Takikomi Gohan (also known as Gomoku Gohan) literally translates to “cooked with rice”. It’s basically rice cooked in stock with stuff in it, like a pilaf. In Japanese groceries you’ll usually find a whole section of instant packets that you just add to rice before you cook it, but they often contain loads of MSG. It’s fairly simple to make from scratch and you can add all sorts of things like burdock, carrots, wild mushrooms, etc.
The key to it’s light flavor is in the dashi, and while hard to find, Mitsuba adds a nice woodsy dimension. It does look a bit like parsley or cilantro but it doesn’t taste anything like either of those. If I had to go out on a limb and suggest a substitute, it does taste a tiny bit like carrot leaves, if you’re feeling daring, give it a go and let us know how it turns out in the comments. I’m pretty sure carrot leaves are a lot stronger though so you might wanna go light at first.
I strongly suggest you use a rice cooker to make this. While you could make this on the stove in theory, I’m so reliant on a rice cooker I’m not sure how much liquid to use or what heat to cook it over, so you’re on your own there. If you’ve cooked rice on a stove before please do post your tips in the comments.
360 ml of short grain rice rinsed (2 rice cooker cups, or about 1 1/2 regular cups)
1 Tbs sake
1/4 C canned crab meat crumbled, liquid reserved (see tofu with crab sauce for more info)
dashi, about 2 cups
1/4 C chopped bamboo (I prefer the whole vacuum sealed ones if you can find them)
1/4 C chopped nameko or enoki mushrooms
Salt to taste
1/4 C mitsuba leaves and stems roughly chopped
salmon roe as garnish (optional)
Rinse the rice until the water runs almost clear, then drain as much of the water out as you can.
Add the sake and reserved crab liquid. Fill the rice cooker bowl up to the “2” mark with dashi.
Add the crab, bamboo, and mushrooms. Stir the liquid and taste for salt. It should taste like a slightly watery soup. Add more salt if needed.
Run the rice cooker according to directions. When the rice is done and has had a chance to steam, add the mitsuba and gently fold into the cooked rice.
Garnish with salmon roe and serve immediately.