Hijiki Mixed Rice

Hijiki Mixed Rice

Japanese mixed rice, also known as Shiro Gohan, is a delicious and easy dish to prepare with hijiki, abura age, and carrots. Learn how to make this healthy and flavorful Japanese mixed rice with a step-by-step recipe guide and essential ingredients.

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. This version is loaded with 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):

Here's the recipe for Hijiki and Abura Age Mixed Rice with conversions to US standard measures:

Hijiki and Abura Age Mixed Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried hijiki (about 0.5 ounces)
  • 1 piece of abura age (thinly sliced, deep-fried tofu pouches)
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 2/3 cups dashi (You can use all-natural dashi packs or dashi powder, available in Japanese markets)
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons usukuchi soy sauce (light-colored soy sauce)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Rice: Wash the rice and set aside.
  2. Soak the Hijiki: Soak the hijiki in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Abura Age: Pour boiling water over both sides of the abura age to remove excess oil. Cut it open, then thinly slice.
  4. Cut the Carrot: Slice the carrot into thin matchsticks, approximately the same size as the abura age slices. Set aside.
  5. Combine Liquid Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix together the dashi, mirin, and usukuchi soy sauce. The ratio for this liquid mixture is approximately 10:1:1.
  6. Layer in Rice Cooker: Place the washed rice in your rice cooker. Pour the liquid mixture over the rice. Then, layer the hijiki, abura age, and carrot on top of the rice. Do not stir.
  7. Cook: Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook. The ingredients on top will steam with the rice.
  8. Mix After Cooking: Once the rice is cooked, use a shamoji (rice paddle) to gently fold the hijiki, abura age, and carrot into the rice. Use a slicing motion to avoid mashing the rice.
  9. Serve: Serve the mixed rice immediately while hot.