Cooking rice with seasonal delicacy – vegetables and seafood – is a very common practice in the Japanese kitchen. This style of rice dish is called takikomi gohan and is traditionally made in a donabe (earthenware pot). Like paella or pilaf dishes, we cook everything in one pot, so that the rice absorbs good flavor from every ingredients added to the pot. If you do not have a donabe, try it in an ordinary, heavy bottomed pot, or rice cooker (I recommend Zojirushi).
3 ayu fish, rinsed
2 1/4 cups short-grain polished rice (When using a rice cooker measure rice with a cup which comes with a rice cooker and have 3 cups of rice)
3 cups dashi stock (When using a rice cooker use the water line suggested by the rice cooker company)
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1 1/2 tablespoons usukuchi shoyu (light color shoyu)
1 tablespoon sake
1/4 cup finely julienned ginger, blanched
Some bitter green
Gently press the belly of the ayu fish towards anus to remove innards. Lightly salt the fish and place it on a fish grill. Cook the fish over open flame until both sides are lightly golden.
Rinse the rice and soak it in new water for 15 minutes, and drain it for 30 miunutes. Place the rice in a rice cooking pot and add the dashi, mirin, shoyu and sake. Place the fish over the rice and cover it with a heavy pot.
Place the pot over high heat and cook until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to very low and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes.
After the rice is cooked let it stand, covered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Take out the fish from the pot and remove the head and bones. Return the fish to the pot and toss it gently with the rice along with the ginger and bitter herbs. Serve the rice hot.