GOHAN Japanese rice, A to Z


The most important ingredient of Japanese cuisine is rice. Japanese rice are of the japonica style, they are round and firm. Outside Japan, you can get some sushi rice, or Italian arborio that are of japanica cultivar too. Sticky rice is a different type, it’s called mochigome in Japanese. Rice has different names in Japanese. Kome, okome, the plant. Gohan, meshi when it’s cooked…

how to cook Japanese rice (without a rice cooker)
genmai brown rice(healthier)
sticky rice

The bowl of unsalted, unflavored but perfectly cooked hot white rice is often present on the the table.
But, you have many variations.

The rice “sandwich”. Shape hot rice in your hands.

yaki onigiri (grilled)


Rice bowls : fill half of a big bowl with hot rice, add some toppings.

gyudon (beef)
tendon (tempura)
oyakodon (mama-baby, chicken egg)
soboro (sloppy joe domburi)
eight treasures

takikomi gohan

Flavored rice dishes. Ingredients are added in the rice-cooker. There are millions of possibilities. A few classics :

chicken rice
kaibashira (scallop)rice
oyster rice

sekihan (red rice)
mame gohan (green peas)
kuri gohan (chestnut)


Click here to go to the sushi compilation

Fill a part of your lunch box with rice.

midori okowa
chirashi bento
Unaju (eel)

Stir-fry your rice leftover :

nira fried rice
buta-kimchi rice (pork)
soba meshi (with noodles)

More elaborated dishes :

omurice (omelet filled with rice)
doria (retro baked rice)


Rice porridge, often a breakfast.

nanakusa okayu (7 herbs)
red okayu

More ?
Also see mochi (rice paste), and wagashi (Japanese sweets)

Mabo Tofu, azuki variation

I replaced the meat by azuki beans in the classic tofu dish. That makes a purely plant based meal.

You can see the beans between big chunks of onions. Lots of garlic, ginger… even more grated ginger on top of the plate.
My genmai (brown rice) looks fluffier than usual. It’s because it’s Milky Queen rice that I have now. It’s the first time I see it in brown rice version. I should write a post about the different Japanese rices. I usually prefer Akita-Komachi and Koshi-Hikari, both type cultivated in the North of Honshu island. They are the “hardest”, the most “al dente” you can find among Japanese rices. It’s like Arborio and Carnaroli. The comparion makes sense. Arborio is a “Japanese rice” brought to Italy, and if you can’t get Japanese rice for sushi, it’s a good substitute.
The Milky Queen is a new one, that has been put on the market maybe 10 yrs ago. I bought it white only one, and I found it extremely soft. Way too “mushy” for me, but I guess that’s the taste of many toothless aged Japanese. In brown version, on the contrary, it’s very pleasant, light and textured.

Hakusai, Chinese napa cabbage, in “instant pickle” with yuzu juice and peel.

A basic recipe of mabo tofu

(the meal, with 1 serving of rice)
Cal 530.5 F17.4g C77.9g P27.2g