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As the coolness of the fall settles in, our appetite for heartier fare increases. There's no better way to satisfy that craving for robust flavor than to flavor your rice too. This month's recipes feature two favorites from traditional Japanese cuisine. The takikomi gohan style of rice adds ingredients to the rice cooker prior to steaming. The result is a delicate flavoring and infusion of aroma into your otherwise plain white rice.

Our 2-part series on rice will introduce you to some of the many ways rice can be enjoyed. In addition to takikomi, you will recall there was mazegohan and yakimeshi. When a side dish like teriyaki chicken or deep fried tempura is placed on top of a bowl of white rice, it is called a donburi. You can even take takikomi gohan one step further and shape them into rice balls, also known as onigiri. Stay tuned for Cooking With Rice Pt. 2; we're even going to get into rice desserts!

Chestnuts and Mushrooms
Perfectly in step with the colors and bounty of the fall season, these popular rice dishes are timeless in Japanese culture. Prepare them with confidence in our Zojirushi rice cookers.
Chestnuts (kuri) are harvested during autumn and make a wonderfully nutty rice dish that will certainly win you over. When chestnuts come into season in Japan, kuri dishes start to spring up as well; taking shape in everything from main dishes to desserts and either boiled, toasted or even crushed into paste. Shiitake is a seasonal spring and fall mushroom native to Japan, Korea and China. Worldwide commercial production has increased its popularity in all types of cuisine, including here in the U.S. Featured in a takikomi gohan style of rice, you'll see how the fragrance of shiitake has made fans of chefs and home cooks everywhere.
See recipe for Kurigohan

See recipe for Shiitake-Gohan

Popular International Rice Dishes
From a world point of view, rice is a staple that probably feeds half of all humanity. It's a humble yet powerful grain, and we all benefit from its culinary versatility.
World renown Paella originated in Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain. The word paella comes from the Valencian word for pan, and refers to the special shallow metal pan used to cook this dish. Our Zojirushi Paella is made with our rice cooker, a special version adapted from the original, but equally as delicious. Another example of an international takikomi gohan, Jambalaya is a rich blend of meats and vegetables that can be mixed into your rice as it cooks, Zojirushi style. Origins of Creole and Cajun Jambalaya can be traced back to Louisiana and the French Quarter of New Orleans, making this hearty favorite a uniquely American dish.
See recipe for Paella
See recipe for Jambalaya
See all Zojirushi Rice Cookers
Our Shokado Bento is reaching completion! This month's autumn dish rounds out the seasonal cycle, with 4 exquisite dishes representing a different time of year. There are still some spots to fill: the sumashijiru, or soup; and a traditional Japanese dessert. Our final chapter will present a special Western Shokado Bento, a recipe using bread. Don't miss it!
Shokado Bento Back Number
Fall Symbols
As our tribute to the autumn season and to fill our remaining spot in our Shokado Bento Zojirushi style, we've chosen our Kurigohan from this month's recipes; but with a twist. Chestnuts are certainly a symbol of autumn in Japan, but a more universal symbol is the tree leaf as it flutters to the ground after a change of color. Our Kurigohan is in the shape of a leaf, a symbol of a change in the air.

When you prepare your own Shokado Bento, look around your environment and let nature offer you hints on how to decorate and stylize your food. The possibilities are endless!