My mom's friend once asked, if there's a takikomi gohan, is there a takikomi goku?
Yes, she is fifty plus and yes, she's referring to the anime Dragon Ball.
So, just so you don't go poking me on Facebook or sending me an email for follow up versions of takikomi, let me explain these Japanese words.
Takikomu means to cook something with rice. Gohan means cooked rice. Takikomi gohan is rice seasoned and cooked with various ingredients.
Now you might ask, what does Goku mean? I cannot answer that.
Since it is a dish that Japanese mix up with different ingredients, this will be just one of the takikomi gohan series I will make. And this time, we'll just use carrot, aburaage, shiitake mushroom and our usual seasonings.
I first tasted takikomi gohan at a vegetarian gathering in Kyoto. I asked what ingredients they put in it, and that's when my husband first heard of kombu powder. My husband immediately bought half a kilo pack of it. I knew it meant he wanted me to cook takikomi gohan at home.
When I cooked this recipe, I intended it for my husband's bento. After lunch the following day, my husband sent me a text message (which he doesn't usually do), to say that it was very delicious! Yay!
So I made a standardized version that was approved by my husband several times now.
3 cups uncooked rice
2 4/5 cups water
2 tbsp mirin
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp kombu powder
20 g carrot
5 g dried shiitake
1 ½ sheets aburaage
½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp mirin
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp kombu powder
a dash of ajinomoto
Soak dried shiitake in water for at least 10 minutes.
Wash rice then add water. Mix in the next three ingredients (mirin, soy sauce and kombu powder) and cook in your rice cooker.
The bottom half on our ingredient list is for stir-frying. First, cut carrot, shiitake and aburaage into thin strips.
Stir fry shiitake, carrot and aburaage for 2 minutes then season with ajinomoto. Mix well.
On a bowl, mix the last four ingredients then pour over the pan with shiitake, carrot and aburaage.
Stir fry for a couple of minutes more then remove from fire.
Once the rice is cooked, mix in the stir-fried ingredients thoroughly.
Enjoy as it is or eat with peppered spinach and/or tofu cooked in soy sauce-mirin-kombu powder until lightly caramelized!
Tips and tricks
Cook more than enough then wrap well in cling wrap, one serving by one serving. Stored in the freezer, it will not spoil earlier than least 7 days; stored in the fridge, it can serve as the following day's onigiri.
The last time I cooked this, I mixed about a tablespoon of margarine (didn't have butter at hand) on the cooked rice, right after tossing in the stir-fried ingredients. It was wonderful!