Kinoko Gohan: Japanese Mushroom Risotto

This is my version of  Kinoko Gohan, a Japanese, dashi-infused sticky rice dish with mushrooms. It is full of earthy and umami flavours, which makes it perfect for autumn. Traditionally, the mushrooms are steamed or gently boiled, but I prefer to pan-fry them, so they caramelise slightly and retain their bite. Lightly toasted sesame seeds add crunch, while lime and coriander add a touch of freshness.

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Ingredients (for 2):

200 g sushi rice

400 ml homemade vegetarian dashi stock (kombu seaweed and dried shiitake)

2 tbsp sake

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin

300 g assorted mushrooms (I used 100 g shii-take ,100 g chanterelles and 100 g oyster mushrooms)

1 lime, in wedges

few sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped

a sprinkling of (lightly toasted) sesame seeds

1 tbsp flavourless cooking (sunflower or peanut) oil

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  • Wash the rice,  and leave it in the sieve for about an hour.
  • In the meantime, make your dashi. Put 2 postcard-size pieces of dried kombu and 3 dried shiitakes in a pan and cover with 1 liter of cold water. Let it soak for at least an hour.
  • Gently bring the water to the boil. Remove and discard the seaweed when the first bubbles start to appear. Boil the shiitakes on high heat for 2 minutes and then remove and discard. Set aside 400 ml and put the rest in the fridge or freezer.
  • Heat a thin layer of sesame oil in the pressure cooker, add the rice and stir to coat.
  • Add the mirin, sake and soy sauce.
  • Add the dashi stock. Bring to full pressure, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

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  • In a large flat frying pan fry the mushrooms in two batches in sunflower or peanut oil and season with a little bit of soy sauce. Don’t crowd them, and don’t stir too much as you want them to caramelise a little in the pan.
  • Depressurise the pressure cooker. Take the lid off and put the pan back on medium heat. Stir to let excess moisture evaporate and to allow the sauce to thicken and add the mushrooms.
  • Divide the rice on two deep plates and finish off with sesame seeds, coriander and a generous squeeze of lime juice.

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