Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kamameshi

Mixed rice cooked in an individual pot of iron, clay or ceramic material. 釜飯

A form of mixed rice (takikomi gohan), rice cooked with various ingredients and seasoned with dashi and soy sauce. The difference is that an individual pot is used to cook each portion. These pots can be made of metal, clay or a ceramic material. ”Meshi" means "rice" and "kama" refers to the iron pot - in the past, large-sized kama were used to cook rice. These kama had a collar so that they could hang in the round opening above the cooking fire.

Kamameshi is more luxurious than ordinary mixed rice. A great variety of ingredients can be added to it - so much, that there are even restaurants serving only various types of kamameshi. Popular items are crab, chicken, shrimp, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms etc.

Created in the late 19th century in Asakusa, or, according to another explanation, after the Great Kanto Earthquake in order to feed the victims quickly and easily.

This dish is eaten piping hot and is a popular winter fare. The rice at the bottom of the pot may get slightly burned. This is called okoge and popular with children. Kamameshi is also often sold as ekiben (a station lunch box). There are also specialist restaurants called kamameshi-ya.


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