Friday, February 5, 2010

Oishii: Gomoku Gohan

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 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
soy sauce
Mirin (sweet cooking wine)

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.

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