the usual amount of soaking and steaming, retained a hard, grainy texture, which gave our mochi an ugly, bumpy appearance.

I suspect the rice was at fault here. My question is—can rice get old, and what happens to it as it ages? Does it become less absorbent and harder to cook like old beans? Or can there be another explanation (like the rice crop was picked too early or late)?

Thanks!

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