Wash the rice 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, and drain in a colander.
Parboil the ground pork in 300 ml of water. Skim off the scum from the broth and set it aside.
Add the boiled ground pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, awamori, roasted sesame seeds, and sugar in a frying pan, and fry until the liquid has evaporated.
Finely chop all of the main ingredients except for the hijiki. Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms in 100 ml water, and set the soaking water aside for later use. I also used 2 pieces of satsuma-age.
Add the ground pork broth and the shiitake soaking water to the washed rice until the liquid mixture rises to slightly less than the three cup line in the rice cooker. Add some water if needed.
Add the seasoned ground pork and "Jushi" seasonings to the rice cooker, and add the lard at the end. If you don't have lard, use vegetable oil instead. Cook in the rice cooker.
It's also nice if you garnish with yomogi (mugwart) or green onion to finish ♪ This is good even cold, so you can buy "Jushi" rice balls in Okinawa.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is an Okinawan home cooking dish that my grandmother and my mother used to make a lot when I was little. It brings me back to my childhood, and so I decided to write this recipe down before I forget it.
You can make this with ingredients found in mainland Japan. You could use pork belly instead of ground pork, but if you use pork belly, use less lard. We use lard to make this dish in Okinawa, so, if you want to make it the authentic way, use lard. And another key ingredient is the bonito dashi stock. It's also delicious with bamboo shoots or burdock root ♪