Rice cookers are amazingly convenient appliances, letting you cook up a pot of perfectly fluffy white rice with mere seconds of prep work before you hit the start button and let the machine do the rest. But as we head deeper in autumn, it’s time to remember that you can also toss other ingredients into your rice cooker to make some super-easy, super-tasty dishes, and today we’ll be making kaki gohan, or “persimmon rice.”
Actually, we weren’t entirely sure that kaki gohan was a thing. With fall foods coming into season, at this time of year a lot of takeout places will soon be offering kuri gohan, rice cooked with chestnut pieces, but we couldn’t recall seeing kaki gohan for sale. In theory, though, it seemed like persimmon rice should be possible, and sure enough, we were able to track down a recipe from rice brand Yamato Rice on their website. With a short ingredient list and just three steps to follow, we wasted no time whipping up a batch.
Rice (360 milliliters/1.5 cups)
Water (270 milliliters/9.1 ounces)
Cooking sake (1 tablespoon)
Salt (0.5 teaspoons)
Black sesame and extra salt (to taste)
Peel the persimmon, remove the seeds, and chop it into bite-size pieces.
Put the persimmon, rice, water, sake, and salt into the rice cooker.
Close the lid, hit the start button, and let the rice cooker go through its standard cooking cycle.
Yep, that’s really all there is to it! Our rice cooker’s cycle is 45 minutes long, so once it was done we popped open the lid…
…and our kaki gohan had cooked up quite nicely.
A tantalizing sweet aroma wafted up from the pot. Grabbing a rice scoop, we transferred a serving into a bowl, then added a dash of black sesame and a little extra salt.
We picked up a mouthful with our chopsticks, popped it into our mouth, and were met with a gentle, delicious sweetness. During cooking the juices excreted by the persimmon pieces had soaked into the rice, and the salt and sesame helped draw out more of that natural sweetnes through their contrasting flavor notes. Kaki gohan smells great too, with the slight scent of sake mixing harmoniously with the persimmon to give it just the right amount of olfactory character to stimulate your appetite without overpowering your nose.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the texture of cooked persimmon is softer than when it’s raw. If you, like us, have eaten a whole lot more raw persimmon than cooked, the consistency might throw you off a bit at first. For something that tastes this good, though, and that’s so easy to make, it’s a texture we can get used to.
Related: Yamato Rice
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