Japan – Takikomi Gohan
by Zayna Khan
Takikomi Gohan is a bowl of Japanese rice tossed with dashi, soya sauce, broth, and can have the addition of vegetables and meat into it. This is a dish of full flavors and having almost all the nutrients required by the body in one bowl. It is very easy to make and you can add your favorite vegetables and meat portion if you like. It is very simple with the low amount of spices to be added to it, Rice dish with vegetables and meat is the best combo to serve on family dinner and special occasions.
This dish has a lot of varieties and different versions of the same dish by having different combinations of vegetables and meat. It can be your comfort dish or a heavy meal to be served on dinners, festivals like Japanese new year’s eve, etc. You make it either simple light, low calories dish or can be a heavy dish by adding tofu, beef, butter, etc.
You can add additional flavors like rice vinegar, mirin, sake, mushrooms, corns, etc. By adding different ingredients you can have a different taste with different textures to the dish.
VARIATIONS OF THE DISH
There are following varieties of the dish with addition of different meat and vegetables are the following :
Tai meshi is a dish made up of Rice in which specific seafood is added which is ”SEA BREAM” or ”PORGIES”. This is the special fish type that is cooked in a manner to add into this dish. The whole fish is cooked then add to the rice which is cooked in the traditional way like Takikomi gohan.
This is a dish in which ‘CRAB ”is added as a meat portion into the rice dish.
This is a dish which means ” 5 ingredients mixed rice ”. In this dish rice is cooked and five main ingredients are added into the rice like, Mushrooms, Bamboo shoots, oyster, chicken, and soya beans. These main elements to be add in same dish of rice which is cooked by same manner of Takikomi gohan.
Other 5 ingredients mixed rice is added into rice are :
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Soya beans
- Bamboo shoots
- Burdock roots, etc
This rice is cooked in chestnuts.
In this rice dish, rice is cooked with ”sweetfish” AYU means, SWEETFISH.
Matsutake or Tricholoma matsutake is a kind of mushrooms which is added in rice as the main ingredient of the dish.
DIFFERENT VARIETIES ACCORDING TO THE REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
There are few differen regional variation of ”TAKIKOMI GOHAN ”which is slightly different from the original recipe but have almost same elements to add on.
MAZE GOHAN 和 TAKIKOMI GOHAN are two different dishes because of the different cooking stlye like :
MAZE GOHAN is cooked in that way, in which vegetables and meat are cooked in a different pot with different seasonings and rice is cooked in a different pot.
TAKIKOMI GOHAN is cooked in same pot in which rice, all seasonings, vegetables and meat added to cooked as a one pot dish.
KAYAKU GOHAN is a same dish takikomi gohan but it is known by this name, Kayaku gohan in KANSAI REGION.
JUCY, is a name of this dish takikomi gohan in OKINAWA.
KAWARI MESHI, is a dish of old tradition at the times of MORUMACHI PERIOD. People of that time used to called this dish by this name Kawari meshi which is actually a dish of mixed millet grains, rice, wheat, vegetables and meat.
MAIN ELEMENTS OF THE DISH
RICE is the main element of the dish because it is a rice dish in which different vegetables and meat stuff is added and cook.
- scallions / green onions
- Bamboo shoots, etc
- Beef strips
- Chicken chunks
- Sea food
- Mutton pieces
- Shrimp, etc
SOAKING TECHNIQUE OF RICE
This is the technique in which is pretreated before cooking. In this dish because we have to cook vegetables, meat, and rice together so rice must be soaked in water an hour ago. Soaking rice in water makes it easy to cook and moisture is contained in each rice grain. It is the best way to cook rice because by this technique we can get more flavorful and moisturize rice.
When you soak your rice for at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Drain all the excess water from rice and then cook. Sometimes when water is excess in the pot, it may soften the rice and form a bowl of mushy sticky rice which is not required in this dish.
INGREDIENTS OF THE DISH
- Rice = 2 cups
- Dashi broth 2 cups
- Water = 2 cups
- Soya sauce = 4 tablespoons
- Rice vinegar = 4 tablespoons
- Mirin = 2 tablespoons
- Sake = 3 tablespoon
- Siitake mushrooms = 1/4 cup
- Peas = 1/4 cup
- Carrots = 1/4 cup
- Bamboo shoots = 90 grams
- Fried tofu sheets = 2
- Kombu = 2 pieces
- Shrimp = 100 grams
- Sesame oil = 4 tablespoons
METHOD OF COOKING
- In order to make this dish we have to assemble all the ingredients and soak rice for 30 minutes into water.
- When our rice is soaking, take a pot and add sesame oil into it with all the vegetables like carrot, peas, mushrooms and meat like shrimp and saute it for 2, 3 minutes.
- Now add dashi broth with 2 cups of water into vegetables with our seasoinings like soya sauce, vinegar, mirin, sake, etc.
- When water is boiled add soaked rice into the vegetable mixture.
- It takes time to absorbe the water and than cook it into steam for 10 minutes, it will give the rice smooth and moistureized texture with all together assembled flavors.
- After proper cooking, this dish is ready to serve.
For garnishing we have the following options like :
- Fried onions
- Scallions chopped
- Nori weed strips
- Sesame seeds, etc
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