Autumn is a perfect season for Maze-Gohan, Japanese-style mixed rice: warm, comforting, and full of seasonal flavor. In Maze-Gohan, cooked rice is tossed with seasonal ingredients, often cooked separately and seasoned with soy sauce, dashi broth, and mirin. The most common ingredients in Maze-Gohan are carrots, burdock, shiitake mushrooms, konnyaku (yam noodles), lotus roots, and bamboo shoots, and it can be a vegetarian dish. Try cooking this dish in Donabe, a Japanese clay pot that not only adds depth and richness to the dish but a beautiful presentation.
Maze-Gohan vs Takikomi-Gohan
Although Maze-Gohan and Takikomi-Gohan share many similarities, the main difference is whether the ingredients are cooked with the rice (Takikomi-Gohan) or tossed with already cooked rice (Maze-Gohan). However, the fundamental similarity is that they should use seasonal ingredients and have a flavor of soy sauce, dashi, and mirin.
How to serve Maze-Gohan:
Maze-Gohan: Japanese-style mixed rice
- rice cooker or donabe
- 2 cups short or medium-grain white rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 oz fresh burdock (gobo) peeled and coarsely chopped
- 5 oz carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 sheets abura-age thin fried tofu, found at a local Asian grocery store
- 1/2 cup dashi substitute water or vegetable broth for vegetarian
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoon sesame oil
- toasted sesame or Goma-shio for garnish
- Gather ingredients.
- Soak the washed rice in 2 ½ cups of water for 15-30 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and then cook the rice according to the method you are using. If using donabe, add water and rice to the donabe, and place it on the stovetop. Turn the heat high until the water starts to boil, then turn the heat to low. Cover the donabe with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Check for the doneness and turn the heat off. Leave the rice undisturbed for 10-15 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, make the carrots, burdock, and abura-age mixture. Note: to prevent discoloring, keep the peeled burdock in water.
- Place carrots, burdock, and abura-age into a food processor and chop until they are roughly the size of rice grains.
- On a stovetop, heat a frying pan and add sesame oil, then 3. Toss well, then add dashi, mirin, and soy sauce. Turn the heat low and cook until all the liquid is almost gone. Turn the heat off and set it aside.
- When the rice is done, add the ingredients from step 4 and mix well. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and drizzle more sesame oil (optional) for garnish. Serve warm.
Making Onigiri with Maze-Gohan, another way to enjoy the dish. Learn how to make onigiri, here.
This recipe is an adaptation of Maze-Gohan served at Tanpopo Noodle Shop.