May 25, 2016

Japanify: Crabshroom Rice

by yoko

I wanted to make something simple and mouthwatering for the Canned Crab Challenge. Sarah’s Snow Crab Jeon is a tough act to follow, so I also wanted to make something that could potentially complement her recipe. So to pair with her protein-heavy dish, I decided to come up with a carb dish.

I had tried a few renditions of this recipe before feeling absolutely confident. I tried adding soy sauce, or switching out the mushrooms for peas, but I settled on this exact method. Each step is important for this reason. Simple as it seems, it still requires some prep work. But consider this: I’ve done all the guesswork for you and all you have to do is follow the directions!

I really wanted to highlight the fluffy, sweetness of the crab, so I used several ingredients to bring out its flavor, including shio koji and kombu. I also didn’t want to overpower the crab, so I used a complementary vegetable that would enhance the crab taste. After some thought, I settled on shiitake and enoki mushrooms because they are readily available and so full of umami but wouldn’t overpower the crab. This combo is also a little reminiscent of the finger food favorite here in the US: Crab-stuffed Mushrooms (aka the “healthiest” dish at Outback Steakhouse).

The result is a savory, slightly sweet rice dish that melts in your mouth. I call this Crabshroom Rice.

Crabshroom Rice

Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rice
1 can Shirakiku Snow Crab Meat
6 medium shiitake mushrooms
1 pack of enoki mushrooms
2 tbsp shio koji
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp butter
1 inch square kombu
water

METHOD

1. Open can of crab and drain.

2. Place crab in bowl and combine with shio koji. Mix well and set aside for at least 2 hours (max 6 hours).

3. Meanwhile, soak kombu square in sake.

4. Wash rice and raise in colander for at least 30 min. This is an important step to achieve maximum fluffiness.

5. After you’ve prepped the crab, rice, and kombu, place rice, crab, mirin, and kombu (which you’ve fished out of the sake) in the rice cooker bowl. Fill up with water to the 2-cup line.

6. Cook rice. I put mine on the “soft” setting, but the normal one is ok if you don’t have a “soft” setting.

7. Meanwhile, gather your shiitake and enoki and chop like so.

8. Heat butter in a fry pan until completely melted.

9. Add the mushrooms into the pan and cook until golden brown.

10. At some point the rice will finish cooking. Nice and fluffy.

Fish out the kombu.

11. Fold in the mushroom medley.

The aroma of steamed crab and sauteed shiitake will make your neighbors jealous. I would be very confident to serve this to virtually anyone – kids and people who have trouble with spices or “ethnic” foods, since the flavors represented here are mainly umami and sweetness.

You’ll be hearing your family and dinner guests ask for seconds of Crabshroom Rice!

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