Mushroom Rice Balls

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In Japan, various combinations of vegetables are served as garnishes with rice, or cooked with the rice to allow their fragrance and flavor to blend in. This is a popular dish for fall, when rice and mushrooms are at their best. Mushrooms give off liquid when cooked so the rice needs less cooking water.

Recipe Source: The Asian Vegan Kitchen
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Kodansha International.
Photograph © Tae Hamamura.

Serves 4



  1. Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the shiitake and soak for at least 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and slice the shiitake thinly. Shave the burdock and carrot into thin slices. Cut the assorted mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Place the abura-age pouch in a colander and pour boiling water over it to remove excess oil. Cut the abura-age into thin strips.
  3. Put the shiitake, assorted mushrooms, burdock, carrot, and abura-age in a large saucepan or rice cooker. Add the rice, the reserved shiitake soaking water, and the konbu dashi. Add the sake, soy sauce, and salt, then follow the instructions for cooking rice on page 40.
  4. When the rice is cooked, use the hands to form into balls (see picture). Serve with beni shoga or Radish, Ginger, and Cabbage Pickle, and miso soup.

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