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


Kani no iimushi / steamed sweet rice and crab with light soy-sauce flavored dashi sauce

Dig into the sweet rice and enjoy the blended taste of crab and slightly salty gin-an sauce. 
A recent “wow” dish for me.


5 tbsp mochigome sweet rice
6 tbsp water (to soak and cook sweet rice; not in photo)
50-60 g crabmeat

4 nanohana field mustard or small saishin yu choy sum (for garnish; yu choy sum in photo)

For gin-an sauce
150 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp mirin
1 1/2 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
Pinch salt (not in photo)
2 tsp potato starch + 2-3 tsp water


Rinse and soak mochigome in a microwaveable bowl for a few hours (at least 30 minutes).


Cover with plastic, microwave for 2 minutes, remove from microwave, and mix well.

Cover, and microwave for another 2 minutes. 
Gently fluff, and cool.


Blanch nanohana or yu choy sum.
Bring water to boil, add pinch salt, and put the greens, beginning with the stems.

When they start to brighten, immerse leaves. 
When bright, drain, and let cool on zaru strainer. 

When cool, cut into several sections.


When mochigome is cool enough to handle, wet your hands, and divide into two balls.

Wet your hands again, and flatten each ball into a thin oblong shape, place 1/3 crab meat in the center, and wrap with mochigome.
Squeeze the ball in your palm; the goal is to tighten or seal the outer surface while keeping inside fluffy.
(Crabmeat coming out in one or two places is OK.) The remaining crabmeat is for topping. 
Place two rice balls on a heat-resistant tray lined with plastic or parchment paper (for easy removal when plating).


Prepare gin-an sauce.
In a pot, put dashi, sake, mirin and usukuchi soy sauce, and bring to boil.

Taste, and add salt to taste, stir potato starch + water mixture, swirl it in, and stir.
Add more potato starch + water mixture to desired thickness.

The sauce is ready when it turns translucent (1-2 minutes after putting potato starch + water mixture).
Remove from heat. 


Steam rice balls and remaining topping crabmeat for 3 minutes (or until everything is hot).


Serve in warm individual bowls, place crabmeat on top with greens in front.
Heat up gin-an sauce as necessary, and pour over rice balls and garnish.

  • Rice balls break apart if steamed too long or kept in a covered steamer after cooking.   
  • Gin-an [lit. silver-color thickened sauce] is a dashi-based, pale, and slightly salty thickened sauce. It is commonly used for steamed dishes, especially in the cold season, as the thickened sauce keeps ingredients underneath warm.
  • When bowls fit in the steamer, you can put the rice balls and crabmeat for topping in bowls and steam. Garnish with greens and pour the sauce after removing from steamer.
  • If wrapping crabmeat with mochigome is too much work or too time-consuming, crabmeat can be placed on top of mochigome mounds.
  • Iimushi [lit. steamed with rice] is a dish where cooked mochigome is steamed with other ingredients (typically fish) and served with gin-an sauce. When a single ingredient is used, it is often wrapped inside mochigome. When multiple ingredients are used, such as fish and ginnan gingko nuts or takenoko bamboo shoots, they tend to be placed on top of mochigome.

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