Salmon Takikomi Gohan

(image courtesy of Toshi.Panda)

(image courtesy of Toshi.Panda)

Takikomi Gohan (steamed cooked-together rice) is perhaps one of my favorite things. Essentially, takikomi gohan is adding a whole bunch of other ingredients to your rice and letting them all cook together.  It's easy to clean up, extremely versatile, and very adaptable to all sorts of proteins and vegetables. I had some delicious salmon takikomi gohan at a restaurant here in New York City called Fukurou a few months ago. I remember the delicious savory smell that emitted from the container once the lid was opened. Happening to have salmon on hand but not much else, I decided to improvise dinner. Using frozen ingredients and scratches and bits from around the kitchen, I stitched together a tasty and healthy meal. I feel like the new year is starting off well.

Salmon Takikomi Gohan
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 filets salmon (uncooked and cleaned, with or without skin is fine)
1 1/2 cups short grain rice
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
1/2 package shimeji mushrooms (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon dashi granules
2 tablespoons mirin
1-2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (optional)

Instructions: 

1. Measure the rice and barley, and put into a large saute pan (which comes with a lid). Rinse the rice mixture a few times. 
2. In the saute pan, add the frozen peas and parsley, and stir the mixture to combine and fully integrate. 
3. Place the salmon atop the rice. 
4. Measure 2 cups water, and pour into saute pan. Add the soy sauce, dashi, and mirin. 
5. Cover with the lid and place on burner. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. 
6. Steam, covered, until it appears that the rice is done and all the liquid has been absorbed. Open the lid and taste the rice to see if it has finished cooking.
7. Once fully cooked, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steam and set for a few moments longer. Meanwhile, prepare plates with the romaine lettuce. 
8. You can either choose to mix the salmon into the rice, or simply spoon it out of the pan. Serve topped with freshly ground pepper.
 
*Other vegetables that would work well in this dish: mushrooms, edamame, green beans, carrots, and celery