Thursday, August 3, 2017

How to Cook Okowa, Japanese Sticky Rice

     Yesterday, I cooked okowa (おこわ飯), Japanese sticky rice. Okowa is sweet, salty and savory sticky rice. It tastes pretty similar to Chinese zongzi. My husband and I love okowa very much, so when I cook okowa, I always cook a large amount of it at a time. Then, I make many okowa rice balls with extra okowa, so I can keep them in freezer and can also enjoy them later. :)

      Essential ingredients for okowa are burdock roots and carrots. Have you ever had burdock root? It is savory Japanese vegetable and an essential ingredient for some traditional Japanese dishes such as chikuzenni (筑前煮), kinpira gobo (金平牛蒡) and okowa (おこわ). Burdock root, which is called gobo (ゴボウ, 牛蒡) in Japan, can be found at Japanese and Korean supermarkets. I've also found it at US supermarkets, but they looked like shrink (which doesn't look very fresh to me, or is it other kind of burdock roots?).
Fresh Japanese Burdock Roots, Gobo
     This time, I used frozen ready to cook Japanese burdock roots and carrots which are made it convenient for cooking kinpira gobo (金平牛蒡, きんぴらごぼう).
Frozen Ready to Cook Japanese Burdock Root and Carrots
     As you can see the photo below, the frozen one is already cut, so I didn't have to cut any burdock roots this time. By the way, I also add small amount of it to my homemade miso soup sometimes. :)   However, it is not as savory as fresh burdock roots. I prefer okowa made from fresh burdock roots rather than one made from frozen one.
Frozen Ready to Cook Japanese Burdock Root and Carrots
       Anyway, I'm going to share how to cook okowa with you. :)

Ingredients (8 Go / 16 Servings)  
8 Go (8 Rice Cups) of Sticky Rice (or 2 Go of White Rice and 6 Go of Sticky Rice)  
2 Tablespoons of Dried Hijiki   
1 lb of Chicken Thigh or Pork (Minced)  
1/2 lb of Frozen Ready to Cook Japanese Burdock Roots and Carrots  
4 Tablespoons of Sugar  
4 Tablespoons of Sake  
8 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce  
6 Tablespoons of Mirin  
1,600 ml (54 fl oz) of Water  
2 Tablespoons of Hondashi

1. Wash the rice with water. Then, soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.

2. Soak dried hijiki in water for 10 minutes. Strain the water.
Dried Hijiki

Dried Hijiki

Soaking Hijiki in Water

3. Stir-fry chicken, burdock root, carrots and hijiki in a large pan for 3 minutes or so.

4. Add sugar, sake, soy sauce and mirin, and simmer them until almost no liquid remains.

5. Put the rice into a large cast iron pan. Add water and hondashi, and stir them. 

6. Top with simmered chicken and vegetables.

7. Cover the lid. Heat the pan over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to a lower and simmer for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and wait for another 10 minutes.

8. Toss the okowa.

9. Serve and Enjoy!

      These are also my entries you might like.

■What I Bought at Japanese Supermarkets

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

■Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods 

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■How to Cook Japanese White Cream Stew

■How to Cook Soboro Don, Japanese Scrambled Meat And Egg Bowl

■How to Cook Easy Teriyaki Chicken

    My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

    My entries related to my favorite recipes can be seen here.

    My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese instant ramen can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese noodles can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

    My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

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