Introduction: Takikomi Gohan (Steamed Together Rice)
Takikomi Gohan or "Steamed Together Rice" is a Japanese dish in which the rice is cooked together with fresh vegetables and proteins for an easy and delicious meal right out of the rice cooker (or pot).
Medium grain rice (450g or about 2 and 1/4 cups)
Carrots, matchsticks (~50g)
Burdock root, sliced (1/3 a root)
Bamboo shoot, chopped (~100g)
Dried or fresh Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced (2 mushrooms)
Fried tofu, diced (abura-age) 1 cake
Mushrooms (Shimeji and Bunapi mushrooms pictured) (~1 cup)
2 chicken thighs, diced
Green onions, sliced (2 stalks)
Soy sauce (2 TBSP)
Sake (2 TBSP)
Salt (2/3 tsp)
Liquid (made up of water used to rehydrate shiitake mushrooms, liquid after sauteing the chicken and mushrooms, and preferred stock (e.g. chicken or dashi) 2 and 1/2 cups
Snap peas (a handful)
A rice cooker (or a pot with a lid and a heat source)
Step 1: Prepare Ingredients
Some of these ingredients can only be found in Asian supermarkets but can easily be substituted for other ingredients. Additionally, things like the bamboo shoots can be found in canned forms. In the end you should choose a variety of yummy ingredients with lots of different textures and try them in your own unique combinations.
First, dice the chicken thighs and break up the Bunapi and Shimeji mushrooms (after cutting off the end with leftover growing media) . Saute the chicken and mushrooms together until there is a good sear on the meat and the mushrooms have given up some of their liquid. You do not need to cook them all the way through.
Prepare the other ingredients as pictured. In most cases the vegetables should be cut into smaller than bite-sized pieces.
Some pro tips:
- Burdock root is best shaved into small slivers as pictured. If you shave them into water with a little vinegar (rice vinegar pictured) they will not turn brown.
- The dried shiitake mushrooms should be soaked in water for about 20 minutes (make sure to save this leftover water for the cooking liquid as it adds a yummy umami boost!).
- Quickly dip the fried tofu in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove some of the extra oil.
- Carrots do well as matchsticks but can be any shape you want. Make sure not to cut them too thick!
- Thinly slice the green onions and reserve the green portion to add at the end.
- Quickly blanch the snap peas in boiling water after pulling out the tough threads. Cut in whatever shape you want for a bright green garnish.
Step 2: Set It and Forget It!
Wash the rice and add to your rice maker pot or a large saucepan. Add the sake, soy sauce, salt, and cooking liquid and mix with the rice. Add your chopped ingredients on top of your rice and then the cooked chicken and mushrooms on top of that. Set your rice maker to "takikomi" mode (pictured above) and let it do its thing! If you don't have a "takikomi" mode then just set the rice maker to its usual setting.
If you are cooking in saucepan on the stove put everything in as directed and bring it to a boil on high before turning it down to a gentle simmer with a lid on. Cook until the cooking liquid is incorporated.
Step 3: Now for the Best Part!
When the rice cooker is done (or the cooking liquid is absorbed) open the lid and take in all the wonderful smells! Use a rice cooker paddle (shamoji) to mix all the goodness together. Hopefully there will be some crispy, caramelized rice on the bottom--this is called "okoge" and adds some nice chewy/crunchy bits as you stir it together. Stir in the green parts of the sliced scallions.
Scoop your desired portion into the bowl of your choice, garnish with your snap peas, snap a pic for social media, and dig in!!!
Be amazed that this sophisticated, beautiful, and yummy dish was so easy to make!!
Thank you! I hope you enjoy!