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!
- 4 rice cups medium or short grain rice (Please note this is Japanese rice cooker cups which is 180 ml, not US Cups)
- ¼ US cups soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 2 Tablespoons sake
- 2T dashi (Japanese granules)
- 3 rice cups water - 540 ml
- ¾ cups dried shiitake reconstituted chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cups carrots julienned
- ¾ cups deep fried tofu cut into bite sized pieces
- ¾ cups bamboo shoots cut into bit sized pieces
- *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
- In the rice cooker pot add rice and 3 rice cups of water
- add the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and dashi and mix well
- add the shiitake, carrots, deep fried tofu and bamboo shoots on top
- close the lid and you can let it sit for 30 minutes
- then press the cook rice button. DO NOT use the quick cook.
- I did that once and the rice didn't cook and it was a disaster!
- Once the rice cooker beeps, let it sit for 10 minutes.
- transfer to a big bowl and mix well.
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.
This rice dish 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.