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Rice with Wild Vegetables – Sansai Gohan

Rice with Wild Vegetables

This springtime wild edible dish is based on the Japanese sansai gohan, or rice with mountain vegetables.

Traditionally, an assortment of wild mountain vegetables are used to make this dish, but I made it with local wild edibles that I harvested all in one day. 

Feel free to swap out elements of the dish that you aren’t able to find in your neck of the woods. You basically want some sort of fiddlehead or fern, some greens, some buds, some flowers, some shoots, some mushrooms, and some roots. 

Be sure that everything you harvest is safe to eat and well-researched. 

The rice comes out complex and interesting with myriad flavours and textures. 

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Yield4 servings or 6 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sushi rice
  • 1 6″x6″ piece of kombu (or 1 tablespoon instant dashi granules)
  • 8 dried wild mushrooms (chanterelles, black trumpets, matsutake, maitake, morels, etc.)
  • 1 cup raw fiddleheads
  • 1/2 cup chopped burdock and/or dandelion roots (cleaned and peeled)
  • 1/2 cup coltsfoot stems/flowers
  • 1/4 cup tight dandelion buds
  • 2 cups dandelion greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup assorted wild herbs (plantain, wood sorrel, ramps, wild onions, nettle, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cattail shoots (cleaned and peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons sake
  • 1.5 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 small pinch kosher salt
  • Dandelion flower petals for garnish

Preparation

1

Pour the rice into a bowl and cover with water. 

Let soak for 20 minutes. 

2

Meanwhile, bring a pot of 3 cups of water to a boil.

Turn off heat, add the kombu and mushrooms. 

Let steep for 20 minutes. 

3

Get a medium pot of boiling water going. 

Add the fiddleheads, cook for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water. 

Set them aside and fill the pot with water again. Bring it to a boil and add the dandelion and burdock roots.

Cook for 2 minutes, drain and run under cold water. 

Repeat once more for the coltsfoot stems. Cook for 2 minutes, drain and run under cold water. 

4

Chop all of the ingredients into bite sized pieces. 

Remove the kombu from the water (which is now dashi stock) and drain the rice well. 

Add all of the ingredients, including the rice, to the dashi. Bring to a boil, stirring several times, then reduce the heat to low and cover. 

Cook for 15 minutes. Let rest for 15 more minutes off the heat before uncovering. 

5

Fluff up the rice, then serve on its own, or as a side. Garnish with dandelion flower petals. Enjoy! 

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