Introducing Zakkokumai: A Nutritious and Delicious Alternative to White Rice

If you're looking for a nutritious and delicious alternative to white rice, Zakkokumai or Japanese multigrain (millet) rice is a perfect choice! Japanese multigrain rice is made with a blend of nutrient-rich grains, including brown rice, red rice, black barley, and Job's tears, among others. This unique combination of grains makes this blend a healthy and satisfying meal option. Let's look at what makes zakkokumai so tasty and good for your health!


What is zakkokumai, or Japanese multigrain rice? 

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Literally translated as "mixed grain" (zakkoku) and "rice" (mai), zakkokumai rice is a blend of several Japanese grains. People in Japan have been using these grains in their diets for centuries; they are all nutrient-rich and provide plenty of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While multigrain blends can have up to 15 different grains, they are commonly mixed with protein-rich beans and legumes. These are some of the most common zakkokumai ingredients:

  • Brown rice
  • Red rice
  • Black rice
  • Pressed wheat
  • Millet
  • Black barley
  • Amaranth
  • Job's tears
  • Korean purple rice
  • Green rice
  • Cowpeas
  • Soybeans

Japanese multigrain rice also has a unique flavor that is both nutty and sweet. In addition, the variety of grains makes for a delicious and satisfying meal. In Japan, multigrain rice is often served as a side dish or a main course. 


The health benefits of Japanese multigrain rice 

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Japanese multigrain rice is packed with nutrients and provides several health benefits. The blend of grains in Japanese multigrain rice offers dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based antioxidants. It is also a source of complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy throughout the day.

Good for our blood sugar levels (and our taste buds)

Japanese rice, such as millet rice, is a healthier alternative to white rice due to its slow digestion rate. In addition, the combination of grains in Japanese multigrain rice makes it a low glycemic index food, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This also prevents our body from releasing too much insulin, which can lead to weight gain.

Additionally, it's also chewier than white rice, forcing us to consume mindfully rather than hastily eat. This gives our stomach time to send a message to our brain telling us that we are satiated. As a result, we can prevent calorie overload due to overeating. 

In short, Japanese multigrain rice is the perfect food for those looking for a food that promotes healthy digestion and prevents weight gain without having to sacrifice their taste buds!


Japanese multigrain rice not only makes your Japanese meal look more vibrant, but it also helps improve your intestinal health! This is because many grains in Japanese multigrain blends are high in (mostly insoluble) dietary fiber. This insoluble fiber effectively relieves constipation and regulates the intestinal environment.

Waste materials can be expelled more efficiently, while improved nutrient absorption boosts the immune system. So next time you have Japanese food, remember to pick up a bag of Japanese multigrain rice! Your gut will thank you.


Millet rice is so much more than a delicious Japanese food—it could also be your secret beauty weapon. However, zakkokumai is a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins essential for skin health. Some research has suggested that millet rice can help with circulation and skin turnover, which results in beautiful, vibrant skin—one less worry on your plate! 


How to enjoy zakkokumai 

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Multigrain rice is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed as part of a complete meal or used in dishes such as salads, stir-fries, and even desserts! Here are some examples of how to incorporate this nutrient-dense ingredient throughout your day:


Breakfast Porridge

At the rice factory NEW YORK, we love using the Morika 15-grain zakkokumai blend to make a hearty breakfast porridge full of vitamins and nutrients to start your day like a champion!

Lunch - Ochazuke

Ochazuke is a Japanese-style dish consisting of warm Japanese multigrain rice topped with savory ingredients and poured over with Japanese tea or Japanese dashi (soup stock). It's a warm, comforting dish that will give you the energy boost you need for your lunchtime.

Dinner - Furikake Multigrain Rice with Tsukemono (Japanese Pickles)

It can be challenging to whip up a nutritious dinner when we come home after a long day. Luckily, furikake multigrain rice is easily made by topping your favorite millet rice blend with a mix of seasoning and Japanese pickles. The combination of zakkokumai and a variety of tsukemono makes for a nutritious dinner that is both tasty and healthy!


Where to find Japanese Multigrain Rice 

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The rice factory NEW YORK specializes in Japanese-style multigrain varieties, including millet rice, Japanese red rice, and Japanese black barley. We only use the highest quality Japanese grains that are sustainably sourced and certified organic. Plus, our products are all-natural and GMO-free. Expand your rice horizons with this nutritious white rice alternative today!