Brown Rice with Wakame
Wakame is often added to miso soup and in seaweed salads, but it's great mixed with rice too! You can get "wakame mazegohan" packaged mixes that requires no soaking, but I think it tastes much better if you use plain dried or fresh wakame. You can control the amount of salt and don't have to worry about any weird additives; plus it just tastes fresher! Feel free to use other kinds of rice :)
Background: This recipe came from a collection of wakame recipes from Koshigoe area in Kamakura, Japan. Wakame can be gathered in large amounts along the coast in the spring in this area. It's used in all kinds of dishes and is super healthy!
- Short grain brown rice (sometimes called sweet rice) (360 ml | 1.5 US cups | 300 g)
- Dried wakame seaweed (you can also use fresh or salt preserved kind. See step 4) (1 heaping Tablespoon )
- Salt for cooking rice (1/2 tsp)
- Salt for flavoring after steaming (A few sprinkles to taste)
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional) (1-2 tsp)
Measure out 360 ml (1.5 US cups) of rice and rice well in a fine strainer.
Add to rice cooker or heavy pot with 1/2 tsp salt and 570 to 600 ml (2.5 US cups) water. If using a different type of rice, cook rice according to packaged instructions.
For rice cooker: just turn on and let cook until finished.
If using a pot: Cover with lid and turn on medium heat. Once it starts boiling, turn to low and simmer for 22-25 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit covered for an additional 15 minutes.
Measure about about a tablespoon of wakame. The dried kind that is used for salads and soups works great.
You can also use fresh, pre-boiled wakame or salted wakame (not dried kind). For fresh, just chop a handful into bite size. For salted, soak a big pinch in plenty of water for 10-15 minutes, drain and chop into bite size. Add to rice as in step 6.
Put dried wakame in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Let it soak for 5 minutes. It will expand to 4-5 times the size! If the pieces are large, cut into smaller bite size pieces before adding to rice.
When rice has finished cooking, add wakame, sesame seeds (if using) and a pinch or two of salt to the rice cooker or pot. If using umeboshi, pit it, mince it and add in here.
Roughly mix so that everything is evenly distributed and rice is fluffed.
Serve in rice bowls and sprinkle on more sesame seeds if desired.
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