This dish elevates plain old white rice to star level, with “treasures” of vegetables and a deep down savory flavor that will have everyone asking for seconds. Add marinated chicken pieces to the pot, and you’ve got the easiest one-dish meal ever!
1 ½ c. (350ml) dashi (Japanese soup broth)*
1 ½ T. (22ml) soy sauce
1 ½ T. (22ml) mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine for cooking)
1 ½ T. (22ml) sake
1 ½ c. (300g) medium grain rice (not long grain or basmati)
4-6 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled
1 sheet agedashi tofu (thin sheet of deep-fried tofu)
1 burdock root, scrubbed
½ yellow onion (I like to brown mine in a little cooking oil before adding it, but you don’t have to)
*Dashi is Japanese soup broth, and you can make it with ½ t. instant Hon Dashi granules for every cup of boiling water.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, stir together the sauce ingredients in a large pan, add the chopped veggies and tofu (and chicken pieces, if desired), and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until liquid is nearly gone. Let cool.
Meanwhile, cook the rice in another pot, according to the instructions on the bag.
Put rice in a large bowl. Add spoonfuls of the cooked vegetable mixture, with a little of the liquid (not all) and mix with a wooden spoon or rice paddle, adding liquid as needed.
Japanese-style Marinated Chicken
12 oz. (340g) chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup (60ml) mirin
1/4 cup (60ml) sake
2 T. (30ml) soy sauce
1 t. (10g) sugar
Mix marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup and microwave it for a minute, so the sugar will dissolve. Pour it into a big baggie with the chicken. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had