Friday, February 1, 2013

Donabe Gobo favorite "dirty" rice

Winter is wonderful with all the earthy vegetables.

One of my favorite earthy dishes is burdock root ("gobo") rice in double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san". I call it "dirty" rice, because this aromatic root vegetable makes the rice so earthy both in flavor and color.


To make this dish, you first pulse the burdock root in food processor until it's coarsely minced into just about the same size as the rice grain. Then, simply spread over the rice and cook in liquid of dashi stock and seasonings.


To serve the rice, I like to accompany some sautéed Japanese turnip ("kabu") leaves. You can top the rice with the leaves or mix them together. If you can't find kabu leaves, other leafy green such as dandelion or kale would work, too. Here's the recipe.

Earthy Burdock Root Rice ("Gobo Gohan")


2 rice-cups (360 ml) short grain rice, rinsed

6 oz (180 g) burdock root ("gobo")
300 ml dashi stock
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoon light-color soy sauce (“usukuchi shoyu”)
1 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 rectangular piece fried tofu pouch ("abura-age"), blanched and thinly-sliced
1 bunch (about 1/4 pound) Japanese turnip ("kabu") leaves with stems, chopped(*you can also try with different green vegetable such as daikon leaves or dandelion leaves)

1/2 tablespoon sesame oila pinch of saltsome toasted white sesame seeds


  1. Rinse the rice and drain. Set aside.
  2. Cut the burdock root into 1" (2.5 cm) long pieces.
  3. Put the burdock root and 3-4 tablespoons of dashi stock in food processor.  Pulse until burdock root is coarsely minced into rice grain size.
  4. In “Kamado-san”, combine the rice with the sake, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, salt, and the remaining dashi stock.  Scatter the sliced abura-age over the rice.  Spread the gobo on top and let the rice soak for 20 minutes. (Picture A)
  5. Place both lids of “Kamado-san” so that the holes of the lids are positioned perpendicular to each other.
  6. Set “Kamado-san” over medium-higih heat and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until 2 minutes after the steam starts puffing.
  7. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the Japanese turnip leaves until they are wilted (about 1-2 minutes).  Toss with the salt and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  9. Uncover "Kamado-san" and fluff the rice with a spatula. Serve into individual bowls and top with the sautéed Japanese turnip leaves. (Or, you can just toss the rice with the sautéed green before serving.)

I love it so much.
Happy donabe life.