Caramelized sweet onion, seasoned with soy sauce and mirin, this simple Sweet Onion Takikomi Gohan is a flavorful and aromatic mixed rice to accompany your next Japanese meal.
Japanese meals are always accompanied by white steamed rice and miso soup, almost like a set meal. As we get bored with simple steamed rice, we often season the rice with soy sauce, mirin, dashi, and cook the rice with seasonal ingredients to make Takikomi Gohan (炊き込みご飯), or mixed rice.
As you can imagine, there are countless varieties of Takikomi Gohan with different seasonings and ingredients. Today, I’ll show you one of the quickest and easiest recipes – Sweet Onion Takikomi Gohan.
Sweet Onions for Sweet Onion Takikomi Gohan
What does sweet onion taste like? Sweet onion is not pungent and has a mild flavor due to its low sulfur and high water content compared to other types of onions. Sweet onion varieties include Maui Sweets, Vidalia Sweets, Texas Sweet, and Walla Walla Sweets.
It’s great to thinly slice the sweet onion and use it for salad as it doesn’t have that bitter taste. My children love them, so I always keep them in my pantry and make Takikomi Gohan with sweet onion.
When you saute the onion and season it with a savory sweet sauce, the caramelized onion tastes so good by itself. But I especially love to cook the onion with short grain rice. The Takikomo Gohan is a wonderful side dish to accompany any Japanese meal. Just top the bowl of Japanese mixed rice with mistuba (Japanese parsley), or chopped scallion.
Other Mixed Rice Recipes similar to Sweet Onion Takikomi Gohan
If you love Takikomi Gohan (Japanese mixed rice), here are more of my mixed rice recipes I know you will enjoy:
- Takikomi Gohan – the classic recipe
- Matsutake Gohan (Wild Pine Mushroom Rice)
- Kuri Gohan (Chestnut Rice)
- Ginger Rice
- Gobo and Miso Takikomi Gohan
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- Gather all the ingredients.
- Rinse rice until water is almost clear. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh sieve for 15 minutes.
- Thinly slice onion. I cut the onion against the grain so the onion keeps the texture after cooked.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté onion until they are soft.
- Add mirin and soy sauce.
- Continue to sauté until the sauce is thicken.
- Add the drained rice into the rice cooker and pour the sauted onion including sauce.
Add the water up to “2 cup line” on the inner bowl and click start to cook. If you have a “Mixed Rice” option, use it (See Notes below).
- When rice is finished cooking, chop mitsuba into small pieces and fluff up the rice with rice scooper. Serve the rice and garnish with mitsuba.
Regular or Mixed Rice setting on rice cooker: The main difference is that Mixed Rice setting will create burnt rice called “Okoge” on the bottom of the rice cooker. Takikomi Gohan (mixed rice) always have the burnt rice from soy sauce in the seasoning, and many people enjoy the burnt charred rice. If your rice cooker doesn’t have the mixed rice option, steam extra 5 min longer at the end before opening the rice cooker.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 21, 2011. The new images and step by step pictures were added in November 2017.