Corn & Hijiki Rice
Corn & Hijiki Rice
About this Recipe
Cooked in a traditional donabe (clay pot), this dish combines Japanese rice with fresh corn and the sea vegetable hijiki. Corn and hijiki might be striking in their differences — one a cereal grain cultivated all over the world and the other a wild sea plant that grows on the rocky coastlines of Japan, China, and Korea — but both are slightly sweet and starchy like root vegetables. Mineral-rich hijiki is reminiscent of carrot and burdock, and they’re often all simmered together in Japanese cooking. Juicy, sweet corn and the earth-meets-ocean flavor of hijiki are good together, especially with fluffy, warm, slightly sticky short-grain rice.
Hijiki is high in fiber, which helps improve digestive health and maximize the intake of nutrients. It’s also a good source of minerals and vitamins including iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Note: Hijiki and light soy sauce are available at Japanese markets and online. You will need to prepare the recipe Kombu & Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, or use purchased dashi.
Equipment: Double-lidded donabe rice cooker
- 1 Tbsp dried hijiki seaweed
- 1½ cups (360 ml) short-grain rice, rinsed
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) sake
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Tbsp (15 ml) usukuchi shoyu (light soy sauce)
- 1¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp (330 ml) Kombu & Shiitake Mushroom Dashi
- Kernels from 1 ear of corn
- 2 Tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter (in 2 slices)
- Minced chives, for garnish
Step 1Soak the hijiki in plenty of water in a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the hijiki in running water. Drain again and squeeze the hijiki to get rid of excess water. Set aside.
Step 2In a donabe, combine the rice, sake, sea salt, light soy sauce, and dashi. Let the rice soak for 20 minutes.
Step 3Sprinkle the hijiki in a thin layer over the rice, followed by the corn, in even layers.
Step 4Cover the donabe with both lids and cook over medium-high heat for 13 to 15 minutes — or until 2 to 3 minutes after the steam starts puffing out of the steam hole in the top lid. (If you use a regular classic-style donabe with a single lid, start with high heat, then once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed.)
Step 5Turn off the heat and let it stand for 20 minutes.
Step 6Uncover and quickly add the butter. Using a spatula, gently fluff the contents so that the butter is evenly mixed with the rice. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with some chopped chives.
Level Up: For added nutrients and variety, add 1 packet (about 2 oz / 48 g) mochi mugi barley to the rice, if you like. When doing so, increase the dashi by 1/2 cup (120 ml) and add an additional 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce. Mochi mugi barley is available at Japanese markets and online.
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