Kinoko-zosui (Rice soup with mushrooms)

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Broadcast date:February 27, 2015

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Ingredients (Serves 4 )

200 g boiled rice (leftover cold rice is fine)
100 g mushrooms (e.g. 70 g shimeji mushrooms and 2 shiitake mushrooms)
80 g daikon giant radish
30 g carrot
1 egg
4 spring onions
4 and 1/4 cups (850 ml) water
10 g katsuo-bushi (shaved smoked and dried bonito)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2/3 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar


  1. First make dashi stock. Add 850 ml of water to a pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the shaved bonito and simmer over low heat for 1 minute. Strain the mixture through a small wire sieve suspended over a bowl.
  2. Peel the daikon and carrot. Cut into 3 cm lengths and then slice into thin julienne strips. Cut off the tough gritty bits at the base of the mushrooms. Cut the shimeji mushrooms into 3 cm lengths. Separate each stem that are joined at the bottom and use them also. Cut underneath the caps of the shiitake mushrooms to remove the stems. Cut the stems into 2 cm lengths and then slice lengthways into thin strips. Cut the caps into pieces 2 cm across. Then turn the pieces so that the longest side is facing toward you, and starting from the edge, cut into thin slices 2 cm in length. Finely chop the spring onions into thin round slices. Crack the egg into a bowl and beat well.
  3. Return the stock to a pan and warm over medium heat. Then add the sliced daikon, carrot, and mushrooms. Bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low. Place a lid over the pan and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the daikon and carrot are tender. Season with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 2/3 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of sugar which will ease the salty taste.
  4. Add the cooked rice, using a spatula to break it up and stir it through the soup. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Place a pair of chopsticks against the edge of the bowl containing the beaten egg. Hold the chopsticks and tilt the bowl so that beaten egg runs down the chopsticks into the pan in a thin stream. Make a swirling motion with the bowl to ensure the soup is coated in the beaten egg. Don't stir the egg, otherwise it will turn the soup cloudy. Add the chopped spring onions. Serve once the egg has firmed up. The meal can be enjoyed even more by placing the pan on the table and people share the dish together, by pouring the hot soup into their bowls.

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Zosui (Rice Soup)

Zosui literally means 'assorted ingredients cooked together'.  But the name is also said to originate from the idea of bulking up cooked rice by adding water to it.  In Japanese, the 'zo' can also mean 'to add' or  'increase in volume', while the 'sui' can also mean 'water'.  These soups were economical dishes when food was scarce.

Various ingredients can be added aside from vegetables and mushrooms, such as seafood (e.g. salmon, scallops) or chicken, which impart a good flavour to the liquid.  This dish is easily and quickly prepared from cold rice and other leftover ingredients.  Rice soup with mushrooms or made with different vegetables is also ideal if you are watching your weight.

Zosui is also often prepared after people have eaten a hotpot dish (which is popular in the winter months).  A rice soup can be made by adding cooked rice to the remaining liquid in the pot.  For example, adding cooked rice to any leftovers for our Let's Cook Japanese recipe for tori-tsukune nabe (hotpot with chicken meatballs) will make a delicious rice soup.

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