Shoga Gohan: Ginger-Scented Rice
August is when ginger is at its best. At this time of year, prices are low and you can find the fresh, fragrant roots everywhere.
If you read this blog regularly, you already know that Japanese home cooking is seasonal cooking. So, at this time of year, we make lots of deeply ginger-perfumed recipes – in part because of an old folk belief that this root helps fight off the sluggishness and lethargy you get when the weather gets really hot.
Here’s a flavored rice that puts ginger to good use. This spicy and refreshing ginger-scented rice goes great alongside fish. Best yet, it’s very easy to make: you just add some sliced ginger and a little bit of simple sauce, and cook it as you would plain white rice.
Ingredients (serves 5)
- Rice – 3 cups
- A small piece of ginger
- Water – 3 and half cups (It depends on the rice. See Gohan.)
- Soy sauce – 3 teaspoons
- Sake – 3 tablespoons
- Dashi – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – a pinch
- Wash rice (do this quickly: no more than three minute.)
In a mid-sized to large pot, place rice in water and leave to soak for about 40 minutes.
- Peel the ginger and slice it very thin, then cut the slices into tiny strips.
- After the rice has soaked, add the ginger, soy sauce, sake, dashi and salt to the rice.
- Cover pot and cook on high heat for about 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes, turn to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until the water evaporates completely.
- Then turn heat off and let it sit for another 5 minutes. (If you are using gas stove, turn heat all the way down.)
- Turn over thoroughly and put cover back on. (If you’re cooking with gas, turn it off.)
Let the rice steam for at least another 5 minutes.
Today I prepared Shoga Gohan with Simmered Sardines (see Saba Nitsuke) and boiled sweet corn (Japanese style: without butter.)