simmer simmer

Lately I’ve been cooking with a macrobiotic combo dashi, which is made with dried shiitake and kombu (kelp). I eat up the “used” shiitake in miso soups and stir fries, those chewy chunks of umami bombs, but end up with a lot of kombu kelp. Sometimes I add it in fried rice, but that uses up so little… So I made some tsukudani to use it all up.


Tsukudani is a type of condiment that’s eaten with rice, usually made with seaweed or little dried shrimps (but you can make it with used up tea leaves too!). Think of it like a wet furikake, or even a confiture of sorts. Tsukudani is basically stuff simmered in soy sauce and sugar, so it preserves well in the fridge. And because it’s heavily flavored, you can use it as a mix-in and cook takikomi gohan (flavored rice) with it.

Mosey along for the recipe!

Enoki and Kombu Tsukudani
about 1 1/2 cups of salty delicious goodness.

1 package enoki
1 piece of kombu, reconstituted
5 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar



Cut your enoki and kombu into thin, matching-sized strips.


Simmer over low heat until most of the liquid is gone.

Done! Store in an airtight container. This will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge. Make ochazuke with it, eat it over cold tofu, toss it in pasta, the possibilities are ENDLESS!


Now, to make Takikomi Gohan:
about 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

2 cups of white rice, rinsed
4 tbsp of tsukudani
a pinch of sea salt


Dump all into the rice cooker and add enough water to hit the 2-cup mark. (or, if you’re cooking without a rice cooker, just follow these instructions). Excuse the floating ¬†quinoa, I usually mix some sort of whole grain with my rice for added awesomeness, erm, I mean, wholesomeness.
Press ON. Wait until the beeper goes off.


Fluff rice and nosh. This and some pickles is all I need for a quick lunch.
It’s great cold as well, so make some onigiri (rice balls) with it.

Other takikomi gohan variations:
Taimeshi (sea bream rice)

Sometimes I add julienned carrots, gobo root, and sliced mushrooms to make gomoku gohan or “five item rice”. In that case, add another pinch of salt.

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