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Okowa with Pork and Shiitakes

(recipe, Matthew Amster-Burton)

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I've adapted this recipe from the one available on the Kyoto Foodie blog. As noted, you can use many different types of rice for this recipe; if you like brown rice, look for brown mochi rice at your local Japanese or Korean grocery store, alongside the white mochi rice. If you use brown mochi rice or brown short-grain rice, you'll need to increase the water to at least 3 cups.


  1. 2 cups mochi rice (also sold as sweet rice or short-grain sticky or glutinous rice), or substitute short- or medium-grain Japanese-style rice
  2. 4 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  3. 1 cup chopped roast pork (any kind, including leftovers, is fine, or substitute fried tofu)
  4. 6 Tbsp. sake or Chinese rice wine
  5. ΒΌ cup mirin
  6. 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 1 lime


  1. Wash the rice. The easiest way to do this is to place a large strainer into a slightly larger bowl, and place the rice in the strainer. Wash in several changes of water until the water runs mostly clear, rather than milky. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Put the drained rice into a rice cooker. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lime, and start the cooker. (If you prefer to make rice in a pot, just do it your usual way, with the added ingredients.)
  3. As soon as the rice cooker beeps, open and stir. (Mochi rice doesn't hold well in a rice cooker.) Spoon the rice into four bowls and garnish each with a light grating of lime zest and a squeeze of juice. Serve immediately.