Healing and rejuvenating with rice water.

Facial masks often find any cosmetic stores in these day. There are popular ingredients such as aloe, cucumber, lemon, honey, floral and RICE. 

Originating in Asian cultures, rice water is a natural cleansing option for washing your face. Rice is known for a rich source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights aging and free radical damage, and linoleic acids. Linoleic acid is in the fatty acid family, which is essential for healthy skin. It has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, softening skin and making it supple. It also provides healing support to skin cell regeneration, making it a potent acne-fighter.

Rice Starch for fabric

In Korea today, a rice water solution containing starch is applied on a variety of fabrics before ironing. It is commonly used on old Hanbok & Hemp or cotton in the summer months. The application of rice starch to fabric smooths and crisps the surface while increasing the fabrics ability to resist wrinkling. The treated fabric feels cool, smooth and has a high sheen on the surface. The rice starch also provides a barrier to stains that might penetrate the cotton fabric thus making it easier to remove any stains that would attract bacteria, fungi and insects.

Photo Credit: Daum The early  Koreans used a flat stone or rounded wooden roll and bat to remove the wrinkles and straighten clothes soaked and dried in rice starch.

Photo Credit: Daum
The early  Koreans used a flat stone or rounded wooden roll and bat to remove the wrinkles and straighten clothes soaked and dried in rice starch.

To make rice starch at home, finely powdered rice is needed. Either cooked cold rice or uncooked rice grain can be processed until completely smooth. In a large bucket of cold water, add the rice starch and mix until completely dissolved. Add clothes to soak for a period of time and then transfer the clothes to an empty bucket. Pour any remaining starch water over the clothes and let sit for 10 minutes, patting down clothes to ensure absorption. Then, hang up the clothes and allow to air dry, straightening them to eliminate any large creases. When the clothes are fully dry they can be ironed with a good steam iron. Use a low setting to avoid browning the starch and spray with water if needed. The clothes will have a super crisp look and feel!

Seal any air pockets with rice

Hirota Yuki Culinary Writer



1 What is a Donabe and how do you use a Donabe?
A Donabe is a Japanese pot made out of special clay. It can be placed directly over an open flame and the outside of the Donabe must be dry so it does not crack. It also must be allowed to cool down slowly after cooking to avoid cracking. Make sure to clean it well after use with tawashi (japanese scrubbing brush made from palm tree) with warm water.

2.What kind of food is the best cooked in a Donabe?
A very popular dish in the wintertime is called Yosenabe. It is a dish that has a base soup or broth with vegetables, chicken or salmon. It can be used as a dipping sauce for yuzu (Japanese Citrus) or sesame paste. Yosenabe can also have miso, kimchi, or soy milk as a base.  My family recipe uses kombu and mushrooms, ginseng, daikon, edible chrysanthemum, tofu, cod, and oyster for the base.  Noodles or rice is added at the end of the cooking when the soup gets thick. This is called "Shi me” and looks like risotto. Simmering all the ingredients in a  Donabe creates an umami, bringing out the best flavor in each vegetable. A Dobane could also be used for cooking rice, steaming vegetables, and cooking meat on their own.

3. Why does a Donabe affect the taste of food differently than other pots?
Compared to a stainless steel pot, a Donabe transfers heat slowly and insulates the heat to trap the savory umami flavor. Radish and rice also becomes sweeter as the sugars are broken down by high temperatures. Donabe pots perfectly maintain ideal temperatures of 40-60 degrees for umami flavors and helps keep the vegetables from losing their shape, such as the potato and onion in Nikujaga and Odendishes. This is because moisture is released through the Dunabe clay and prevents the water from boiling over and ruining the shape of the vegetable.

4. How / why do you use cooked rice water before you use the Donabe?
Rice water and paste is often used as a glue in Japan for pasting paper and fans together. Its sticky properties help to seal any air pockets in the Donabe clay and prevents food from sticking to the sides of the pot. You all need is starch! When you use starch (rice or wheat flour), put 2 Tbspoon and pour water 80% of pot and heat, when it boils, turn small flame and boil 20-30min. After leave it half day, you are ready to use!

5. What recommended steps can be taken to care for the Donabe?
Clean and keep in dry the Donabe thoroughly and completely dry before using.

6. Where I can purchase a Donabe?
Hitachiya USAYou can buy Donabe above on our web site Donabe

Hirota Yuki (, born in Tokyo and a graduate of Sofia University, is a culinary writer who has published several culinary books. She works as a food consultant to stores, creating  products and menus. She is an expert on dried vegetables. After graduating, she enrolled in the Japan Food Coordinator School (JFCS) 2008. She joined Tsukiji Hitachi-ya, a kitchen supply store which was established in 1956 in Hirota and was also her family’s business. She took the role as a third-generation leader of the company. As their business expanded, they opened the first store outside in Japan in Los Angeles in 2011.





Rice Water

Rice, the most popular edible grain in our lifetime , is also a grain for skin  healing and rejuvenation. The  byproducts of ”rice water”, the water that rice is soaked in,  are rich in ferulic acid and allantoin. Ferulic acid is a wonderful antioxidant which works as a sun protection factor. When combined with allantoin as an anti-inflammatory factor, applying rice water will help protect the skin from sun burns. Also, washing the face will enhance fair skin.  

In Japan, Geisha used this” rice water”  in the bath for soft, smooth and luminous skin. The effects of rice(rice water) are further enhanced if it is fermented. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, B vitamins, vitamin E, and traces of ‘Pitera’, a substance produced during the fermentation process. Pitera has ability to promote cell regeneration, helping skin stay young and beautiful. The nutrients in fermented rice water are believed to shrink pores, reduce fine lines, and tighten and brighten your skin. Today, you can find major cosmetic company products which contain rice/fermented rice water. Rice bran, which is produced when brown rice is milled to white rice,  has also been used to wash hair, dishes, and even natural wood floors.

Sawami Aoki who is soaper has worked with LiveRice and exclusively supplies White Rice Soaps on our shop.

Soap dish made by ceramic artist EunYoung Sebazco

Soap dish made by ceramic artist EunYoung Sebazco