This colorful dish is simple, satisfying and dependable —better than a dish fit for the gods… It will neither betray nor disappoint.
The recipe calls for brown rice, but I used haiga-mai. The rice is milled in a way that removes the outer bran coating but leaves the nutritious germ.
- 1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice
- I used haigamai
- 3 large dried shiitake mushrooms,
soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 2 Tablespoons dried hijiki sea vegetable,
soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 ounces gobo (burdock), julienned in 1 1/2 inch lengths (about 2/3 cup),
and soaked in one cup cold water and 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 small carrot, julienned in 1 1/2 inch lengths (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/4 pound skinned and boned chicken thigh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup dashi (fish stock) I just used the mushroom soaking water.
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce, not low salt soy sauce), preferably, or regular shoyu
- 2 Tablespoons minced shiso or chervil leaves
☆ Rinse the rice: Place it in a bowl, cover with cold water, and rub for 10 to 20 seconds. Quickly discard the liquid. Add fresh water, and repeat 3 more times. Do not let the rice stand in the cloudy water, or the rice will absorb an unpleasant flavor. Note that neither haigamai nor American rice needs rinsing. Let the damp rice sit for 30 minutes.
☆ Drain the hijiki, and cut it into 1/2-inch lengths. Note: my hijiki was already only about 1/2-inch lengths!! Did I use the wrong seaweed?
☆ In a small saucepan of salted boiling water, parboil the peas for 3 minutes (fresh) or 1 minute (frozen). Drain and let them stand in lukewarm water until you are ready to use them.
☆ Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add the sesame oil and, when it’s hot, the drained burdock and carrot. Cook the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
☆ Add the mushrooms and hijiki, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
☆ Add the chicken, and cook until the outside surface is white.
☆ Add the dashi, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
☆ Add the shoyu, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the drained green peas, and give several stirs.
☆ Drain the cooked vegetables and chicken in a colander set over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Cover the vegetables and chicken, and set them aside.
☆ Pour the reserved cooking liquid into a measuring cup, and add water to make 1 2/3 cups of liquid. Place the rice into a rice cooker or heavy-bottomed pot, and add the measured liquid. If you are using a rice cooker, put the cooked vegetables and chicken on top of the rice. If you are cooking the rice on a stove, bring the rice and water to a boil, and add the cooked vegetables and chicken. Cover and reduce the heat to very low for 20 minutes. After the rice is cooked, let it stand for 15 minutes.
☆ Add the shiso or chervil to the rice, and toss.
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