Have you ever heard of a Japanese dish called "takikomi-gohan"? It is neither fried rice nor rice porridge, but rather a rice dish in which soup stock, ingredients, and rice are cooked together for an aromatic and flavorful dish.
It is easy to prepare in a rice cooker, and is a very popular in Japanese households because it is nutritious and contains vegetables, meat, and carbohydrates.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the origin of takikomi-gohan in Japan and introduce three recipes that you can easily try.
History of Takikomi Gohan
Takikomi-gohan is one of the most popular rice dishes in Japan today, but its history is said to date back to the Nara period (710-794).
It is said that during Nara period (710-794), white rice was still a precious ingredient and rice was cooked with millet to add bulk. As time went by, people began to add multi grains and vegetables such as daikon radish and potatoes while the rice was steamed. This practice became a part of the Japanese cuisine repertoire.
In recent times, there are "takikomi-gohan" recipes that include meat and seafood in addition to vegetables, and it has become an occasion to express creativity with the characteristics of the region and seasonal ingredients in a single bowl. For example, takikomi-gohan is made with seasonal bamboo shoots in spring and mushrooms and chestnuts in autumn.
Rice with Chicken and Vegetables
Gomoku gohan is a rice dish wherein 5 ingredients are cooked together with rice and dashi soup. These 5 ingredients usually include chicken, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and konjac. In the Kansai area...
As you can see in this recipe, chicken, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, konnyaku and burdock are the standard ingredients for Gomoku Gohan ("Go-moku" stands for "5 ingredients").
This Gomoku rice dish is made by thoroughly soaking the rice in dashi soup and then cooking it with the ingredients so that each piece of rice absorbs the umami flavor, heightening the taste.
The texture of the juicy chicken and root vegetables is delightful, and the carrots add a vibrant color to the dish. This is a classic takikomi-gohan that is great to try as a first attempt.
Rice Cooked with Sweet Potatoes and Cashew Nuts
Here's a delicious twist on rice: add sweet potatoes and cashew nuts. Simply put the ingredients together in a rice cooker, and you'll have aromatic rice that's packed with nutrition. Blac...
Here is a slightly different kind of takikomi-gohan.
We combine sweet potatoes and cashews, which are not often used as ingredients in takikomi-gohan, even in Japan. Not only does it have a delicious texture, but most importantly, it's extremely nutritious!
The black rice and sweet potatoes used in this dish contain plenty of anthocyanins, which are useful for relieving fatigue. It's easy to prepare, just cook it in a rice cooker and you will have a complete and nutricious meal, great for fighting off fatigue.
Takikomi Gohan with Chicken and Burdock
If you like rice, then you're sure to love Takikomi Gohan. Takikomi Gohan is rice cooked with dashi, soy sauce, and seasonal ingredients. This recipe uses chicken and burdock, and it's oozing ...
This is a simpler version of takikomi-gohan with chicken and burdock as the main ingredients.
It may be simple, but the umami flavor is soaked into the rice and will fill your mouth with flavors that will delight. Enjoy the soft texture of the chicken and the chewy texture of the burdock.
What Takikomi Gohan Means to Japanese people
In the beginning, rice was so precious that it was mixed with other ingredients to bulk up the vollume, but as food became more plentiful, various changes were made, and it is interesting to see how this practice has evolved to become an iconic Japanese rice dish.
The key to the taste is the rice soaked in dashi broth, ensuring a good taste even after the rice has cooled down. An easy recipe to cook with just a rice cooker, takikomi gohan is a great dish for all seasons.