Apr 27, 2016

Grains of Joy

Cookbook author and food consultant Catherina Hosoi shares two recipes that showcase her love of Japanese cuisine.

<Traditional> Seafood Takikomi Gohan

Regular intake of barley – a rich source of fibre, potassium, folate, calcium, and magnesium – helps promote cardiovascular health. In this traditional Japanese homecooked dish, barley is added to the Japanese short grain rice.

Ingredients (for 8 servings as a main meal):

(A) 200g mixed seafood, 2 tbsp ginger juice, 1 tbsp cooking sake, ½ tsp Himalaya Pink Salt, a dash of pepper
(B) 2 cups Japanese short grain rice, 3 tbsp barley (rinsed and soaked for 5 minutes before being drained), 200g Japanese
leek (sliced into thin rings), 200g bamboo shoots (sliced into thin and short strips), 12 cherry tomatoes
(C) Cooking rice liquid mixture: Presoak 3cm by 3cm Konbu in ¼ cup water for 10mins. Add 1tbsp Shoyu. 3 cups water, ½ tbsp
Himalaya Pink Salt
(D) Garnishing: Pickled red ginger, thinly cut nori, a few dashes of black sesame salt, bonito flakes


1. Marinate the mixed seafood with the rest of the ingredients in (A).
2. In an electric rice cooker, mix Japanese short grain rice and the soaked barley. Add in (C). Snip knobu with scissors to fine strips.
3. Spread the marinated seafood mix (without the liquid) and cherry tomatoes over the rice. Turn on the rice cooker and leave it to cook for around 27 minutes. Leave it to warm for a further 20 minutes before serving.
4. Transfer the rice to a big serving dish, and garnish with (D).

<Fusion> Baked Chicken Rice Doria Cha Chaan Teng-Style

Instead of using long grain rice to prepare this dish popularised by Hong Kong cafes, here’s a recipe that uses Japanese short grain rice to improve the sticky texture of the grains.

Ingredients (to make 5 small Pie dish of diameter 11cm):

(A) 1 cup Japanese short grain rice, 1 cup sugar-free soya milk, ½ tsp salt
(B) Tomato-flavoured roux: 30g butter, 5 tbsp flour, 1 cup sugar-free soya milk, 3 tbsp tomato paste
(C) 200g boneless and skinned chicken leg (sliced to bite-sized pieces, and seasoned with ½ tsp salt and a dash of pepper), 3 slices ham (cut to small pieces), 200g onion (diced), 1 red capsicum (sliced to diamond shapes), 1 can of pineapple rings (diced), 200g mozzarella cheese


1. Rinse and drain Japanese short grain rice. Wait for 10 minutes before transferring it to a rice cooker. Add in the rest of the ingredients in (A), and leave it to cook.
2. Melt 30g butter on a non-stick frying pan, and sauté the onions till fragrant. Add in seasoned chicken pieces and sauté them till cooked.
3. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken by the spoonful. Toss well.
4. Turn the fire to medium low, and pour in soya milk and tomato paste. Stir well to combine till there is no lump.
5. Turn off the fire, and add in the ham and one-third of the pineapple dices.
6. Grease five pie dishes with butter. Scoop a layer of rice onto each pie dish, layer with the cooked chicken with tomato-flavoured roux, top up with another layer of rice, and finally with yet another layer of cooked chicken with tomato-flavoured roux.
7. Top up with a layer of Mozarella Cheese & arrange Capsicum Diamonds & Pineapple over to make a nice pattern.
8. Grill in a preset oven of 200 degree Celsius for about 15 minutes or till top layer becomes light golden.


Catherina Hosoi
Catherina Hosoi launched Culinary Hobby Class in 1985, specialising in teaching Japanese home-style cooking. She  is also the author of a cookbook, a food consultant, a radio and TV show guest, and the owner of a resort in Bali, Indonesia. To keep up to date with her activities, visit