Hijiki Mixed Rice

Hijiki Mixed Rice


Ah, Japanese mixed rice. There are so many variations, and they're all so tasty and easy to prepare. So why isn't this dish a standard in every American home? It should be. I've talked about Japanese mixed rice before (here, here and here), but just came across a number of great variations on the fantastic Shiro Gohan website, so let me share another one -- this time with hijiki, abura age (deep fried tofu) and carrots. Hijiki is a jet-black seaweed that grows in thin strands. Besides being delicious, it's full of iron and minerals, and, according to Japanese folk medicine, is supposed to promote thick, healthy hair. (I love hijiki but still remain rather hair challenged -- I wonder why the hijiki gods didn't bless my mane (or what little is left of it)? :) ) At my local Japanese market here in New York, I found this super cool, extra-long hijiki, which I used in the recipe; I think it makes the dish look more interesting. Here's my adapted recipe, great any time of the year (and great for amazing rice balls, too):

Serves 4

(Note to my fellow citizens: The recipe's in metric but all measuring cups have metric volumes, plus your digital home kitchen scale (which I keep urging you to buy) has metric, too, so no problem!)

2 cups rice
15 g dried hijiki
1 piece of abura age (thin sliced, deep fried tofu pouches, pronounced "ah-bura ageh")
1/2 carrot
400 ml dashi (you can use all-natural dashi packs or dashi powder, which you can find in Japanese markets)
40 ml mirin
40 ml usukuchi soy sauce (light-colored soy sauce)

Wash the rice and set aside (see this or this post for more details). Soak the hijiki in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes, drain and set aside. Pour boiling water over both sides of the abura age to remove any excess oil. Cut the abura age open (it's like a hollow pocket), then thinly slice. Slice the carrot into thin matchsticks about the same size as the abura age. Set both aside. Combine the dashi, mirin and usukuchi soy sauce and set aside. (The ratio here is 10:1:1. Use this combination for any kind of mixed rice.)

Add the washed rice to your rice cooker. Pour in the liquid. Pile the hijiki, abura age and carrot on top of the rice. Very important: Do not mix at this point. The rice will not cook properly if it's mixed with other ingredients; the rice needs to be with other rice so steam can circulate evenly between the grains. Turn the cooker on. When the rice is ready, now use a shamoji to mix the rice with the other ingredients. Use a slicing motion to turn the rice and ingredients together, making sure not to mush the rice. (I have to do a video of this at some point to demonstrate -- Jason K. if you're reading this, you gotta come over and help me shoot this video!) Serve immediately.

Posted by Harris Salat in Rice | Permalink | Comments (8) | Email | Print

Comments (8)

I love how simple this recipe looks. I've recently become interested in learning how to cook Japanese food but so much about it is, er, foreign to me. Thank you for posting a recipe that even a novice cook might be able to tackle!
I was just thinking about making some hijiki with atsu age! Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for sharing this, love the combination of hijiki, carrots and aburage as a side dish or in gamodokitofu so why not mixed it into cooked rice? Good one! Luiz @ The London Foodie
At Narita on the way home on Wednesday had a tasty varition of this dish: rice with hijiki and toasted white sesame seeds.
hi there, i'm in nyc too, which market do you shop at? i'm always looking for fun new shops!
hi, check out sunrise mart, with stores on E9th, Broome and E41st...
Can you do this with sticky rice?
Thanks for this recipe, Harris. I made it last night and it was delicious. I'd been looking for a good takikomi gohan "flavoring" recipe and this 10:1:1 ratio of dashi to mirin and usukuchi shoyu fits the bill perfectly. Thanks!

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