GABA rice seems to command a high premium is only found on Amazon in a few varieties, one by Koshihikari, one by Sempio. Is GABA rice anything but brown rice pre-heated? Is the GABA setting on a rice cooker for GABA rice? Or, is to cook brown rice in a fashion that makes it GABA-like? And, if so, would there ever be a downside to cooking rice marketed as GABA using the GABA setting? Does that double GABA it?

1 Answer 1


The rice you are referring to is sprouted brown rice. From wholegrainscouncil.org , GABA stands for an amino acid, gamma amino butyric acid.

THE MOST TOUTED HEALTH BENEFIT of sprouted rice is GABA (gamma amino butyric acid).

The GABA setting on your rice cooker will take much longer as per this article on Techilicious .

If you want to push your culinary skills, the Zojirushi also gives you room to grow that other models do not provide. Its GABA setting for brown rice is intended to slowly cook the rice by "activating" it at a temperature of 104 degrees for 2 hours before cooking. It's supposed to increase the amount of an amino acid—gamma aminobutryic acid or GABA—released in the brown rice, producing a softer grain. However, it entails a total cooking time of roughly 3 and a half hours. So is it worth the wait?

We found that for rice connoisseurs the GABA setting worked wonders. It brings out the nutty flavor of brown rice without turning it into mush. It produced perfectly cooked individual grains that were firm, but not crunchy. Even our youngest reviewer noticed the difference.

However, if you use a regular setting or cook on the stove top, the rice will cook quicker as the bran layer has been softened during the sprouting process.

The sprouting (germination) process adds a variety of nutrients through the activation of dormant enzymes, while also softening the bran layer. The rice kernel is germinated until the flavor and nutritional benefits are maximized.

Please follow the link and review the .pdf. It has a great deal of information about sprouted brown rice as well as comparisons to white rice and regular brown rice.

  • Yet, the GABA setting takes massively longer. And, it's a Zojirushi rice cooker. Where are you reading it should take a shorter amount of time? Jul 7, 2015 at 20:51
  • My mistake as I misread and combined two pieces of information. I will edit to clarify as the GABA setting does take longer.
    – Cindy
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:56
  • @EvanCarroll By the way, thanks for catching that!
    – Cindy
    Jul 7, 2015 at 21:03
  • Re: longer cooking time in a rice cooker. I find it of no concern, since many (most?) rice cookers that can cook GABA rice also have a timer feature, so you can program your cooker to make some GABA rice in time for dinner. Jan 29, 2016 at 17:59
  • To achieve gaba brown rice takes at least 9 hrs to germinate. If you cant see small sprouts the rice hasnt germinated. Gaba setting or not. Your not getting gaba rice, your getting soaked rice..
    – user58472
    Jun 10, 2017 at 7:54

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