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, protein and vitamins that rice secretly 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.
before we start…
Please follow this link if you’re new to cooking Japanese rice.
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 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 it 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.)