Takikomi gohan, or aji gohan as it is sometimes known, is seasoned steamed rice with a few other ingredients added for flavor. The added ingredients are typically various vegetables, but just like fried rice, you can create it with almost any ingredients. Since it is good by itself,I like to eat it for breakfast or lunch with perhaps only a miso soup to accompany it. For dinner, I like to serve it with something simple like grilled fish or chicken but not with anything that has a strong sauce like a barbecued chicken. This is because the flavor of seasoned rice is typically delicate, and you won’t taste the flavor after tasting strong flavors.
Here is just one of the many possible recipes for takikomi gohan:
10 oz daikon radish, diced small
2 cups rice
2 1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 large handful Arugula, chopped
Rinse rice and drain in a colander for 5 minutes. In a heavy bottomed medium pot (2-3 quarts), put drained rice and water, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and kombu and soak for 30 minutes.
Heat the pot over medium high heat until it boils. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 13 minutes. Make sure not to open the cover during the process.
Turn off the heat, add arugula, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Serve rice in a bowl with sesame seeds and ichimi pepper on top if you would like.
If you are using a rice cooker, add arugula when the rice is ready. And wait for 10 minutes before serving.
Kombu is an optional ingredient that I really enjoy in my takikomi-gohan. It gives a nice umami flavor; so, oftentimes I just add small amount of kombu for an extra flavor. You could use chicken or vegetable stock diluted with water instead of water. Just make sure the flavor of the stock is not overpowering on this delicate dish.