This is a great cooking method and quite easy to throw together. After tasting it, I added a bit more soy sauce along with some sweet chili sauce and curry powder. This basic recipe has lots of possibilities for other ingredients/flavors too.
Mark Bittman's recipes are basic, but that's the point - simple goodness - and you can serve with sauces on the side. We doubled everything except the rice and I just loved how easy this was. (It's important after putting on the lid in Step#3 to not lift it up AT ALL until after the cooling period, and the rice cooks perfectly.) Next time I may add some green onion for color. Also I used fresh shitake but will probably use dried next time and the soaking water for the dashi.
A basic, nutritious, one-dish meal. I omitted the meat, and used a homemade dashi, with firm tofu and long-grain rice.