Kinmemai Premium: Discover World's Most Expensive Rice

An enigma in the world of luxury edibles, Kinmemai Premium stands as a testament to Japan's culinary excellence. But what makes this rice stand head and shoulders above the rest? Let's dive deep into the world of Kinmemai Premium.

Kinmemai Premium: Discover World's Most Expensive Rice
Kinmemai Short-Grain Rice

In many cultures, rice is a simple accompaniment, but in Japan, it's celebrated.

This reverence peaked in 2016 with Wakayama's Toyo Rice Corp. introducing Kinmemai Premium, a luxury variety priced at an impressive US$109 per kg, highlighting Japan's dedication to elevating even basic grains to gourmet heights.

What Is Kinmemai Premium Rice?

Kinmemai Premium is an opulent short-grain rice developed by Toyo Rice Corporation. Unlike conventional rice, its specialized processing conserves the bran and germ, yielding a nutrient-enriched grain.

This results in a distinctive buttery flavor and a dual-textured experience—both fluffy and subtly sticky.

Thanks to its unique attributes, limited production, and exceptional taste, Kinmemai Premium has earned its reputation as the world's most expensive rice.

green grass on water during daytime
Photo by Sergio Camalich / Unsplash

The Journey of Kinmemai Premium

Tokyo Rice Corporation, over decades, has pioneered rice innovation, crafting standout varieties like Elite White and Elite Brown Rice. These aren’t mere labels; they capture enhanced nutritional benefits and advanced production methods.

Central to Kinmemai Premium's allure is its roots in Minamiuonuma. This fertile region, nourished by Mount Echigo-Komagatake's mineral-rich waters, is famed for producing the flavorful Koshihikari rice.

But nature is just the start. Kinmemai Premium is a blend of the finest rice strains, notably the Koshihikari from Niigata and Kumamoto's Nikomaru.

Chosen from a pool of 6,000 in a prestigious Japanese rice competition, they represent the pinnacle of grain quality.

In essence, Kinmemai Premium stands at the intersection of nature's best and human craftsmanship, a testament to Tokyo Rice Corporation's dedication to excellence.

brown ceramic bowl with brown powder
Photo by Jocelyn Morales / Unsplash

Why is Kinmemai Premium So Expensive?

Curated Grain Mastery

At $109 per kilogram, aficionados are presented with a blend crafted from five eminent rice varieties spanning Japan, specifically spotlighting the distinguished Koshihikari and Pikamaru strains.

Hailing from diverse prefectures, these grains represent the pinnacle of rice excellence. Notably, the mix's exact composition shifts annually, reflecting the nuances of each year's harvest.

Refinement through Aging & Milling Expertise

Following harvest, the grains undergo a six-month aging process, enriching both texture and taste.

Subsequent meticulous milling, using cutting-edge rice polishing techniques, elevates their quality even further.

The attention to detail and innovation invested in Kinmemai Premium justifies its esteemed price point, showcasing its exceptional caliber.

Patented Precision in Grain Polishing

Leveraging an exclusive, patented rice-polishing technique, Kinmemai rice is masterfully processed. Each grain is carefully refined, removing only the resilient outer hull while preserving the nutrient-dense germ and bran.

This results in a rice type that stands out, captivating with its authentic aroma, taste, and superior nutritional essence, distinguishing it from conventional varieties.

The Brand's Signature

Rinse-free attribute eliminates a common preparatory step, making the cooking process more efficient.

Acclaimed Excellence & Nutritional Superiority

Kinmemai Premium not only secured a Guinness World Record for its premium pricing but also triumphed with a gold medal at the 2016 International Rice Tasting Contest.

Beyond its accolades, it stands as a nutritional titan, rich in vitamins like B1, B6, E, and B3, complemented by folic acid.

Impressively, with six times the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of typical rice, it champions enhanced immunity and a potentially lower cancer risk.

rice with sesame in black bowl
Photo by Mgg Vitchakorn / Unsplash

Flavor Profile

Kinmemai Premium boasts a flavor that is unparalleled. When cooked, it has a buttery flavor, tinged with a subtle natural sweetness.

The aroma is reminiscent of freshly baked bread or a hint of chestnut. Its texture is slightly sticky yet fluffy, a combination hard to achieve in most rice varieties.

Who Would Purchase It?

Gourmet Enthusiasts: Individuals who have an acquired taste and are constantly seeking the finest in culinary delights would be drawn to Kinmemai Premium. These are people who value the subtleties of flavors, textures, and the stories behind their food.

Affluent Consumers: The affluent, often looking for exclusivity in their purchases, would be keen to try or serve the world's most expensive rice, both as a status symbol and a genuine appreciation of its unique qualities.

High-end Restaurants & Chefs: Top-tier restaurants, particularly those specializing in Japanese delicacies like kaiseki and omakase, or those offering gourmet fusion dishes, often integrate Kinmemai Premium into their culinary repertoire.

Utilizing such a prestigious rice allows these establishments to elevate their offerings and grant diners an unparalleled gastronomic experience.

Special Occasions: Just as one might purchase a vintage wine or champagne for a special event, Kinmemai Premium might be chosen for significant occasions, from corporate dinners to milestone celebrations.

Culinary Applications of Kinmemai Premium

Traditional Japanese Dishes: Kinmemai Premium can be used in traditional dishes like sushi, onigiri, or chirashi bowls, where the quality of the rice plays a central role in the taste and overall experience.

Luxury Fusion Dishes: Think of Kinmemai Premium rice as a base for a fusion risotto infused with truffle oil or saffron, or as an accompaniment to high-end ingredients like Wagyu beef or foie gras.

Simple Elegance: Given its inherent rich flavor, some connoisseurs might prefer to enjoy Kinmemai Premium in its simplest form, steamed with just a touch of high-quality sea salt or paired with pickled vegetables.

Wine and Dine Pairing: Considering its premium quality, dishes crafted with Kinmemai Premium are often complemented with select beverages. Chefs might recommend accompanying these rice dishes with refined sakes, wines, or other specialty drinks to amplify and harmonize the overall gourmet experience.

Interesting Facts

Guinness World Record: Kinmemai Premium rice was recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2016 as the world's most expensive rice. A testament to its unique value in the culinary world.

Kinmemai Premium's Nutritional Distinction: Due to its unique processing, Kinmemai Premium boasts an enriched spectrum of vitamins like B1, B6, E, and B3, paired with folic acid. Beyond these, it also preserves essential minerals and nutrients often lost in standard white rice, marrying culinary excellence with health benefits.

Cultural Relevance: In Japan, rice is not just food – it's a tradition. The advent of Kinmemai Premium showcases how traditional foods can be innovated upon to meet the palates of the modern gourmet.


Indulging in Kinmemai Premium is more than just tasting rice; it's immersing oneself in a carefully crafted piece of Japanese legacy.

This luxurious grain stands as a testament to Japan's dedication to elevating even the simplest of ingredients to a culinary masterpiece.

For those with a discerning palate, a taste of Kinmemai Premium is essential, especially when dining at elite restaurants. Here, it seamlessly enhances the best dishes, especially those rooted in classic Japanese traditions.