Step into the enchanted bamboo forest with Chef Shuji!

After the cherry blossoms and spring matsuri festival season is over, we go digging bamboo shoots in the bamboo forest owned by my old childhood friend. In this area of Japan we have three different kinds of bamboo and each type shoots out after the rain, one after the other. We get to enjoy eating bamboo shoots in a variety of dishes until early summer in May.

This rice dish is another favourite, as it provides a balanced meal and is quick and easy to make.  To watch me cook this dish in the bamboo forest, have a look at the video and then join me in your kitchen!


Rice with wild bamboo and chicken筍と鶏肉の混ぜご飯

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 5 cups short grain rice, washed, rinsed & drained
  • 6 cups water  
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 160g chicken thigh meat with skin
  • 200g takenoko bamboo shoots, cooked and chopped into small bits
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 80ml soy sauce (koikuchi)
  • 40ml mirin
  • 30g ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 18 kinome leaves (baby leaves of sansho, Japanese pepper tree)

*1 cup is 200ml

Method

  1. Cook rice according to Shuji's instructions, which can be found here.
  2. Cut chicken meat into thin strips and chop into small bits.
  3. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan and stir-fry chicken meat and takenoko bamboo shoots.
  4. Pour in sake, soy sauce, mirin and chopped ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Tilt the frying pan over a large pot containing the cooked rice, drizzling the frying pan contents over the rice. Slowly empty the frying pan, patting the chicken and bamboo shoots into the rice. Mix well with a spatula.
  6. Dish out into each rice bowl and place a few kinome leaves to serve.

If you prefer, you can grill the bamboo shoots over an open flame, as pictured. If you have leftover rice, simply reheat it and mix with bamboo shoots and chicken. 

Next week, we will be exploring another summer-time favourite—nasu, Japanese eggplant. Its versatility makes eggplant a must-have in my kitchen from early summer until fall. Check back next week for an Ozeki special miso nasu recipe!