One more kuri gohan (chestnut rice)

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Kuri gohan is one of the many classic Japanese rices, and well there are different versions.

Kuri is Japanese chestnut, slightly different from the European one (see here).
Sometimes it’s called gohan, as it’s standard rice. Other times, it’s okowa, which means it’s steamed sticky rice.

yaki kuri gohan (grilled)

kuri okowa

A more common style (from a commercial site I am not related to, I just needed to borrow a photo for a while) :
kuri source
That’s white rice cooked with chestnuts in syrup. That’s more like a dessert version. I like it too that’s I also… no, I’ve never cooked it so far. I eat it with pleasure when it’s served but I always end up with a grilled version.

The list is open… Add your oen version.

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This time, it’s yaki (grilled), of course.

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I have soaked the rice (half brown, half white) in water 24 hours, then added the grilled chestnuts with their inner skin, a glass of white wine, a dry chili pepper and a pinch of salt, and let one more night. Before starting the rice cooker, I’ve added goji berries.

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Lotus and edamame eggs in a soba nest

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As Spring arrives, I have to cook my quota of Easter eggs.
What comes first ? The egg or the nest ?

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Let’s say it’s the egg. Some eggs, like those of quail are irregular in colors, just like that.

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The eggs are made of pasted edamame beans and broken renkon lotus root. There is also onion, garlic, white miso and for a cheezy touch some bits of sake kasu. I have cooked the paste then shaped.

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The nest.

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I had seen some “cookies” made from soba noodles, so I knew they were tasted after being dried.
I have simply baked fresh soba buckwheat noodles under the grill of the oven toaster. The noodles are boiled, but cold. I have not added any flavoring, they are delicious that way.

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It’s crispy around and soft inside.

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Tsubomina and lotus root stir-fry as a side.

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Sakura okowa as a second side (details here).

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That’s a Spring lunch for me.

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Sakura okowa. Blossom rice.

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A delicious and simple way to savor the season. Yes, they are arriving. Most are like this :

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But a few are opened…

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Mochigome (sticky rice).

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御強 okowa, steamed stick rice.
How to ? It’s explained in the tutorial.

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I have added rinsed pickled cherry after 30 minutes.

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The rice is firm, glossy and sticky. It’s easy to form balls.

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I’ve put them on pickled sakura leaves.

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Monthly pick, October in a pumpkin

That was a quiet month of October, with a come back of Autumn fruits (nashi pear, ringo apple, kaki persimmon, akebi, green yuzu lime…) and veggies (potato, sweet potato, oya-imo taro, , kuromame black beans, togarashi peppers…)
You can browse photos :

To see most menus last month (click)
To see mostly desserts
To see only vegan meals

Everything pumpkin was a hit, photo kabocha menu

Bread ::: Velouté of kabocha
erissery ::: risotto
okowa in kabocha ::: kabocha kibbeh
kabocha salad ::: kabocha pizza
tofu kabocha cake ::: samosa
tarte au potiron 1 :: tarte au potiron 2 :: tarte au potiron 3

****
And I made a few culinary trips :

To Brazil

++ Pão de queijo

To South-East-Asia

To Sweden

To France’s countryside :

I experimented a few pretty desserts :

apple pastis

pon de rin and millefeuilles

Ryori, a Japanese classic menu… (compilation by cooking techniques)

Quick list of Japanese “classics” to help you navigate on this site. That’s not complete at all. I tried to make it representative. I often make them with a twist, but I tell you in the post.

Short memo about the Japanese meal

-all dishes are brought at the same time, ideally served in individual dishes, one plate per item.
-there is rice + soup + three items. Or more.

The items, called okazu tend to be side-dish sized. On the menu in restaurants, traditional style was to present the okazu by cooking technique.

ONE :

GOHAN, rice
rice cuisine list ***** sushi list

and ONE :

吸い物,SUIMONO
A soup to drink !

DASHI (basic stock tutorial)
vegan dashi tuto
misoshiru (miso soup, in many posts)
shijimi miso soup
clear soup
O-zoni New Year soup
sake kasu Winter white soup

And THREE, FOUR, FIVE… many :

OKAZU LIST

お造り o-tsukuri
Normally, that’s a term for seafood sashimi, raw seafood. I don’t *cook* it of course.

scallop sashimi
calamari sashimi noodles
hamo no aburi (flamed sashimi)
hiya yakko (chilled tofu cubes)
konnyaku faux-sashimi

和え物,aemono
Cold dish with sauce.

shira-ae veggies
goma-ae kogomi (sesame fiddle heads)
snappy beans and shrimps in kimizu-ae (yolk sauce)

蒸し物, mushimono
Steamed.
egg tofu
dobin mushi (steamed soup)
okowa kabocha (steamed pumpkin with rice)
steamed scallop

