Okowa with Pork and Shiitake Mushrooms (Recipe from episode 40), plus the rice chart

Long GrainShort Grain
Non-sticky Most common rice in the US. Jasmine, basmati, generic supermarket or Chinese restaurant rice. Often fragrant. Good for fried rice. Recommended brands: Trader Joe’s (Basmati and jasmine), Tilda (Basmati), Golden Phoenix (Jasmine). Japonica or calrose rice. Sushi and risotto rice. Arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano, bomba, valencia, koshihikari, and Carolina Gold are all different varieties of this rice. Best for fried rice. Springy or creamy texture, depending on how it’s cooked; rarely fragrant. Recommended brands of Japanese-style rice: Niko-Niko, Kokuho Rose, Tamaki Gold, Nozomi.
Sticky Thai sticky rice/glutinous rice. Must be soaked and steamed and nearly always eaten with fingers. Staple food of Laos and northern Thailand. Mochi rice/sweet rice; used for pounding into mochi or ground for sweet rice flour. Steamed in banana leaves at dim sum. In Japan, cooked with other ingredients (beans, meat, root vegetables, other grains) to make okowa, sekihan, or takikomi gohan. Recommended brands: The one we used for the show was Shirakiku, and it was good.

Adapted from Kyoto Foodie

2 cups mochi rice (also sold as sweet rice or short-grain sticky or glutinous rice), or substitute short- or medium-grain Japanese-style rice
4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
1 cup chopped roast pork (any kind, including leftovers, is fine, or substitute fried tofu)
6 tablespoons sake or Chinese rice wine
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups water
1 lime

1. Wash the rice. The easiest way to do this is to place a large strainer into a slightly larger bowl, and place the rice in the strainer. Wash in several changes of water until the water runs mostly clear, rather than milky. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.

2. Put the drained rice into a rice cooker. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lime, and start the cooker. If you prefer to make rice in a pot, just do it your usual way, with the added ingredients.

3. As soon as the rice cooker beeps, open and stir. (Mochi rice doesn’t hold well in a rice cooker.) Spoon the rice into four bowls and garnish each with a light grating of lime zest and a squeeze of juice. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

11 thoughts on “Okowa with Pork and Shiitake Mushrooms (Recipe from episode 40), plus the rice chart

    1. mamster Post author

      Thanks, Michael! I should have mentioned that for even more details on the many types of rice, consult Alford and Duguid’s _Seductions of Rice._ But my chart is more succinct.

  1. persimmon

    Thank you for your chart! It de-mystifies the differences between rices for me. Where does Homai rice fit in? Is it just another name for one of the rices already listed?

    1. mamster Post author

      Hmm, I thought I already replied to this one, but WordPress says I didn’t. From Googling, I think Homai rice is a brand of calrose/short-grain Japanese-style rice, available in white or brown. Does this sound right to you?

  2. mahlookma

    Someone has a zojirushi neuro-fuzzy. They’re a nice standard beginner model. :)

    FYI: Roger Ebert actually has a rice cooker cookbook.

    1. mamster Post author

      Actually I have a Sanyo. I can’t remember what it said on the box but it has some sort of chippy feature. I mean computer chippy, not chip-shop. But that would be good too.

  3. persimmon

    I’d say that sounds like a good guess. I like to know the difference between a variety and a brand name. :) My mom always served white Homai rice with stir-fries and called it sticky rice, so it’s nice to have a little clarification.

    1. mamster Post author

      Angel, Molly writes:

      “Elizabeth, we thought about posting it, and then I (Molly) ran out of time to type it up! But it’s easy, and really, it’s hardly a recipe. Here you go:Take whatever seeds you like – pumpkin seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, maybe flax seeds, a few fennel seeds – and toast them, one type at a time, in a skillet over medium heat. You’ll know they’re done when they smell toasty. When all the seeds are toasted and cooled, combine them in a bowl, and salt them to taste. Then make your favorite type of fragrant rice, put some in a bowl, top with a couple of spoonfuls of the mixed seeds – enough that you get some seeds in each bite – and drizzle some sesame oil on top. That’s all!”

  4. jc1312

    What does the “” in “¼ cup mirin” mean? Is mirin optional? Do I need sake and mirin, or just one of them? Thanks!

  5. mamster Post author

    Whoops. It’s supposed to just be 1/4. Mirin is optional, but if you don’t use it, add a couple tablespoons of sugar.

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