Kayaku Gohan (Rice With Vegetables)
From The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman. "This popular one-pot dish can be made with meat or vegetables and, like most casseroles, is easily varied. There are many similar dishes throughout East Asia, but this one is made distinctively Japanese by the addition of mirin and even more so if you use dashi for the cooking stock -- a terrific touch. Arbruage -- fried tofu -- is available, precooked, at Japanese markets; it's slightly sweet. Firm, well pressed tofu can be used as a substitute."
- Ready In:
- 1 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice
- 1⁄2 1/2 cup ground chicken (all work well) or 1/2 cup diced chicken
- 2 tablespoons corn oil (if you're using meat) or 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (if you're using meat)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 lb shiitake mushroom, stems removed and caps sliced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 1⁄4 1/4 cup water chestnuts or 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1⁄4 lb fried tofu (abruage) or 1/4 lb firm tofu, well pressed and cut into chunks
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons mirin or 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 1⁄2 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or 2 1/2 cups water
- Wash the rice and soak it in water to cover while you prepare the other ingredients.
- If you are using meat or chicken, put the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the meat or chicken and cook, stirring occasionally to break up lumps, until it browns; season with a bit of salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
- In a medium saucepan or flameproof casserole with a lid, combine all the ingredients including the meat or chicken and the drained rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then stir once and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a bout 20 minutes and let sit, covered, for 15 - 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve.
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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.Reply