This one is for those who love mushrooms. Three different varieties of fresh mushrooms (or how many you prefer) are cooked with rice for a filling and nutritious meal. Everything goes into one pot so there is minimum mess or fuss. Have a vegetable stir fry or soup and the side and you have a light and healthy meal. Particularly good if you have overindulged on very meaty or oily food.
This recipe was taken from Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go by Naomi Kijima. I used oyster, shimeji and shitake mushrooms. You could also use enoki mushrooms or whatever you have on hand. The Asian varieties tend to work better in this recipe due to the stronger flavours. I did this in a rice cooker but you could also do this in a lidded pan on top of a stove.
It is fairly important to use short grain rice for this Japanese recipe. Medium or long grain varieties such as basmati or jasmine rice will not yield that stickiness associated with Japanese rice. Although this is not as crucial as when making sushi, the texture and taste would be entirely different. I have not tried this with basmati or jasmine rice. It might still taste good though. If you do try it please let me know!
Ingredients (serves 2):
Short grain rice (200g/1cup)
Water (250ml/1 cup)
Assorted fresh mushrooms
2 aburaage (fried tofu puffs; optional)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
1. Rinse the rice with cold water. Swirl the rice around with your hand and pour out the milky liquid. Repeat with clean water about 2-3 times. Add to the rice the appropriate amount of water for cooking and place in a rice cooker or lidded pan. Add soy sauce, sake, mirin and salt and stir to mix.
2. Slice the mushrooms. Chop up the stalks of shimeji and enoki mushrooms. If using oyster mushrooms, they could just be torn into pieces by hand. Finely slice the tofu puffs. Place all of these on top of the rice (do not stir or mix) and start the rice cooker. If cooking on a stove, put the lid on, cook on medium-high for a minute or two till the water boils and then turn the heat right down to a simmer.
3. Once the rice is cooked (about 15-20 minutes), leave the lid on for 10 minutes for the rice to steam properly. Fold the mushrooms into the rice gently and serve.
I made twice the above amount so we had the leftovers in our bento the next day. Top tier: Stir fried french beans with garlic, cherry tomatoes and vegetable gyoza. Bottom tier: three mushroom rice
This bento has also been submitted to the Wholesome Lunchbox event hosted by Coffee and Vanilla.