Japan – Kamameshi


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by Zayna Khan

Kamameshi is known as Kettle rice because it is a dish of rice cooked in the kettle. The iron pot or kettle is a kitchenware in which this rice dish is cooked with many other elements to be added on. Vegetables, chicken, seafood, rice with soya sauce, and mirin are cooked together in the iron pot or kettle. This dish is a mixed pot of rice, vegetable varieties of meat in a bowl. Kamameshi is flavored with minimal use of sauces like soya sauce, mirin, sake, and vinegar. Sometimes Kimchi is also served with this rice bowl. Kimchi is added to get a nice and tangy spicy flavor to the dish. When sticky short-grain rice is used in this dish, it seems to be like a rice cake, because all the ingredients are stick together to form one unit in a bowl. Clay pot, wooden pot, or iron pot is used to add ingredients for cooking. There is also a variety of sometimes, rice is cooked separately and all the things unite in a bowl by the effect of layering. Rice layer followed by beef then vegetables, chicken, fish also cooked and added over the rice layer. Soya sauce, mirin, and sake are mixed and add as the dressing over the rice. Vegetables of beautiful colors are topped with sesame seeds and the dish is ready to serve. Vegetables are kept crunchy so their color does not fade out and the look is very palatable and delicious. The presentation of the dish inviting the eater to eat. The fragrance is also very delicious, which gives the taste of the dish before it is eaten.

In Japanese, the iron cooking pot is known as KAMA. So Kamameshi names come from the word KAMA. The cooking procedure is giving the name of the dish.

Enjoy a pure Japanese version of humble rice with this simple Kamameshi recipe. In this rice special recipe, everything from rice, beef, chicken thighs to vegetables is cooked in soup for hours to add a delicious flavor. This kamameshi can be a nutritious main course perfect for lunch or dinner. It can best be described as a Japanese mixed rice dish, usually made from vegetables and meat soup. Enjoy nutritious and spicy rice with light seasonings and sauces taste, or enjoy with your meal.

EKIBEN is a similar dish.

EKIBEN

Ekiben is the Lunch box served on the local train of Japan. The box includes kamameshi, salad, kimchi with disposable chopsticks. Ekiben boxes can be made of disposable plastic, wooden, etc. Many train stations are renowned for their team of local delicacies. It must include Japanese fried rice, Egg, fried fish cutlets, fish cakes, kimchi, pickles, a wide variety of local dishes unique to each region.

TYPES OF EKIBEN

  • Daruma bento
  • Anago-meshi
  • Ishikari-shakemeshi
  • Hachinohe-kohta bento
  • Kiyoken Hotate Gohan, etc.

DONBURI

Donburi is a simple rice bowl serve with beef meat element and some sauteed vegetables but it is different from kamameshi rice. Simple steamed rice bowl with the addition of some sauce like soya sauce, etc. Then the spicy cooked meat is added to the top of the rice bowl, sometimes served with sauteed vegetables. Meat can be beef, seafood, chicken, etc. Varieties are:

  • Beef rice bowl
  • Unadon rice
  • Barbecue beef steamed rice
  • Pork strips rice
  • Chicken rice bowl
  • Fish rice bowl
  • Rice with chicken broth
  • Simple vegetable rice bowl, etc.

Addition of different ingredients into this dish

RICE

Rice bowl or kamameshi is the dish name and rice is the first main element of the dish. The simple rice cooked with beef meat and vegetables in a pot goes well with the flavor sauces. If the rice has minimal spices, and the meat is full of its own nutritional juices. We have all the elements with a taste of simplicity in it. Because of the minimal spices, this dish has its own flavors of ingredients.

Usually, short-grain rice is used to get the stickiness to the dish.

MEAT

We can add meat of all kinds we like to add like :

  • Chicken
  • Mutton
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Prawns
  • Octopus
  • Scallops, etc.

VEGETABLES

The most used vegetables in this dish are :

  • Spring onions
  • Cabbage
  • Potato
  • Tofu
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Raddish
  • Peas
  • Sliced lotus root, etc.

EGG

The egg is the element of the dish is added to the top of the dish before serving in the below-given forms :

  • Boiled egg
  • Fried egg
  • Omelet
  • Steamed egg

SAUCES

The sauce is the only option of flavors we have with all the stuff like beef and rice and egg. Sauces is added to make it soft and tasty like :

  • Dashi broth
  • Miso soup
  • Sake
  • Vegetable dashi
  • Soya sauce
  • Mirin
  • Sake
  • Daku Daku

DIFFERENT TOPPINGS

We can add topping to this dish for more flavors :

  • Grated cheese
  • Kimchi
  • Sesame oil
  • Beni Shoga
  • Welsh onions
  • Miso soup
  • Poppy seeds
  • Nori
  • Negi
  • Sesame seeds
  • Daikon

INGREDIENTS OF THE DISH

  • Rice : 2 cups
  • Beef strips : 250 grams
  • Chicken thighs : 4
  • Mushrooms : 1/2 cup
  • Carrots : 1/2 cup
  • Peas : 1/2 cup
  • Corns : 1/2 cup
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Black pepper : 1 tsp
  • Soya sauce : 1/2 cup
  • Dashi broth : 1 cup
  • Mirin : 2 tbsp
  • Sake : 2 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds : 2 tbsp
  • Sesame oil : 4 tbsp

COOKING METHOD

  • In a bowl add sesame oil and meat portion like beef and chicken direct into oil.
  • Cook them in oil until they gets the exact color and flavor.
  • Now add vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, peas, corns etc in with.
  • Add salt and pepper with dashi broth and cook it for 20 minutes on medium flame.
  • Strips of beef are thin so they can cook with chicken by getting same cooking time.
  • Now add rice in the beef, chicken mixture and add sake, mirin with 1 cup of water.
  • This will help the rice to cook and mix with beef, chicken and vegetables.
  • Rice take 10 minutes to cook if they are soaked before.
  • If we want to make it sticky, increase the water content in rice with timing of cooking.
  • Now after 10 mnutes, rice is ready to serve.
  • Enjoy 🙂

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