In Ehime Prefecture, Japan, the dialect uses the word "moburu" to mean "to mix or sprinkle on" ("omoburi" means "mixed"). Let's make mixed rice with warabi (bracken fern) and other mountain vegetables that are in season in the spring!
Ingredients: 3 rice cooker cups' worth (540 ml of uncooked rice)
Aburaage (I use Matsuyama-age, an Ehime speciality; see Story Behind the Recipe)
1 to 2 pieces
Or, use 300 ml of water with 1 teaspoon of dashi stock granules
2 heaping tablespoons
Usukuchi soy sauce
Regular (dark) soy sauce
2 rice cooker cups' worth (360 ml)
If you don't have any usukuchi soy sauce, substitute with the following:
Regular (dark) soy sauce
a bit less than 1/2 teaspoon
Soak the bamboo shoot and warabi (bracken fern) to remove their bitterness. Cook the rice with a bit less water than usual so that it's firm.
Slice the bamboo shoot into thin strips. Cut the warabi into 2.5-3 cm long pieces. Wrap the aburaage in paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds to remove the surface oil, then cut into thin strips.
Put all the ingredients except for the rice and chirimen jako into a pan with the dashi stock and flavoring ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat while stirring occasionally.
When the simmering liquid has reduced by about half, add the chirimen jako.
When there is almost no liquid left in the pan as shown here, turn off the heat. (Since the liquid is mixed into the rice too, be sure to keep simmering until there's almost none left in the pan.)
Put the freshly cooked hot rice in a large container (such as a sushi rice tub), add the Step 4 simmered ingredients, liquid and all, and mix in.
The simmered ingredients are well flavored, but if they are too wet you can drain them quickly in a colander before mixing them in. (Don't press down on them to squeeze them out.)
Taste, and if needed, add a little salt to adjust the seasoning.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a mountain vegetable filled mixed rice that I've been eating in the spring since I was little. In Matsuyama in Ehime prefecture, it's called "Moburi rice" or "Omoburi". Besides mountain vegetables, we add other veggies such as cooked dried shiitake mushrooms, carrots, burdock root, and lotus root, and mix them into the rice. In Matsuyama, we use a type of dried aburaage called "Matsuyama-age" without getting rid of the surface oil.
Since the added ingredients contain moisture, cook the rice with a bit less water than usual. The added ingredients are flavored a bit strongly with a sweet-salty taste. Make sure the added ingredients are cooked thoroughly, and do not let them burn. If you need to add salt to the rice to adjust the flavor, sprinkle it on lightly and evenly.