Recipe: Kakigohan

By Jackie Enzmann

Now that February is upon us, we are officially in the thick of Hiroshima’s oyster season. Take advantage of the bounty from the Inland Sea with this simple recipe for kakigohan, or rice with oysters. This dish works well as a side, but it’s also hearty enough to be a meal on its own. Oyster season only lasts until the end of the month so be sure to make the most of it!

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 burdock root (gobo / ごぼう)
  • 1/2 of a carrot
  • 2 pieces of fried tofu (aburaage / 油揚げ)
  • 300 grams oysters
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • about 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sake
  • 1 teaspoon katsuodashi (かつおだし) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mitsuba (みつば) (optional)

1. In this step, we’ll get most of the chopping out of the way. First, peel the gobo by scraping it with the back of your knife. Next, slice the gobo into shavings. Imagine that the gobo is a giant pencil that you’re trying to sharpen with your knife. In Japanese, this special style of cutting is called sasagaki (ささがき) and is reserved only for gobo. Put the gobo shavings into a bowl of water and set aside.

Next, peel the carrot and cut it into narrow, rectangular pieces. Cut the fried tofu into pieces roughly the same size as the carrot.

2. Wash your rice and add the water, soy sauce, sake and katsuodashi to your rice cooker. Next, put the drained gobo shavings, carrot, and fried tofu on top of the rice. Don’t worry about stirring for now.

3. Start up your rice cooker on the automatic cook setting, but don’t stray too far. When the water starts to boil, drop the oysters on top of the rice mixture and close the lid.

4. Once your rice cooker let’s you know it’s finished, open the lid and stir the mixture gently. Be sure to scoop all the way from the bottom to mix the ingredients evenly, but don’t be too rough on the oysters. If there’s a bit of extra moisture on the top, soak it up with a paper towel.

5. Scoop a serving into a bowl, sprinkle a bit of the chopped mitsuba on top, pat yourself on the back and dig in!

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