All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kayaku gohan / steamed rice with assorted ingredients

Kayaku -- gunpowder? Nope. Kaykau here means additional goodies. It was a way to increase the amount of the main food, rice, when rice was expensive for ordinary people a long time ago. It is rather a special rice dish today.


3/4 cup* regular rice
1/4 cup* mochigome sweet rice
5-10cm gobo burdock root
5-10cm carrot
2 cm konnyaku yam cake
2 cm usuage thin deep-fried tofu
Tiny handful mushrooms (2 chanterelle in photo)
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 small piece kombu kelp
(*180 cc cup, when using rice cooker)


Wash regular and sweet rice together, drain, and let sit for 30-60 minutes.


Prepare goodies.
Prep boil usuage and konnyaku.
Diagonally slice gobo and soak in water.
Thinly slice carrot lengthwise and cut into small squares crosswise.
Slice konnyaku and usuage in matching shape and size.
Cut or tear mushrooms in matching size.


When ready to cook, add sake, soy sauce and water to slightly below the 1-cup mark.


Add goodies and salt, and mix well.


Place kombu kelp piece, and cook.


When done, wait 10 minutes, remove kombu, and gently fluff rice.

  • Sweet rice enhances the overall flavor, adds sweetness and makes texture richer. However, it is an option. When a lighter texture is desired, such as on a hot day in summer, reduce the amount of sweet rice or make this with regular rice only. Then this dish would taste much cleaner with individual ingredients' flavors coming through more straightforwardly.
  • Kayaku or added goodies can be anything. Anything seasonal would be a big plus.

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