Vegan Takikomi Gohan 炊き込みご飯 (Japanese Mixed Rice)
This Vegan Takikomi Gohan is a Japanese mixed rice dish seasoned with the traditional flavours of kombu dashi, soy sauce, mushrooms, vegetables and tofu. A quick rice cooker recipe thats perfect for a comforting weeknight meal.
Hey everyone! I’m currently in Japan right now with my boyfriend and have been enjoying every second of it. Tokyo is such a beautiful city full of great people, places, and of course, food! Although many dishes in Japan appear to be vegan friednly, there is one ingredient that is almost in every single dish here and that is: dashi, which is a both/stock made from fish. It makes eating food in Japan much more difficult which is why I tend to make a lot of food at home. One of my favourite Japanese dishes growing up was Takikomi Gohan, so I thought it would be a super appropriate time to share this super easy & quick rice cooker recipe!
What is Takikomi Gohan?
Takikomi Gohan is Japanese mixed rice, seasoned with dashi, mirin, sake and soy sauce. As well, vegetables and some proteins get mixed in and cooked together which brings out additional flavours. There is a vegan option for dashi which can be made from either kombu of shiitake. I personally use kombu dashi for this dish because the shiitake used in this recipe adds its own unique flavours.
Takikomi Gohan is quite customizable as long as you keep the ratio of the rice to the rest ingredients around 7:3. The most common ingredients used in Takikomi Gohan are hijiki, aburaage, konnyaku, bamboo, gobo, lotus root, bamboo, carrots and some kind of protein. Because we are making a vegan option, I left out the meat. I love the simplicity of this dish and the fact that it tastes delicious fresh out of the rice cooker or cold in a bento box.
The best part about Takikomi Gohan is the very bottom where the rice gets crispy and caramelized from the seasonings, YUM!
I hope you try this Vegan Takikomi Gohan and love it as much as I do! It’s:
packed with umami flavours
so easy to make
all cooked in the rice cooker
& a damn tasty simple meal!
Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Takikomi Gohan
Soaking the rice: Although you technically can just rinse the rice and prepare it for cooking immediately, soaking the rice beforehand will help the rice absorb more of the flavours and yield better texture.
Draining excess liquid: your rice in a strainer for at least 10 minutes to ensure no excess liquid is added, this prevents mushy and less flavourful rice. As well, strain the excess water out of the the hijiki and bamboo.
Ratios: Keep the ratio of rice to the rest of the ingredients relatively 70% rice to 30% other ingredients when cooked. Too many additional ingredients will absorb the liquid and the rice will not fully cook.
Vegetable add ins & substitutions: You can use any vegetables you have on hand but avoid vegetables like eggplant and leafy greens as it will cause the rice to become mushy or the greens to be overcooked.
DO NOT mix the rice with the other ingredients: The rice should be at the very bottom when cooked, followed with the hardest ingredients to the softest ingredients. This ensures the rice is cooked properly. Only once the rice is cooked should it be mixed.
Left overs: can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a minimum of 1 month. Left overs can be used to put into bentos and make onigiri!
If you recreate these Vegan Takikomi Gohan please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
Vegan Takikomi Gohan 炊き込みご飯 (Japanese Mixed Rice)
Description of Recipe
Makes: 3-4 servings
- 2 rice cooker cups (300g)
- 3 shiitake mushrooms (11g), rehydrated
- hijiki (5g), rehydrated
- bamboo (100g)
- 1 small carrot (60g)
- 1-2 pieces of kombu
- 1 kombu dashi packet (5g)*
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin**
- 1 tbsp sake***
- Optional proteins: aburaage (fried tofu sheets), black beans, soy beans etc.
- Measure, rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Rinse and soak dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water (atlast 5 minutes). Rinse and soak hijjiki for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, chop your bamboo and carrots into match stick like pieces. Drain the excess liquid out of the bamboo. In a small bowl add the dashi, mirin, sake and soy sauce. Drain the shiitake mushrooms and hijiki, reerving the water. Slice the shiitake mushrooms into thin pieces.
- Add the rinsed rice into the rice cooker. Mix in the soy sauce mixture we made earlier and stir. Then add the rest of the ingredients in layers from the hardest to softest (DO NOT mix the ingredients). For the ingredients I used, this would be the order: dried kombu pieces, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo, hijiki and carrots. Add in the shiitake mushroom water. On your rice cooker, the total liquid amount should be at thr #2 line. Add more water if needed. Close your rice cooker and set to mixed rice setting****.
- Once cooked, mix the rice. You will notice the bottom of the mixed rice is caramelized and is the best part. Serve and top with green onions, sesame seeds and/or some thinly cut nori.
Kombu Dashi Substitute: shiitake dashi OR vegetable broth (last option)
Mirin substitute: 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar + 1 tsp water
Sake substitute: Chinese rice wine, Korean rice wine, dry sherry or 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar + 1/2 tbsp water
Regular rice cooker setting: I highly recommend a food quality rice cooker when trying to make authentic asian food but in the case that you do not have a rice cooker with the mixed rice setting it can also be done in the regular rice cooker setting. The major different between the two rice settings is that the mixed rice setting allows for the bottom of the mixed rice to caramelized (this is called okoge and is the BEST part). If you do not have a mixed rice setting, you can set it to the regular white cooked rice setting and let it cook for another 5-8 minutes without mixing the rice after it is done.