御浸し, o-hitashi
Blanched.
mustard green o-hitashi
green leaf maki
reishabu (poached meat)

揚げ物 agemono
Fried dishes.

tempura (tutorial)
kakiage (mixed tempura)
karaage fish
agedofu, fried tofu DIY
kaki-furai (fried oysters)

焼き物, yakimono
Grilled dishes.

shioyaki (salt grilled fish)
kabayaki conger eel
yakiniku, beef BBQ
yakitori (chicken skewers)
teriyaki chicken(the “real” thing, recipe)
teriyaki fish
miso yaki chicken
miso yaki fish
dengaku (skewers)

鉄板焼き,teppanyaki
Grilled on the hot plate.
Beef liver teppanyaki
okonomiyaki (compilation)
ika-yaki (calamari)

煮物, nimono
Simmered.

pumpkin kabocha no nitsuke
kakuni (pork)
beef shigure
buri daikon (fish and radish)

炒め物 itamemono
Stir-fried.

champuru (Okinawan scramble)
kinpira

漬物, tsukemono
pickles
wasabi leaf tsukemono
daikon radish leave tsukemono
dashi’t, Obanazawa pickle
pink lotus root tsukemono

酢の物, sunomono
Quick vinegar pickles. Salads with lots of vinegar.

potato sarada
daikon ume sarada
kabocha sarada

GOHAN Japanese rice, A to Z

RICE

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.

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

basic
yaki onigiri (grilled)

domburi

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)

sushi

Click here to go to the sushi compilation

Bento
Fill a part of your lunch box with rice.

midori okowa
chirashi bento
Unaju (eel)

yakigohan
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)

o-cha-zuke

Okayu
Rice porridge, often a breakfast.

nanakusa okayu (7 herbs)
red okayu
umeboshi
salmon

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

How to steam rice, all the tricks

The best friend of a Thai green curry is this steamed rice you can grab with your fingers. The steamed rice has another texture and also a different flavor. You should try it.

Steamed rice exists in most Asian cuisines. The Japanese and Thai techniques are similar, and the differences is mostly that in Thailand it tends to be served with a dish in sauce, and by itself in Japan.

It is VERY different from the “standard” Asian white rice, side for most meals or to make sushi. For this, read this (click on text) :
Perfect Japanese rice in your cast iron pot

Tools :

This time I have used a Chinese bamboo steamer and a Japanese rice net.

You can use any type of basket, with or without lid. That works better if you place the rice in thin layers, so it’s better to have a wide basket than a deep one, or to superpose several.
If the basket has holes that let the grains of rice go through, you need a net cloth or a cheese close to retain it. Wet the cloth before using it.
If your basket cannot be used on top of a pan, use a big pan, or a slow-cooker, or a rice cooker. Line the bottom with a cloth or kitchen paper, and place a turned down saucer. Place the basket(s) on that stand. Add water in the bottom. Put the lid on the big pan.
Did you know? The bamboo steamers are great as the design of the lid makes that when the steam turns into water, it never drops down on the food and showers your steamed food (this is not a big problem for rice, but that can mess the appearance of your steamed dim sum). But grand-ma that was not impressed by Chinese technology would have told you that you can avoid the problem without investing in a steamer. Wrap the lid in a cloth/net, the fabric will absorb and take away the water.

Type of rice :

That should be a sticky rice from any country. Sticky and non-sticky rice are different varietals. Japanese mochigome is a sticky rice. I have used this.
You can cook other types of rice with this technique. That works, but you won’t get the same effect of grains sticking together.

Prepare the rice IN ADVANCE :

-In a bowl “wash” it with water. “Brush” the rice between your hands. Use lukewarm water if you don’t like it cold, but don’t skip that step. Change the water when it becomes very white. Do it again 1 to 3 times till you get a clear water. Drain.
-Cover your rice with hot or cold water and let it at least 2 hours in case of hot water, and 6 hours otherwise. Long soaking is compulsory, otherwise it will take forever to cook.

Steam :

-Drain the soaked rice, transfer it to the basket. Put to steam.
-You can open and pour a cup of hot water on the rice a few times while it’s steaming. That’s not really necessary, that only speeds up things a little. But as you need to maintain water in the bottom, that’s a way to do it.
-That will take precisely … a certain time. 20 minutes is a minimum, it’s if your rice is well soaked, not in too big amount in the basket. Otherwise be patient.

Variations :
Some ingredients (pandan leaves, etc) can added to the rice to bring flavor while steaming.
Also, you can find many types garnished “okowa” in Japan. For instance, sekihan (with red azuki), kurihan with chestnut, with edamame (green soya bean), with mushrooms, etc.

The cooked rice is sticky, slightly transparent and it has an al-dente feeling under the tooth. And the flavor is encanting.

I ate it with a fish head green curry, garnished with sliced renkon (lotus roots), red paprika and cubes of konnyaku.