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My Version of Takikomi-Gohan or Mixed Rice Bowl

Takikomi gohan is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of a bit meat or seafood cooked together with rice in dashi with some seasonal vegetables. In other words, It should translate to The Kid's Perfect One Dish Meal. I wanted to make some  takikomi gohan in my new Zojirushi rice cooker but I wanted to adapt it to what i keep in my pantry. Although I love Japanese food, I don't really keep gobo and konnyako lying around the house if you know what I mean and I don't think they are EVER considered a seasonal vegetable here in Toronto. Again, lazy me also doesn't really want to travel all over the city looking for it either so I used what I already had. I also added a bit of miso, which is not traditional but we like miso and we aren't actually Japanese so I thought it would be okay. In the future, I can see throwing in some frozen peas, or julienned carrot and maybe switching the chicken for some frozen shrimp. I will report back. As far as what kind of rice to use, I like it with a short grain, sticky rice so I use this light brown sushi rice but you can use any sushi rice or you could even use arborio rice. If you don't like your rice sticky, use basmati or any other fragrant, long grain rice but it will have a totally different texture. If you are going to serve it with a vegetable that will not endure the long cooking time of the rice cooker, you can just steam, saute or boil it and serve it on top of the finished rice bowl. I like to steam a bit of baby bok choy, chop it up and drizzle a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce on top. If you put baby bok choy IN the rice cooker along with the other ingredients, you would be left with a terrible, soggy mess and unless that is the result you are working toward, do your vegetables separately and just plop them on top of the bowl right before you serve it.

This stuff is so good and it makes a really great lunch for The Kid to take to school in his new Zojirushi bento thing, which is, by the way, THE BOMB. I can't believe I waited all these years to buy both the rice cooker and the bento lunch system thing. Honestly, sometimes I am so cheap about the weirdest things. I will happily eat three meals out a day over the weekend but god forbid I fork out $75 for a kick ass lunch system for a kid who takes a hot lunch to school with him five days a week.
I really have to work on my priorities.

My Mixed Rice Bowl

serves 2-3 as a main dish

200 g skinless, boneless chicken thigh, diced
100 g deep fried tofu (age), diced
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls mirin
2 or 3 dried shitake or any chinese dried mushroom if you don't have shitake
hot water to soak the mushroomwater for the rice
2 cups rice (i used a light brown sushi rice)
1 scallion, sliced thinly
water to make the final liquid = 2 1/2 cups
1 tsp instant dashi (I use Shimaya)
chopped scallion and toasted sesame seeds for garnish 

soak the dried mushrooms in enough super hot water just to cover them and rehydrate them. I soak them for at least 30 minutes when I use the full sized shitake.
Put the tofu in a strainer and pour really hot water over it to wash off some of the oil. Mix the soy sauce, mirin and miso in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken and tofu. Add the chicken and tofu to the marinade, toss and let it sit for a few minutes while you get the rest of the stuff ready. Sometimes I do this earlier in the day or even the night before and let it marinate. If you do that, then putting this dinner together is even easier and quicker. It's up to you.
Now, wash your rice a few times until the water runs clear and put it in your rice cooker. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and slice them thinly and add them to the rice. Now, strain the soaking liquid into a measuring cup and then fill with hot water until you have 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Stir in the dashi powder. Pour that over the rice(with my rice cooker, I am using two scoops of rice with the scoop that came with it and filling the water level to 2 - if you have a rice cooker, follow whatever directions come with it in order to cook two cups of dry rice)Add the scallion and stir it around and then pour in the chicken and tofu with it's marinade on top of that, give it all a stir and cover your rice cooker and hit start. When the rice is done, you will be left with a delicious meal in a bowl. I would give it a big stir once it's done and let it steam in the rice cooker for about ten minutes.The Kid likes to sprinkle furikake over the whole thing so you might want to try that - I like it straight up or with a bit of siracha.

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