Multigrain rice

Multigrain rice

Zakkoku-mai

By
From
JapanEasy
Makes
1 kg uncooked rice
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Whenever I go back to Japan, it’s lovely to be reminded of all the minutiae and miscellany of day-to-day life there, the little details that made my whole experience as an expat so rich and absorbing. Things like the pleasant melodies that play before train doors close, the weird hangover remedy drinks they sell at convenience stores, and mundane supermarket staples – not the exciting stuff like fresh yuzu or sashimi-grade yellowtail, but the ordinary, taken-for-granted stuff like zakkoku rice.

Zakkoku means multigrain, and zakkoku rice is Japanese white rice mixed with a handful of various seeds, grains and pulses. I didn’t actually eat that much of it when I lived in Japan, seeing as I really like plain white rice and was surrounded by it, but I loved zakkoku rice whenever I did have it. Nowadays, I’m much more into weird grains like bulgar, millet and (God help me) quinoa. So I make big batches of zakkoku rice at home to have on hand whenever the rice craving strikes. If you have trouble finding some of these grains (you shouldn’t), feel free to leave them out.

Not very difficult

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g japanese rice
100g freekeh
100g quinoa, (I like the red kind, but just for colour)
100g buckwheat
100g bulgar
50g rolled oats
25g linseeds
25g toasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a container with a lid and shake to combine. To cook, weigh out 75 g zakkoku rice per portion (but don’t do less than 150 g at a time, or it won’t cook evenly) and put it in a small saucepan with a snug-fitting lid. Add water in a 1.5:1 ratio to the mass of the rice; if you’re cooking 150 g rice, for example, you’ll need 225 ml water. Bring the water to a low boil, then place the lid on the pan and reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible. Leave to steam, covered, for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks, put the lid back on and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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