Sweet potato and black rice takikomi gohan


A couple of weeks ago I picked up three cooking magazines at the local bookstore, カラダ温めレシピ (recipes to warm you up), Esse Special edition of their most popular bentos and 楽々スープジャーレシピ (thermos recipes). Now I have tons of ideas for lunches. I found the thermos recipe book the most interesting, conceptually. Almost everything is cooked in the microwave but I can easily make everything on the stove.

This recipe is the second one I tried from the warming recipes magazine. The first one I tried was carrot and ginger rice and none of us liked it. This one, on the other had, was delicious. I used orange fleshed yams (annouimo 安納芋 あんのういも) instead of sweet potato and I don’t think I can go back to regular sweet potatoes. The yams were so smooth.

Goma shio is a mixture of salt and black sesame and is a common rice topping. To mix, use one part salt to ten parts black sesame seeds, by volume.

Sweet Potato and Black Rice Takikomi Gohan

From Sakura Mook 23 (カラダ温めレシピ)
Serves 2

1/2 sweet potato (I used about 70 grams)
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon black rice
1/3 teaspoon salt
goma shio for topping

Wash the rice, add the appropriate amount of water and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Chop, but don’t peel, the sweet potato into small cubes and soak in water for about fifteen minutes. Drain and rinse the sweet potato and it and the salt to the rice. Give it a quick stir and then put it in the rice cooker and cook on the regular white rice setting. I haven’t tried the quick setting but it is probably okay if you are in a pinch for time. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cook it the same way you would rice. Serve topped with goma shio.

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Rice Cooker Love

As you can imagine, now that I’m working on a rice cooker cookbook, I have been making a lot of food in the rice cooker. I love how easy it is. With summer in full force, I don’t seem to have the usual cooking energy and five minutes of active prep works for me.

I’ve been having a harder time with cakes because I have a three cupper and cakes need a wider area like a five cupper. What a great excuse for a new rice cooker.

Here is what I’ve been working on.

Pineapple Curry Chicken

Roast beef

Daikon and chicken in a gochujang sauce

propping up a table

I’m working on a cookbook!

Zucchini tomato bake with hello kitty

A few weeks ago the lovely Soness Stevens started tweeting about cooking lots of non-rice meals in her rice cooker and I replied that I do the same thing and we should do a cookbook together. The concept is simple: how to cook three healthy meals a day with the active prep time for each meal clocking in at three minutes or less. It has been fun developing recipes for this book. We are also shooting videos to go along with the book and had our first shoot on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about video (with much more to learn).  Soness has also done a TED Global Talent Search talk that shows how she can cook three healthy meals a day with her hectic schedule.  I can’t wait to share the finished product with you but in the meantime here are some pictures from the shoot.

propping up a table

Propping up the table so it is high enough to get good framing. See the technical equipment we used?

ipad filming setup

We were shooting in HD on her new iPad and iPhone and using my iPad for a timer. I really wish I would have gotten the new iPad instead of an iPad 2 so I could film better video on mine.

An Ode to Snapdish

One of my favorite apps for the iPhone/iPad is Snapdish. I post a lot of meal photos there and get inspired. If you have a smart phone I highly recommend that you download and start using it. There are a lot of Japanese users so it is a great opportunity to see everyday home cooking as well as typical restaurant food. I’m Kirsten Adachi on snapdish if you would like to add me.

Three of my pics from Snapdish.


Taiyaki filled with banana and almond butter and grapefruit on the side.


Chicken, tomato, green pepper and onions cooked in the rice cooker and seasoned with Spiceluck’s kebab spice.


Chickpeas, eggplant, zucchini, carrot and tomato cooked in the rice cooker.

Sausage and cabbage rice cooker lentils

Sausage and Cabbage Rice Cooker Lentils

seI’ve got another rice cooker lentil recipe for you. My last recipes, Thymely Rice Cooker Lentils and Spicy Rice Cooker Lentils, have become quite popular and I think more needs to follow.  The instructions are very complex so follow them carefully.

Sausage and Cabbage Rice Cooker Lentils

2/3 cup brown lentils
1 chicken bullion cube
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped finely
15cm celery, chopped roughly
1 sausage, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the lentils and put them in the rice cooker. Fill up the water to the one cup level. Add everything else and push start. When it is done, season with salt and pepper, if required and serve hot.