Variations of mixed rice (Takikomi gohan)

Last time, we’ve talked about gastoronomic autumn and touched a little about mixed rice (takikomi gohan) but this time, we’ll talk about two of the most famous mixed rice during the fall season.

20051017_日本玩第三天_047_築地石橋妻商店岩手松茸_02 / macglee

Most well-known mixed rice during the fall is the matsutake rice. In the western culture, when people think about high priced mushroom with unique scent is truffle, but in Japan, it is matsutake mushroom. Matsutake is high priced delicacy during fall in Japan. It is considered to have really good scent for Japanese people and grows only under the pine tree and cannot be cultivated so it can be only enjoyed during fall and gets pricey as its all hand picked with limited season. As all the mushrooms do, umami will be increased when heated, so mixing rice in is the perfect way to enjoy umami and subtle but distinctive smell of matsutake. Since most expensive Japanese matsutake is sold around 2000 USD per Kg, it is not eaten too often or, substituted with imported matsutake which is about 1/10 of the price, or any other mushrooms and when matsutake is used to add some flagrance. Not to worry for residents in US, matsutake is sold in many markets during fall inUS too and with much cheaper price as it’s not exactly the same price.

Other fall delicacy includes chestnuts rice. As we talked last time, chestnut season is on the fall and usually when chestnuts rice is made, Japanese chestnut is used. Japanese chestnuts don’t have much sweetness in it so you can enjoy both sweetness of the rice, texture and mild sweetness of chestnuts.

There are lot more variation mixed rice such as sweet potato rice, chicken rice, fish rice, gingko nut rice, and many more. Each household and region has its own varieties since point of mixed rice is using fresh ingredients of the season and we can’t list all on here. Let us know if you want to know more and I can post up the recipes for it.

Recipe for matsutake rice (4 serving)

20070926 京都玩第四天 079 高島屋 第28回グルメのための味百選 松茸飯 / macglee

Matsutake          3 piece
Soy sauce          1 Tbl spoon
Rice                     3 cup
Water                  2 and 2/3 cup
Dashi kombu       2 pieces of kombu cut in 2inch long
Cooking sake       2 Tbl spoon
Salt                      1/2 Tea spoon

1.Wash the rice and put water and dashi kombu together.
2.Wipe dirt off from matsutake with a wet paper towel and thinly slice them.
3.Put thinly sliced matsutake, cooking sake and salt
4.Turn on the rice cooker.

Chestnuts rice (4 serving)

Rice with chestnut / Jun Seita

Chestnuts                          9oz
Rice                                   2 cup
Dashi kombu                     2 pieces of 2 inch size
Cooking sake                     1 Tbl spoon
Mirin                                 1 Tbl spoon
Salt                                    1 Tea spoon
Black sesame                     few sprinkle

1.Wash rice and leave it for 2 min to let it dry out
2.Soak chestnuts in tepid water for 10 min to soften the skin
3.Peel out dark brown shell from chestnuts.
4.Cut soft part into quarter piece and let it soak in the water for another 10 min
5.Put the rice in rice cooker and add dashi kombu, Mirin, cooking sake and salt then fill up the water till the rice cooker’s line that says 2cup then start the rice cooker
6.serve on the dish and sprinkle black sesame on top