Takikomi Gohan Onigiri

READY IN: 1hr 5mins




  • Start by washing the rice to remove the excess starch. Do it 2-3 times until the water used to wash the rice becomes clear. After washing, soak in water for about 30 minutes. Then, use a strainer to drain for about 5 minutes before using.
  • Soak the shiitake in water for about 20 minutes before using. Then, remove the hard stem part of the mushroom and chop the head part into fine pieces. Reserve the water used to soak the shiitake.
  • Cut the root end of the shimeji mushrooms then separate the pieces individually.
  • Cut the aburaage in half then slice it thinly.
  • Peel the gobo then slice diagonally thinly. Gather the pieces then chop it into thin strips.
  • Next, slice both the carrot and ginger into thin strips.
  • Wash then dry the chicken with a paper towel. Then, chop it into smaller pieces about 2-centimeter cubes.
  • Put the rice, vegetables and chicken in a pot, preferably heavy-bottomed with a tight lid.
  • Combine the soy sauce, awamori, reserved shiitake water and dashi then mix all the liquids well. Pour it over the rice in the pot then mix all the ingredients.
  • Turn the heat on to medium then bring the rice into a boil.
  • Once the rice boils, reduce the heat to low then simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Never open the pot but be careful not to burn the bottom part of the rice.
  • Turn off the heat then keep the pot covered for about 10 more minutes. This process is important as this is the time when the rice will soften completely. Never open the pot while cooking the rice especially after you've turned off the heat.
  • Mix the takikomi gohan then add salt to adjust taste. Let it cool but don't wait for it to become cold.
  • Prepare a bowl with water which you will use to dampen your hands to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands as you shape the rice balls. A towel to wipe your hands will also come handy.
  • Spoon out the takikomi gohan then put a handful on top of the palm of your hands. Use your two hands to shape the rice ball with the one hand holding the bottom while the other forming the rice into a somewhat triangular shape. Press the rice ball firm enough so it  will hold its shape. It's important not to press the rice ball too firmly as it will make the rice ball hard once it cools completely.
  • Cut out a rectangle from the nori sheet big enough so that it will reach the middle part of each side of the rice ball holding the base. Press the nori sheet onto the rice ball then wait for it to stick with the rice.