Aigamo rice is not a specific type of rice, but rather normal uruchi rice grown specifically with aigamo ducklings (a wild and domesticated cross-breed).
Yes, with ducklings. They are adorable!
Instead of using pesticides to keep unwanted insects out of the rice paddies, the ducks (or kamo in Japanese, aigamo meaning "with ducks") eat the insects in the field. Clever of these farmers, don't you think? Takao Furuno, rediscovered this method that was invented nearly five centuries ago, and was abandoned due to its inefficiency.Less efficient, but much better for the environment. Now, some 75,000 farmers throughout Asia use Furuno-san's method.
The Aigamo method has several advantages:
The ducklings eat weed and insects
The ducklings turn the soil with their feet and bills to oxygenate the soil
The ducklings droppings fertilize the field
Learn more about the benefits of this method in the below video.
Toasted aigamo rice is mixed with black soybeans from Tokachi region of Hokkaido. Mix with green tea leaves to make your own genmaicha.