This Vegan Takikomi Gohan is a Japanese mixed rice dish seasoned with the traditional flavours of kombu dashi, soy sauce, mushrooms, vegetables and tofu. A quick rice cooker recipe thats perfect for a comforting weeknight meal.

Hey everyone! I’m currently in Japan right now with my boyfriend and have been enjoying every second of it. Tokyo is such a beautiful city full of great people, places, and of course, food! Although many dishes in Japan appear to be vegan friednly, there is one ingredient that is almost in every single dish here and that is: dashi, which is a both/stock made from fish. It makes eating food in Japan much more difficult which is why I tend to make a lot of food at home. One of my favourite Japanese dishes growing up was Takikomi Gohan, so I thought it would be a super appropriate time to share this super easy & quick rice cooker recipe!

takikomi gohan ingredients

What is Takikomi Gohan?

Takikomi Gohan is Japanese mixed rice, seasoned with dashi, mirin, sake and soy sauce. As well, vegetables and some proteins get mixed in and cooked together which brings out additional flavours. There is a vegan option for dashi which can be made from either kombu of shiitake. I personally use kombu dashi for this dish because the shiitake used in this recipe adds its own unique flavours.

Takikomi Gohan is quite customizable as long as you keep the ratio of the rice to the rest ingredients around 7:3. The most common ingredients used in Takikomi Gohan are hijiki, aburaage, konnyaku, bamboo, gobo, lotus root, bamboo, carrots and some kind of protein. Because we are making a vegan option, I left out the meat. I love the simplicity of this dish and the fact that it tastes delicious fresh out of the rice cooker or cold in a bento box.

vegan japanese recipe

The best part about Takikomi Gohan is the very bottom where the rice gets crispy and caramelized from the seasonings, YUM!

japanese rice cooker recipe

I hope you try this Vegan Takikomi Gohan and love it as much as I do! It’s:

  • packed with umami flavours
  • so easy to make
  • all cooked in the rice cooker
  • & a damn tasty simple meal!
takikomi gohan

Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Takikomi Gohan

  • Soaking the rice: Although you technically can just rinse the rice and prepare it for cooking immediately, soaking the rice beforehand will help the rice absorb more of the flavours and yield better texture.
  • Draining excess liquid: your rice in a strainer for at least 10 minutes to ensure no excess liquid is added, this prevents mushy and less flavourful rice. As well, strain the excess water out of the the hijiki and bamboo.
  • Ratios: Keep the ratio of rice to the rest of the ingredients relatively 70% rice to 30% other ingredients when cooked. Too many additional ingredients will absorb the liquid and the rice will not fully cook.
  • Vegetable add ins & substitutions: You can use any vegetables you have on hand but avoid vegetables like eggplant and leafy greens as it will cause the rice to become mushy or the greens to be overcooked.
  • DO NOT mix the rice with the other ingredients: The rice should be at the very bottom when cooked, followed with the hardest ingredients to the softest ingredients. This ensures the rice is cooked properly. Only once the rice is cooked should it be mixed.
  • Left overs: can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a minimum of 1 month. Left overs can be used to put into bentos and make onigiri!
vegan japanese rice

If you recreate these Vegan Takikomi Gohan please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

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Vegan Takikomi Gohan 炊き込みご飯 (Japanese Mixed Rice)


Description

This Vegan Takikomi Gohan is a Japanese mixed rice dish seasoned with the traditional flavours of kombu dashi, soy sauce, mushrooms, vegetables and tofu. A quick rice cooker recipe thats perfect for a comforting weeknight meal.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 rice cooker cups (300g) short grain Japanese rice (or 1 1/2 regular cups)
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms (11g), rehydrated
  • hijiki (5g), rehydrated
  • bamboo (100g)
  • 1 small carrot (60g)
  • 1 aburaage pouch (17g)
  • 12 pieces of kombu
  • 1 kombu dashi packet (5g)*
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin**
  • 1 tbsp sake***

Instructions

  1. Measure, rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Rinse and soak dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water (atlast 5 minutes). Rinse and soak hijjiki for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, chop your bamboo and carrots into match stick like pieces. Drain the excess liquid out of the bamboo. In a small bowl add the dashi, mirin, sake and soy sauce. Drain the shiitake mushrooms and hijiki, reerving the water. Slice the shiitake mushrooms and aburaage into thin pieces.
  3. RICE COOKER: Add the rinsed rice into the rice cooker. Mix in the soy sauce mixture we made earlier and stir. Then add the rest of the ingredients in layers from the hardest to softest (DO NOT mix the ingredients). For the ingredients I used, this would be the order: dried kombu pieces, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo, hijiki, carrots and aburaage. Add in the shiitake mushroom water. Turn on your rice cooker, the total liquid amount should be at the #2 line. Add more water if needed. Close your rice cooker and set to mixed rice setting****.
  4. Once cooked, mix the rice. You will notice the bottom of the mixed rice is caramelized and is the best part. Serve and top with green onions, sesame seeds and/or some thinly cut nori.
  5. DONABE: Add the rinsed rice into the donabe. Measure out all the liquid ingredients, you need a total of 400ml liquid. Once measured, add enough water to make up 400ml of liquid. Stir the rice. Add the ingredients in layers from hardest to softest. Cover the donabe and turn heat to medium high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and then let it sit for another 15 minutes to finish steaming. Once cooked, mix the rice and add scallions if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Kombu Dashi Substitute: shiitake dashi OR vegetable broth (last option)
  • Mirin substitute: 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar + 1 tsp water
  • Sake substitute: Chinese rice wine, Korean rice wine, dry sherry or 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar + 1/2 tbsp water
  • Regular rice cooker setting: I highly recommend a food quality rice cooker when trying to make authentic asian food but in the case that you do not have a rice cooker with the mixed rice setting it can also be done in the regular rice cooker setting. The major different between the two rice settings is that the mixed rice setting allows for the bottom of the mixed rice to caramelized (this is called okoge and is the BEST part). If you do not have a mixed rice setting, you can set it to the regular white cooked rice setting and let it cook for another 5-8 minutes without mixing the rice after it is done.

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takikomi gohan recipe, japanese mixed rice
Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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24 Comments

  1. Lisa this is SO GOOD. I’m making it for the 3rd time and I stocked up on abura age so I can make it many more times 🙂 The first time I had some roasted chestnuts and those were a great addition too!

  2. I made this last night to use with my new onigiri press. It came out great! Love all your recipes thank you for sharing with us.

  3. This was so yummy and easy to make and it has all the flavors I love! It has been added to my weekly repeats using my donabe. I didn’t have aburaage, but added gobo to the rice and had teriyaki tofu on the side. YUM! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

  4. this japanese dish is one of my favorites to make because it includes all of my favorite veggies and because you just let your rice cooker do most of the work! this is the first time i’ve tried making it with hijiki following this recipe and it makes the dish so much more savory 🙂 if you’re working with dried shiitakes, please don’t forget to add some of that shiitake water/broth to the rice! i also added chinese sausage because i am not vegetarian and the flavors soak into the rice so well so i would recommend this step if you want more protein~

  5. this is one of my favorite japanese dishes because not only does it include a bunch of my fave veggies but because my rice cooker does all the hard work for me!! this is the first time i’ve had made it with hijiki and it made it much more savory and sweet 🙂 for anyone that is not vegetarian, i would recommend adding chinese sausage because the flavors soak into the rice and brings so much more flavor!!

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