- 2 medium-size dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cups rinsed short- or medium-grain rice, preferably shinmai
- 2-1/3 cups water (use 3 tablespoons less water if using shinmai)
- 1 (7-oz.) jar chestnuts in heavy syrup, drained
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu)
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Radish sprouts (kaiwari daikon) (optional)
Preparation/cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 3 or 4
Typhoons and red dragonflies are harbingers of Japanese autumn. So are burnished red maple leaves and shinmai, the first rice of the season. Celebrate the majesty of fall and serve this bountiful rice dish, with chestnuts, sweet potatoes and shiitake mushrooms.
Soak mushrooms in a bowl of warm water 30 minutes. Squeeze dry; cut off stems. Dice mushrooms. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine rinsed rice and water; soak 15 minutes. Rinse chestnuts to remove syrup. Drain well; cut into quarters. Add mushrooms, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, salt, soy sauce and mirin to saucepan with rice; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Let stand, covered and undisturbed, 10 minutes. Carefully break up rice mixture with a dampened wooden rice paddle or spatula. Spoon rice mixture into serving bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and radish sprouts.
Reprinted with permission from the book:
Japanese Cooking for the American Table
This brick-red tin would make a handy stand on your desk for holding pens, pencils and brushes. Or of course you can use it for its original purpose, as an airtight container for storing your favorite tea.
The round scarlet post box has been a familiar sight on Japan's streets for almost a century and a half. The Japan Post adopted the iconic design from the British Royal Mail postbox, as well as the distinctive red livery. Instead of the Royal Mail's coat of arms, however, the box is decorated with the kanji characters for Yuubin (Post Office) and one of the earliest logos in the world, the letter T (for 'Tsushin') with a bar across it, which debuted in 1877.
The tin comes filled with a 30g pack of Houjicha, a roasted black tea that is refreshing as a hot beverage in winter or iced tea in summer. The tea is from the famous Suzukien tea plantation in Saitama, Japan.
It's the perfect gift for designers, tea-lovers, Japanophiles or stamp collectors. [US$15, €13.20]
These colorful chopstick rests in the shape of ripe vegetables will brighten up any Asian meal.
Our vegetable set of hashioki (chopstick rests) includes ripe tomato, crimson chili pepper, vibrant bitter gourd, plump eggplant and crisp carrot. It's the ideal set for an Asian meal and complements noodles, stir-fries or sushi.
In Japanese table etiquette, chopsticks should always be left on chopstick rests between bites.
In recent years, hashioki have become available in a huge range of shapes, colors and sizes. We've scoured the kitchenware shops of Kappabashi to come up with our own unique sets for discerning customers. [US$17, €15]