Takikomi Gohan with Chicken

I made takikomi gohan for my roomate when I was in college and she thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. She raved about it, but I was a little embarrassed since all I did was pick up a package at the store, wash the rice, empty the pouch of prepared vegetables, and turn the rice cooker on. She loved it because the rice was full of flavor and she could eat it as a meal on its own.

This time I made it from scratch. The rice is cooked in dashi instead of water and the chicken (with the marinade) gets tossed in along with carrots, shiitake mushrooms, gobo (burdock root), and konnyaku. The flavor is earthy and mild—I like to eat it with a side of Japanese pickles and soup.


Just like baking something divine, takikomi gohan will tease you by filling your kitchen with delicious smells. You’ll think it’s torture as you wait for the rice to finish cooking. But no matter how good it smells, keep my mom’s word of caution: do NOT inhale the wonderful aroma after opening your rice cooker. The steam will burn the edges of your nostrils, which will later turn into scabs. My mom got really excited one time and learned the hard way.

Takikomi Gohan with Chicken
Adapted from 和食の基本
Makes 4 servings

1 3/4 cups white short-grain rice
1 3/4 cups dashi
4.25 oz. chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. sake
2 Tbsp. shoyu
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1.5 oz. gobo (burdock root)
1 small carrot
1/4 piece konnyaku

Wash the rice and let drain in a collander. Add the rice and dashi to the rice cooker and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms in warm water. Remove the stems and slice as thin as possible—for large mushrooms, cut in half then slice.

Dice chicken into half inch cubes and let it marinate in a small bowl with the sake and shoyu.

Peel the skin of the gobo (burdock root). I use the back of a kitchen knife and scrape off the skin under running water. Then, have a medium bowl of water standing by and shave the gobo into a sharp point (like sharpening a pencil with a knife), letting the shavings fly off into the water.

Julienne the carrots into 1 1/4 inch matchsticks. Next, slice the konnyaku in half lengthwise and horizontally through the center so it isn’t as thick. Slice the konnyaku thinly. Boil the konnyaku in a small pot for 1 minute and drain.

Add the chicken and marinade into the rice cooker and stir well to incorporate. Add all the remaining vegetables evenly on top of the rice and chicken. Do not stir the vegetables into the rice.

Turn on the cooker and once the rice has finished, let it steam for 10 minutes then fold to incorporate.

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  1. Katerina
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Even though I haven’t tasted japanese food, it really looks delicious!

  2. Posted November 5, 2009 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Katerina, I hope you have a chance to try Japanese food soon—it’s delicious! Thanks for visiting!

  3. akibo
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Excellent dish! Thanks for posting. This gohan goes well with a separate daikon dish (the name escapes me). Have you made it? If so, please post! thanks

  4. Posted November 5, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Yes! Please stay tuned next week for furofuki daikon. Yum!

  5. Posted December 7, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Oh, I love takikomi gohan!! We usually call “kashiwa meshi” in kyushu… maybe only in my hometown?? Your takikomi gohan looks so delicious!!!

  6. Posted December 7, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Natsumi! I’ve never heard it called “kashiwa meshi”! Isn’t it such good hoka hoka comfort food?

  7. Flora
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Hello, I am new to this site, I found it because I had “Japanese Flavored Rice” at a restaurant for the first time and I thought I died and went to heaven. I HAD to find the recipe and try making it myself! This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it, but I have one question. Is the chicken raw or cooked when you put it into the rice cooker?

  8. Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Hi Flora, welcome to the site! The chicken is added raw and will cook along with the rice. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Flora
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Okay thank you so much! Also, thanks for posting a dashi recipe to go with it :) Very helpful.

  10. emi reiner
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I found this on your site. My sister was just saying she was craving this dish. What would you substitute to make this vegan or vegetarian-tofu?

  11. Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Emi, thanks for visiting! You can just omit the chicken or make this: http://www.humblebeanblog.com/2011/01/kinoko-gohan/

    But I have to say both use dashi (stock made from bonito flakes) so it’s not going to be vegan or vegetarian. You could experiment by using kombu stock as a substitute, but it will affect the flavor profile. Let me know if you try this!

  12. Ashley
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    What are Japanese Pickles? I’d really like to try this with them.

  13. Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Ashley, there are many different kinds of Japanese pickles like takuan, nukazuke, shibazuke, umeboshi, and others. If you want to make a quick-pickle at home, try this one with napa cabbage.

One Trackback

  • By Kinoko Gohan on January 6, 2011 at 10:16 am

    […] Then, you take this earthy, delicious broth and use it to cook the rice. It’s a little like takikomi gohan in method, but this recipe adds the mushrooms to the cooked rice instead of cooking it with the […]

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