Kaki Gohan is seasoned rice cooked with oysters. Oysters are one of the most popular foods that is in season during winter in Japan. The juice from the shellfish is packed with Umami (savory flavor) and is absorbed into the rice while cooking. In this dish, you don’t just enjoy oysters themselves but also the wonderful oyster-flavored rice.
Living in the US, we easily forget when a certain food is actually in season and supposed to be harvested because we can buy almost anything any time of the year. In Japan, although that may be becoming true too, it is hard to ignore which food is in season because of its abundance and quality at markets, and at very reasonable prices. Oysters become nice and fat and reach the peak of flavor around February and March, so you definitely have to eat them then in Japan.
Although a lot of people love to eat oysters raw when fresh, cooked oysters can be really good when cooked right. You want to cook oysters enough to sterilize but don’t want to squeeze out all the great flavor and nice soft texture by cooking too long. In Kaki Gohan here, you could cook oysters in a rice cooker along with the rice. However, the cooking time may be too long and may lose the moisture of the oysters. Oysters can be cooked through in a short time like 2-3 minutes, and they are still creamy and plump. So that’s why we cooked oysters separately from the rice in this recipe.
If you like oysters, you will love this Kaki Gohan. If you don’t, we think you will still like it as it’s not fishy. Ginger helps mask the fishiness of shellfish very well. Try this Kaki Gohan, our favorite winter delicacy!
- 2 cups rice (using a 180ml cup)
- 2 jars oysters (eight oz. jars)
- 20g ginger root
- 2 cups water (360ml)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Sake
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- Wash rice well, drain, and set aside. Wash oysters gently in salted water, and pat dry. Cut ginger root into thin skinny pieces.
- In a pot, add water, salt, Soy Sauce, Sake, and Mirin. Let it boil, then add oysters and cook 3 minutes at medium heat. Remove oysters from the liquid.
- Put rice in the bowl of a rice cooker. Add enough seasoned liquid to rice to reach the line for 2 cups of rice. Cook like white rice.
- After the rice is done, add cooked oysters to rice and leave for 10 minutes. Then mix and serve.