Takikomi gohan, which literally translates to “cooked with rice”, refers to a style of Japanese rice dish in which short-grain rice is seasoned with soy sauce and dashi and cooked with other ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms, meats, and seafood.
Takikomi gohan is commonly eaten in autumn, as autumn is the season when the rice harvest occurs. As a result, takikomi gohan often features seasonal ingredients like mushrooms, chestnuts, and sweet potatoes. In this recipe, we make use of a dried mountain vegetable mix, but you can also add fresh ingredients such as carrots, burdock root, bamboo shoots, peas, and hijiki seaweed. Feel free to mix and match to create your own mixed rice creation!
Making takikomi gohan is simple. Start by washing your rice, then soaking it in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your mixed mountain vegetables according to package instructions and julienne the aburaage (deep-fried tofu) or fu (wheat gluten) and kikurage (dried wood ear mushrooms) into thin strips. Drain the rice and place it in your preferred cooking vessel - you can make takikomi gohan in a rice cooker or on the stovetop! Add shiitake dash, soy sauce, and mirin, then add water until there is enough liquid to cook the rice. Next, layer your prepared mountain vegetable mix, aburaage or fu, and kikurage over the top, but don’t mix them in. Mixing the ingredients in can interrupt how evenly the rice cooks. Lastly, cook the rice as usual, either by following the rice cooker instructions or steaming on the stovetop until all the liquid has evaporated.
Once the rice has finished cooking, fluff it with a rice paddle and serve hot!
- 300g uncooked rice (2 cups)
- 100g mixed mountain vegetables
- 2 sheets aburaage (deep fried tofu) (sliced into thin bite-sized strips) or 4-5 pieces fu (wheat gluten)
- 200ml shiitake dashi (or 1 tsp any dashi powder dissolved in 200ml water)
- 200ml of water
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp mirin
- 1-2 kikurage (dried wood ear mushrooms) (optional) (To rehydrate, soak in lukewarm water for 40-60 mins or boil in water for 20-25 mins, then julienne)
- Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 mins.
- Boil the Mixed Mountain Vegetables in water for 1-2 mins then drain.
- Drain the rice and put it in your rice cooking pot/stove top pot for cooking. Mix in the dashi, soy sauce and mirin. Add water to the level of the rice.
- Add the Mixed Mountain Vegetables, aburaage (or Sendai fu) and Wood Ear Mushroom (if using) but do not mix.
- Cook the rice as per usual then mix and serve.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.