Today I got a hankering for lotus root. Strange craving, I know. But I was perusing the produce at Berkeley Bowl and I got inspired. So I bought some lotus root, some carrots, gobo, kuro konnyaku, and shiitake mushroom and got to work. Today's dish, Gomoku Takikomi Gohan, is essentially rice boiled with five ingredients. You can use fish, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, whatever you think sounds good. For the version I made this evening, you will need:
carrots, peeled & julienned
gobo, peeled & julienned (today I used PICKLED gobo, I like the flavor)
shiitake mushrooms, caps sliced thinly
lotus root, peeled, sliced thinly & cut into pieces
kuro konnyaku, julienned
2 1/4 c. dashi stock
2 T mirin
2 T sake
2 T shoyu
2 1/2 c. Japanese white rice
Now, I am not good with measuring cut vegetables, so basically I use as much as I think I need. You don't want to overload your rice with stuff, but you don't want it to be ALL rice.
Wash the rice until you wash most of the starch off, then soak in a mixture of dashi, mirin, sake, and shoyu for approximately 1/2 an hour. It is best to use freshly made dashi made from seaweed and bonito flakes, but for time's sake, I often use instant dashi.
Then, you add all the cut ingredients and put them on top of the rice - and cook as you would normal rice. If you have a rice cooker, you can throw everything in there and hit the button, and you're good to go. If you're doing stovetop method, like me, make sure to watch that it doesn't boil over...lower the heat to a simmer and let it steam.
When the rice is done, you can mix everything together so that the vegetables & konnyaku are distributed evenly.
It is a bowlful of oiishi-ness!