Gomoku Gohan literally translates to Rice with Five Things. As with most of our recipes, this is homecooking an not something you're likely to find on the menu at a Japanese restaurant. Every family and region has their own version of this recipe but I, of course, am a fan of my mom's. Here's how she made it for us recently:
Gomoku Gohan (Rice with Five Things)
3 3/4 cups Mochi or Sweet Rice soaked overnight
1 cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms (use dried ones that have been soaked until reconstituted and conserve the water!)
1.5 cups gobo or burdock root, shredded (soak in vinegar/water mixture for 5 minutes to prevent oxidation)
1.5 cups carrots, shredded
1 cup Hijiki seaweed, rinsed and soaked for ~20 minutes
1. Steam rice(in a steamer, not rice cooker) for 45-60 min. Mix gently during steaming to ensure even cooking. If rice remains a little hard, use the uchimizu technique, which is pouring ~1/2 cup water over the rice while still cooking. Rice is done when it is clear and soft.
2. Heat a small skillet with ~1 Tablespoon sugar and ~1 Tablespoon soy sauce and add chopped nuts. Saute until coated, then set aside.
3. In a seprate skillet heat 1 Tablespoon oil and saute hijiki, gobo, carrots and shiitake with a dash of Mirin until soft, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sugar, reserved mushroom water and about 3 Tablespoons soy sauce.
4. Transfer rice to a large bowl and with a cutting motion, mix in the veggies and juices. Mix in the nuts.
5. Season to taste and serve hot! Serves about 4 people.