|Posted on August 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM|
My new electric rice cooker broke down a couple of weeks ago. I have to take it down to the service shop in Gardena but the heat and perrenial traffic discourage me from driving. There is another reason why I am not in a rush to fix my fancy rice machine which looks like R2D2. I can cook a much better rice in a donabe rice cooker.
I did a donabe story for the Los Angeles Times (here is the link) in March. I wrote three rice recipes but the Mushroom Rice recipe did not make it into the story for limited newspaper space. Since then, I made the mushroom dish many times and found a way to keep the fragrance of the mushrooms more in tact. I do not add the mushrooms until the last few minutes of cooking. By doing so, I let the mushrooms cook in the steam of the rice. This works especially well with such aromatic mushrooms as maitake, shitake and matsutake (matsutake will no be in season until the fall). You can also do truffles but I would just shave them into the rice after the rice is fully cooked because they don't need cooking. I like to garnish the mushroom rice with Yuzu rind, which adds a refreshing citrusy fragrance on top of the earthy mushrooms. That's what I call food perfume.
(This recipe works for both donabe rice cooker and electric rice cooker)
2 1/4 cups medium grain rice (equals 3 cups Donabe 180 ml cup)
15 oz water
3 Tbls Sake
3 Tbls Light color soy sauce (Usukuchi shoyu)
1 package of shimeji mushrooms or a combinations of 1/2 package of shimeji mushrooms and 3 medium size shitake mushrooms or 1/2 package of Maitake
1 Tbls yuzu or lime rind
Roasted sesame seeds, shichimi pepper, sansho pepper, chopped Mitsuba leaves, Cut Nori seaweed
Rinse rice and let stand in the strainer for 15 minutes.
Trim ends of mushrooms and separate them into individual pieces. If using shitake mushrooms, slice them into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.
Put the rinsed rice, light color soysauce and sake in the donabe or electric rice cooker. Mix the sauce and sake into the rice. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Cook donabe over medium high heat for 15-17 minutes or until the steam comes out "vigorously" from the ventilation hole. Turn off heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
Open the donabe, using pot holders so you don't burn your hands. Add the sliced mushroom and close both the inner and upper lids. Let stand for another 5 minutes.
Open the donabe and gently toss the rice with the mushrooms. You may have some toasted rice on the bottom which is good.
Garnish with yuzu rind and/or other recommended garnishes.
The rice tastes best when served right away.