Here’s a tutorial to help you along.
TAKIKOMI GOHAN / 炊き込みご飯
2 cups Rice
Shiitake Mushrooms (4 or 5)
Seasonal Mushrooms (1/2 - 1 cup)
1/2 cup sliced Burdock Root (Gobo – any seasonal vegetable)
1 pack Konkyaku (has no flavor, adds texture, can omit)
2 fried tofu (abura age) (adds texture and protein, can omit)
200 grams Chicken (preferably leg meat)
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin (or 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons sake)
2 tablespoons Sake (this is said to negate any odor)
Salt to taste
2 cups Dashi
(note: the amount of vegetables and chicken is not precisely measured but ratio of rice to dashi is always 1 cup rice to 1 cup dashi.)
- Wash the rice and set aside. Doing this will partly hydrate the rice which is said to improve the texture and flavor.
- Slice the vegetables and set aside.
(note: some people put the sliced burdock in water to remove bitterness and/or prevent oxidation)
- Boil the konyaku and ‘fried tofu’ separately. Drain, slice, and set aside.
- Slice the chicken, with skin, into bite sized pieces and add the soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
- Prepare your dashi.
- Now that all of your ingredients are ready, combine them either in a rice cooker or a deep sauce pan.
- The rice MUST go into the pan first. Make sure it is evenly spread along the bottom.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into the pot in any order but do not mix.
- Add the dashi.
- Set into your rice cooker. (Japanese rice cookers will have a special setting labeled 炊き込み.)
- If you are using a stovetop, without stirring the pot, bring it to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 13 minutes, then turn off the heat. Do not open the pot. Let it steam for an additional 15 minutes.
- Stir the takikomi rice and serve.