Cooked rice with different toppings, gomokugohan in Japanese, (means “rice with five toppings”) is a delicious way to incorporate different medicinal mushrooms in your diet.
Like other mushrooms shimejis are high in fibre and contain both water-soluble and water-insoluble fibres. The former forms gel-like substance in the gut and helps to regulate bowl movements. There are different varieties of shimejis, and bunashimejis, most common kind of shimejis available in Japan, typically contain 3.7 g of fibre per 100g. They also contain a decent amount of potassium (380 mg/100 g), vitamin B1 (0.16 mg/100g) and vitamin B2 (0.16 mg/100 g).
In Japan shimejis are known for their ornithine content, a amino acid-like molecule that studies show to help with physical recovery, such as exercise fatigue. Many popular energy drinks in Japan contain ornithine for this reason. But who needs a supplement when you can get it in this delicious and healthy recipe!
3.5 dl Rice. Japanese sticky rice works best but you can use other types as well such as basmati
70 g Burdock
1 small Carrot, cut into 5 mm x 1.5 cm sticks
100 g shimeji, chop off the cups
100 g Maitake, shop off the cups and chop into 1 cm cubes
200 g Chicken thigh file, chopped into 1 cm cubes
4 dl Dashi (Japanese bouillon). If you are unfamiliar, see the tip below
2 Tbs Mirin, see tip below
2.5 Tbs Soy sauce
1. If using Japanese rice (sticky, short and round kind), rinse it with water several times. After rinsing, let the rice stay on a strainer to strain excess water.
2. Peel the burdock. Make the peeled burdock into thin strips using a peeler. The strips should be thin like peeled vegetable skin and about 2-3 cm long.
3. Pour the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce in a medium pot. Add the chicken cubes, burdock strips, carrot sticks, shimeji and maitake. Cook on a medium heat. When it starts boiling, lower the temperature to low medium. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Strain the mix saving the liquid.
4. To another medium-size pot transfer the rice and add the topping mixture. Add 4.5 dl of the cooking liquid. Put the lid on the pot.
5. Cook the pot on a low temperature for 3 minutes. Then raise the temperature to high, allowing the liquid to boil. When the pot start steaming, lower the heat to medium so that
the pot is constantly steaming for about 5 minutes. When the liquid has almost disappeared, lower the temperature to low and continue to cook for 5 more minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
6. Let the rice to set in the steamy pot for about 5 minutes. This step is called murasu in Japanese.
7. Serve and enjoy!
Dashi: there are different varieties of dashi, and the most common ones are katsuodashi made with flakes of dried bonito fish, niboshidashi, made with dried small sardines, and kombudashi, made with kombu seaweed. For this recipe I recommend kombudashi, as its mild taste is a perfect fit to the rice. To made kombudashi, put a 5×5 cm piece of kombu into 4 dl of water. Let it soak for 2-3 hours and then heat the water but avoid boiling. Take out the kombu, and you have the dashi you need for the recipe.
Mirin: if you don’t have mirin you can substitute it with a 50:50 blend of sake and honey. Blend 1 Tbs of sake with 1 Tbs of honey to substitute for the mirin in this recipe