Takenoko is the Japanese name for bamboo shoots, a deliciously crunchy vegetable that tastes great as a side dish or cooked with rice. It is a seasonal vegetable and has strong connotations with Spring. This healthy vegetarian dish is also mixed with shiitake mushrooms for some extra umami flavour. This dish can be prepared very quickly, and if you have a rice cooker you can even throw everything directly into the cooker. Easy!
Start by soaking the shiitake mushrooms in water until they are soft. Once they are, slice the shiitake and the takenoko bamboo shoots into small bitesize pieces. Do not throw away the water you used to soak the shiitake mushrooms as we can use it later.
Add your rice to a saucepan or your rice cooker, pour in the shiitake infused water to the rice and then add any extra water to that the total amount of water is 720ml.
Add a teaspoon each of mirin, soy sauce and cooking sake to the rice and water before placing the sliced takenoko and shiitake on top.
If cooking in a rice cooker, set for normal rice cooking.
If cooking in a saucepan, cover with a lid and cook on a until the water starts to boil. Immediately, turn down the heat and allow it to simmer as you would normal short grain rice for approximately 20 minutes, or until all the water has been soaked into the rice. Do not remove the lid during the cooking process.
Once the rice has cooked, allow it to steam for a further 10 minutes or so before mixing it all up with a rice spatula and serving into bowls!