Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Hey, it's Andrew, Steven and Adam. Before we get started, this episode was filmed at the beginning of the year before we started social distancing, due to COVID-19. - Yes, we are currently still social distancing, but we wanna share these great restaurants with you. Even the dining out is not the same as it usually is right now. - Today, we're doing rice. ♪ Is it worth it ♪ ♪ Make it worth it ♪ ♪ Make it worth it ♪ ♪ Worth it ♪ ♪ Worth it ♪ - Potentially the most anticipated episode of Worth It ever. - By who? - By me. - Okay. - By me. By yours truly, rice is my favorite carb and potentially my favorite dish. - And before we get started on today's adventure, special thank you to Toyota, who hooked us up with this Highlander to be the new Worth-It-Mobile this season. - Today at Worth It, we're gonna be trying three rice dishes at three drastically different price points to find out which one is the most worth it and it's price. - I'm thinking about rice. We've eaten it so many times on this show. It's an ingredient. It's a dish. It can take so many forms. Say rice, and then I'll say a thing. - Rice. - Noodle. - Rice. - Porridge. - Rice. - Pudding. - Rice. - Cake. Wait, reverse it now. Sticky. - Rice. - Fried. - Rice. - Crispy. - Rice. - Nice. - Rice. - We're eating it. - Rice. Okay, so where are we going first? - We're on our way to Azuma Restaurant. We're gonna see owner, Hideki and general manager, Hitoshi. - I'm very excited because this restaurant was actually referred to us by our good friend, Sean Miura. He will be joining us for the tasting. - He said they make the most fantastic Onigiri. (bright upbeat music) Here we are at Azuma Restaurant. - With our good friend, Sean Miura. - What's up? - How did it feel recommending a restaurant to Worth It? - It's pretty stressful. Cause you don't know if it's going to be good enough. And then also you don't want people to show up and make it harder to get into. - Oh, I see. - You're walking in the door and there's a really great energy and vibe to it. It's kind of like a cheers feeling. - Can you tell us a little bit of the background of Azuma? - We purchased this restaurant 2002. It was owned by a Japanese national. Built by the Okamoto family, in the early 50s. - And why has it been important for you guys to maintain this restaurant as an Izakaya? - We liked it for one. Izakaya style is the analogist to the Spanish tapas, lots of little things. But in addition to that, we have the regular menu items. - Asparagus beef is very important out here. Sashimi salad. - And what makes a really good Onigiri? - Rice is very important. We are using Hickory rice. Simple but tastes really good. - It's best to start with like a plain Onigiri, it's just going to be this triangle. That's a little bit thick. That's like just the right firmness. Have maybe a little bit of salt and the piece of seaweed. But otherwise it's just gonna be this nice, subtle flavor because it's just straight up rice. - [Steven] Whoa! This a giant. - So this is their most standard version. No filling, it's not grilled rice, salt, seaweed. It does have a satisfying haft. - It has the weight of a perfectly shaped snowball. Like I wanna throw this at somebody. - Yeah. - Cheers. - Oh, The rice is naturally sweet. - Where are you getting sweet? - Are you tasting salt? - I'm tasting salt. - I'm I confused? Wait, Adam, please confirm for me. Maybe I'm crazy. - I got too much seaweed. It just tastes like seaweed. (all laughing) - Amazing how satisfying it is. Because it's just, it's so few elements. - It's really a satisfying. - Wait, eat that now. - So this is takuan, It's like a pickled daikon. - Love that. That's sweet. - I think we're gonna find out in this episode that my taste buds are broken. - So those are the base I wanna give you. Yaki Onigiri, Yaki comes from the verb Yaku, which means like to grill. It's just how you get like takoyaki. It's how you get okonomiyaki. It's how you get soba. - [Steven] Fun fact. - So what they're gonna do is they're gonna brush it with the soy sauce based sort of mixture. Then they're gonna be grilling it. Charred rice is one of my favorite flavors in the world. You could have salmon. Salmon's really popular one. That's my personal favorite. Umeboshi is like a pickled plum. It contrasts nicely with the rice flavor. - Steven, which one do you want? - I saw the fish egg on the menu. We're talking about contrast. Look at that crust. - And then just the smell you should be getting this nice toasty. - Yeah. - Cheers. - It never gets old. - Wow, that's almost like a fried rice, rice ball. I mean, I guess it is. - If you'll notice in one bite, you're getting this crispy outside, which is like totally charged to perfection. And then inside is still this really nice rice that's taken in the flavor of the soy sauce. - I just got to the fish egg part. Yeah, very fishy. I get it though. This is actually amazing. - It does go with the toasted flavor of the rice very well. It's so good. Considering it is mostly just rice. - Hey, not just rice, like rice is rice. You're just Andrew. - I'm not getting any of this. (all laughing) - No, I got you. I know what you mean. - This is good. - Thank you so much to Sean for guiding us through our Azuma dining experience. I hope to go there again with him. - I know we're about to eat two more amazing rice dishes. I have a feeling today. They're all my Worth It winner. You just literally cannot go wrong with rice. - Steven, it's time for a little rice fact. - Rice fact. - And in fact, this is going to be a pop quiz rice fact. How many cultivated varieties of rice are there in the world? - Oh no. - Take a guess. - This one's hard. I'm gonna say 12,534. - 12,000? The answer is 40,000.