What to do if you love white carbs, but still want your food to look interesting? Bread-lovers have rustic multigrain baguettes to scatter across their flour-smudged blue linen tablecloths… but what about rice-lovers?
Enter mixed rice. It’s a lot quicker than homemade sourdough and much more colourful.
Mixed rice starts with white rice and simply incorporates other variously-coloured ingredients and seasonings. Beans, grains and vegetable bits are all acceptable. Not only does this look fancy, it also adds a lot of the fibre and nutrients that white rice sadly lacks.
In Japanese cooking, there are two ways of making mixed rice. The first, takikomi-gohan (炊き込みご飯), translates to something like ‘steamed-all-together rice’. The second, maze-gohan 混ぜご飯, translates literally to ‘mixed rice’, in which everything is added to the rice after it’s cooked. What I’m about to offer is a maze-gohan with black-and-yellow grilled sweetcorn.
rice and beans, yes, but sweetcorn?
Admittedly, corn isn’t something I’ve always associated with Japanese food. Although it sometimes appears bobbing around in ramen, I always thought of that as a sort of aberration. Later, thanks to the internet, I discovered that ramen topped with corn and butter is actually a speciality of Hokkaido. Japan’s snowy northern island produces plenty of both – along with soy beans, wheat, potatoes, beef, and of course seafood.
In recognition of the fact that I have much to learn about Japan’s regions, I’m half-dedicating this recipe to Hokkaido. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit one day. UPDATE: I did, and have been dreaming about it since!
before we start…
Please follow this link if you’re new to cooking Japanese rice.
the recipe: corn maze-gohan
Simple but luxurious mixed rice with corn, soy sauce and butter.
- 300 g Japanese rice
- 2 cobs corn
- 50 g butter
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Wash the rice and prepare to cook (either using a rice cooker or according to the instructions linked to above). Set your grill to a medium heat.
- Melt the butter and combine with the soy sauce. Roll the corn cobs in the mixture and place under the grill. Reserve the spare mixture.
- Rotate the corn every so often until cooked. Allow to blacken in places. When done, remove from the grill and allow to cool.
- Take one of the cooled cobs and, using a sturdy knife, cut a disc 3-4 kernels wide for each serving. Cut each disc into two semicircles.
- Remove the rest of the kernels from the cobs. When the rice is ready, mix in the corn and the remaining butter and soy sauce.
- Serve bowls of mixed rice as usual, standing two semicircles of corn on top of each in a V formation. (These can be eaten easily using chopsticks.)