I love burnt rice. It’s hard to top something as simple and perfect as yakionigiri, but this recipe shows that the slightest effort makes something entirely different and delicious in its own right. I saw a photo of this recipe in the Japanese magazine, Kyouno Ryouri Beginners. This “beginners” series focuses each issue on one ingredient, and this month it’s rice. I quickly picked it up, knowing I had much to learn.
You can see in the photo below that this was supposed to be like a crispy rice pancake cut into neat wedges. But, you can judge how things went when I tried this at home. Disaster. I tried it a couple of times, but my version was not holding together. Maybe the variety of rice I’m using isn’t sticky enough? In any case, I’m not going to dwell on my shortcomings, but embrace them!
If we overlook the difficulty of flipping this baby in the skillet, the recipe uses simple ingredients and is easy to prepare. The combination of miso, sake, and mirin creates a complex flavor that is punctuated with the soft leeks. I recommend eating this right away as it doesn’t reheat well.
Crispy Miso Rice with Leeks | Negimiso iri Okoge Gohan
Adapted from きょうの料理ビギナーズ（2010年３月号）
Makes 2 servings
1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain rice
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. miso
1 tsp. sake
1 tsp. mirin
Trim the leek and cut in half lengthwise. Slice leeks crosswise in 1/4 inch thick half moons. Place in a bowl, rise with water, and dry with towels or spin dry.
In a large bowl, combine miso, sake, and mirin and whisk until smooth. Add the egg and whisk until well mixed. Add rice and mix well with a rice paddle or spatula. Finally, add leeks and fold into the rice mixture.
Heat a 1 tsp. of oil in a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the rice mixture, shape into a round disc, and flatten with a rice paddle. Keep pressing the rice and cook for about 3 minutes.
Flip as best you can by placing a plate over the skillet and flipping the rice onto the plate. (I wasn’t very successful at this, but do the best you can!) Add 1 tsp. of oil to the skillet, then slide the rice back onto the skillet to cook the other side. Again, press the rice and cook for 3 minutes.
If you’ve managed to keep the rice in a pancake shape, bravo! Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 6 wedges. If not, take my lead and don’t sweat it. Serve it up like that’s how it’s suppose to be—it might not look as pretty, but it’ll taste the same.