B.C. recipes: Make the traditional Japanese matsutake gohan (pine mushroom rice) with local ingredients

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      While the emphasis has been on staying close to home this year, it’s also important to think about how to support local economies that are facing financial challenges during the pandemic.

      Buy B.C. is a provincial government campaign that encourages British Columbians to consider opting for locally grown food from farmers, producers, and eateries.

      The campaign also provides recipes from local restaurants and chefs.

      Here’s one for a classic Japanese vegetarian dish that makes use of B.C.–grown ingredients.

      With over 20 years of culinary experience, chef Akira Kishimoto began working in restaurants in Osaka and Kyoto at the age of 18. He opened his own restaurant, Kishimoto (2054 Commercial Drive), with his Canadian wife Jyan in 2011. The casual dining spot uses local and seasonal ingredients, and also offers B.C. wines and beer.

      Matsutake gohan (pine mushroom rice) is a traditional Japanese autumn dish that Kishimoto says he looks forward to every year.

      “The focus is on the pine mushroom’s delicate flavour and scent—it has lots of umami,” Kishimoto says. “We are very lucky to have local pine mushrooms here in B.C.—they are quite the delicacy in Japan!”

      Kishimoto says many of the ingredients in this recipe can be purchased at local Japanese or Asian grocery stores.

      “It’s very easy to make at home, and can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to other Japanese dishes,” Kishimoto says.

      Matsutake gohan (pine mushroom rice)


      450 millitres short grain rice

      450 millitres water

      2 teaspoons dashi powder

      40 millilitres usukuchi shoyu (light soy sauce)

      30 millilitres hon mirin

      30 millitres cooking sake

      1 or 2 pieces of usu-age (fried tofu puff), sliced

      2 large matsutake mushrooms

      1 piece of dried kombu, around 4 inch (optional, but adds more umami to the rice)
      A few sprigs of mitsuba (if you can’t find it, you can use flat leaf parsley instead) for garnish


      1. Wash rice gently three times, and set aside in a strainer.
      2. With a damp paper towel, remove dirt from matsutake. Peel off some of the skin on the
        bottom of the stem and cut the tips off. By hand, rip the matsutake lengthwise into smaller pieces.
      3. Combine the water, dashi powder, shoyu, mirin, and sake in a sauce pan on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
      4. In a rice cooker, add the rice and then pour in the liquid from the sauce pan.
      5. Place the piece of dried kombu on top of the rice in the center, and then arrange the ripped matsutake and sliced usu-age evenly on the top.
      6. Cook the rice on regular setting.
      7. After the rice has finished cooking, open the lid and remove the piece of kombu. Gently mixed the rice from the bottom up, being careful not to mash the grains
        and ingredients.
      8. Serve immediately with chopped mitsuba on top.
      Kishimoto chef Akira Kishimoto
      Buy B.C.

      To learn more about B.C. food and beverages, visit the Buy B.C. website. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.