Kayaku takikomi gohan is a popular rice dish from the Kansai region in Japan. Originally, the word kayaku was the general term for supporting ingredients used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This word has been adopted to refer to taste-enhancing ingredients used in rice and noodles. Try adding seasonal vegetables to make different varieties of kayaku takikomi gohan.
- Yield: 4
- 3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 0.33 tsp Salt
- 3½ oz (100 g) Chicken thigh fillet, finely chopped
- 2 oz (60 g) Deep-fried bean curd (aburaage)
- 3½ oz (100 g) Devil’s tongue jelly (konnyaku)
- 10 fl oz 1¼ cups (300 ml) 3 Dried shiitake mushroom, cleaned and soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 13½ oz (400 ml) Washed Japanese short grain rice
- 6¾ fl oz (200 ml) water + more if needed
- 3 oz (80 g) Burdock (gobou) washed, finely chopped and soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
- 3 oz (80 g) Carrot, peeled and chopped
- Mix soy sauce, mirin and salt in a small bowl. Add chicken and mix well. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Pour hot water over deep-fried bean curd to remove excess oil. Wrap deep-fried bean curd with kitchen paper and squeeze using your hands. Cut into 1-cm (½-in) squares.
- Pour hot water over devil’s tongue jelly to remove any impurities. Cut into 1-cm (½-in) squares. Boil a small pot of water and blanch devil’s tongue jelly for 2–3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Drain shiitake mushrooms and chop finely. Reserve liquid used for soaking mushrooms.
- Put rice into a rice cooker. Top with deep-fried bean curd, devil’s tongue jelly, burdock, shiitake mushrooms and chicken. Measure reserved water from soaking mushrooms and top up with water to make 400 ml (13½ fl oz) liquid. Add this to the rice cooker. Cook rice according to the instructions on the rice cooker. When the rice is cooked, mix well.
- Place cling wrap in a rice bowl and scoop 120 g (4¼ oz) of rice mixture into the bowl. Pull out rice together with cling wrap and mould rice into your preferred shape. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.