my Japanese friend, Keiko-san, proposed that she can teach me how to cook some Japanese dishes, when she found out I have a blog. of course, i was thrilled and couldn’t wait for the cooking together experience. even though i lived in Japan, i hardly ever cooked Japanese food. i suppose it’s partly because i didn’t have anyone who would be willing to teach me. Keiko-san’s idea was the more appealing, as i really wanted to learn how to make at least some of the Japanese staples.
we ended up spending all day together, cooking. the day started off with shopping for the ingredients, explaining recipes and, of course, finally cooking it all. Keiko-san was the master chef: cooking everything, explaining, step by step, how to make each dish.
we made a lot Japanese dishes, but this time I’m introducing only one of them:
takikomi gohan, which literally means cooked (mixed) rice.
the dish is quite simple, but so very delicious. perfect for any time of the year, but (in my humble opinion) it tastes best in the autumn and winter. there is something velvety and earthy about a burdock root, what makes you warm and comforted.
Keiko-san, thank you!
JAPANESE MIXED RICE (炊き込みご飯）
3 cups of rice
1 package of mushrooms (we used shimeji mushrooms)
1 chicken breast
1 burdock root
1 piece of fried tofu
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Rinse the rice under running water. The water will turn a milky white color. Drain the cloudy water away and add fresh water, and swish the rice around again. Put rice in a rice cooker or pot. Add water to the rice. At this point you should let the rice soak for a while. Soaking for at least 30 minutes to an hour is generally recommended.
2. While the rice is soaking, prepare other ingredients. First, peel and cut the burdock root. Pieces shouldn’t be too big (look at the picture):
3. Next, peel and cut the carrot and fried tofu. cut the carrot as shown in the picture:
4. You don’t have to cut shimeji mushrooms. But you do have to cut the meat. Rather small pieces.
5. After you cut everything, rice should be soaked enough. Take out two ladles of water in which the rice was soaked. In place of the water we took out, add 1 ladle of soy sauce and 1 ladle of mirin.
6. After you add the seasoning, add the rest of ingredients except the meat.
7. Start cooking rice. From now on, we have to be careful to not miss the moment of adding the chicken. We should add the meat when we see the steam coming out of the rice cooker. When that happens, you should open the rice cooker and add the meat quickly. Close the rice cooker as soon as you can to prevent the loss of taste ^^
8. What’s left? Waiting for the rice cooker to sound that it is done with cooking the rice. When you hear it, the dish is ready to eat and should look like that:
It could count as a main dish cause you’ll be full even after eating even a small portion.
If you weren’t able to eat all what you’ve made, you can make an onigiri next day out of the takikomi gohan. Delicious and perfect for breakfast/lunch ;)