Rice “Bread”

Rice “Bread”

When I started to think about the similarities between rice and bread, and how in Japan rice is served with every meal as bread is in France, I imagined a combination of the two: a “slice” of rice that could be held in the hand like a slice of bread and eaten alongside all the things bread typically accompanies, from stews to a juicy roast chicken.

The key to having the slices stay intact is to not rinse the rice before cooking it. This, plus the inherent stickiness of sushi rice, binds the “bread.” While I have used a round cake pan in the recipe below, you can use a loaf pan to make sandwich-style slices if you like.


  • 1 cup (185 g) sushi rice (do not rinse)
  • 1 cup (185 g) jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice (do not rinse)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mirin
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Cook the sushi rice according to the package directions until al dente. Cook the jasmine rice according to the package directions until just tender but with a bit of resistance.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, mirin, and sugar and warm over medium-low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the warm cooked rices. Pour the rice wine mixture over the rice and use a wooden spoon to mix gently.
  4. Line an 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pan with plastic wrap. Spoon the seasoned rice mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it in the pan to compact it, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
  5. Slice the rice bread into wedges and serve cold or at room temperature.

Rice “Bread” is excerpted from POILÂNE: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery © 2019 by Apollonia Poilâne. Photography © 2019 by Philippe Vaurès Santamaria. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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