The Japanese have a variety of mixed rice recipes. Some are called maze gohan and some are called takikomi gohan. So, I asked my teacher, “what’s the difference?” Maze gohan is when the rice is already cooked and you add ingredients to it, while takikomi gohan is when the ingredients are cooked with the rice in the same pot. Learned something new!
This recipe is takikomi gohan, and I used an electric rice cooker. Takikomi gohan is a variety of vegetables and sometimes chicken with a soy sauce base that is cooked together with rice in the same pot, so all the flavors are blended together, making a very satisfying dish. Maybe you can say it’s a Japanese version of the Spanish paella. The traditional way to make this is quite time consuming because you are supposed to cook the vegetables separately in a sauce. However, this recipe, given to me by my ikebana teacher, is very easy and really delicious; just chop, mix and push the button – my kind of recipe! For this recipe I have omitted the chicken because when meat is added, I feel it should be consumed right away, but if you want to add chicken I would just add a quarter cup of finely chopped raw chicken tenders. Sometimes, takikomi gohan can be a little bland, but please do try this one, everyone will be asking for seconds. I like to serve this with gari, or sushi ginger. Get the recipe here!
Many Japanese mixed rice recipes on the internet have ingredients that are not readily available unless you live near an Asian grocery. Because a couple of my sisters don’t live anywhere near an Asian shop, I have included ingredients that you can substitute.
- 4 cups rice (Please use the rice cup that comes with your machine, this is not a regular US cup measurement. 1 rice cup is 180ml)
- 1/4 US cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoon sake (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tablespoon dashi granules (Japanese stock)
- 3 rice cups water, which is equivalent to 540ml.
- 3/4 cup dried shiitake (reconstituted) – chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup carrots – julienned
- 3/4 cup deep fried tofu – chopped into thin strips
- 3/4 cup bamboo shoots (canned is fine)
- *note: you may also use other ingredients such as gobo (burdock), green beans, shirataki, snap peas, konyaku, fish cake, chicken, use your imagination!
- Wash rice and drain water
- Add rice to pot
- Add the 3 rice cups of water (540 ml or 2 1/5 US cups), 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sake, mirin and dashi. This seems like a very large amount of dashi stock, but believe me, it’s right. Blend well.
- Now, just add all the chopped ingredients on top of the rice.
- Close the lid and push cook. On my rice cooker, I have a quick cooking button. Do NOT use this button. I did the first time, and it did not cook!
- Once the machine beeps and the cooking is done, be patient and let it sit for at least 15 minutes, longer is fine.
- In a large bowl, empty the whole rice pot and mix well.
This with a bowl of miso soup with make a complete meal. If you do have any left-overs you can microwave it and make rice balls for lunch the following day!
Notes: I updated the recipe to 3/4 cups of each ingredient because the original recipe called for only 1/4 cup. However, I found that it just wasn’t enough for the amount of rice. In fact, I sometimes add up to one cup of each ingredient and it still comes out fine. Also, I like to add burdock because it really gives it an earthy flavor.