Rice Cooked with Meatballs - つくねだんごの炊き込みご飯

Another recipe adapted from the Japanese rice cookbook.

From my paltry Japanese vocabulary, つくねだんご (tsukune dango) simply means meatballs (either made from pork or chicken) and 炊き込み (たきこみ or takikomi) means something cooked with rice.

The recipe is simple and the ingredient list only calls for a few fresh items. The prep work can be made in advance. See note below. However, I felt that this recipe still needed some work on it. It taste good as it is, but I had expected more bite in the meatballs. Well, I will research into it and hopefully come up with something.

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Rice Cooked with Meatballs
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3 cups rice (each cup measures 180ml)
5 cm daikon (white raddish), cut into bite size
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
250g minced pork
1 tbsp soy sauce
15cm spring onion, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp sake
1 tsp cornflour

1. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to the daikon and let stand for 10 mins. Drain the daikon and sprinkle salt sparingly on it to remove excess moisture. Reserve the soy sauce and sesame oil mixture.

2. Mix the minced pork with soy sauce, spring onion, ginger, sake and cornflour. Shape into balls.

3. In a pot, add the reserved soy sauce and sesame oil mixture. Add the shaped meatballs and daikon. Bring to boil and lower heat to simmer until meatballs are fully cooked. Turn off the fire.

4. Strain the meatballs and daikon and reserve cooking liquid.

5. Wash the rice in a rice cooker inner pot. Add the reserved cooking liquid to the rice. If cooking liquid is insufficient, add water.

6. Switch the rice cooker to Regular/Normal cooking cycle.

7. When the rice is cooked, add the meatballs and daikon into the rice cooker and stir well to combine.

Ways to prepare this in advance:

(a) If you are really short of time: Mix the meatball and the seasoning ingredients the night before.
(b) If you have some time on your hands: Follow the recipe to Step 4. Keep the meatballs, daikon and reserved cooking liquid in the fridge.

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