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


Sansai gohan / rice with mountain vegetables

A kayaku gohan (rice with assorted ingredients) featuring warabi bracken. The various textures and tastes of ingredients come together in mellow sweet rice and aromatic soy sauce.


(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 180 cc cups* regular rice
1/2 180 cc cup sweet rice
Several stalks prep-boiled/soaked warabi bracken (50 g in photo)
5-10 cm carrot (25 g in photo)
Small piece takenoko no mizuni boiled bamboo shoot (30 g in photo)
Tiny handful maitake mushrooms (30 g in photo)
1 small or 1/2 large usuage thin deep-fried tofu
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 small piece (3 cm square) kombu kelp
Approx. 360 cc water (not in photo)
*180 cc = 1 rice cooker cup


Wash regular and sweet rice, drain, and let sit for one hour (at least 30 minutes).


Prep-boil usuage, and cut into 1cm squares or rectangles.
Slice carrot and bamboo shoot into size matching usuage.
Cut warabi into 2-3 cm.
Tear maitake into small pieces.


When ready to cook, put sake, soy sauce, salt, and water to somewhat below the 2-cup mark for regular rice.

Put usuage, carrot, bamboo shoot, warabi and maitake, and mix well.

Put kombu, and cook.


When done, wait 10 minutes, remove kombu, and gently turn.

Ready to serve.

  • Shimeji, eringi, oyster, shiitake and chanterelle mushrooms are good substitutes for maitake.
  • Canned bamboo shoots are not recommended, as they carry a persistent smell.
  • Vacuum-packed boiled bamboo shoots also have a lingering smell to some degree. If it bothers you, quickly boil bamboo shoots before use to reduce the smell.
  • I put slightly more soy sauce (1/2 tsp) than with other flavored steamed rice recipes, because warabi and bamboo shoot taste better with more soy sauce. It still tastes weaker than kayaku gohan available from a deli: if you want something similar to these dishes, try dashi instead of water for more flavor rather than adding more soy sauce; this will prevent a sodium overdose.

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