pickles, nori, katsuobushi flakes (see tip below), sliced spring onions, to serve (optional)
Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
These fish flakes are used to add flavour to dashi, a kind of stock, but they also make a delicious topping to rice dishes or to Japanese pancakes called okonomiyaki. Sprinkle them on and watch them dance and sway – they're sure to mesmerise your guests.
Rinsing and soaking your rice is key to achieving the perfect texture. Measure the rice into a bowl, cover with cold water, then use your fingers to massage the grains of rice – the water will become cloudy. Drain and rinse again with fresh water. Repeat five more times until the water stays clear.
Tip the rinsed rice into a saucepan with 400ml water, or 200ml dashi and 200ml water, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid with a steam hole and cook for 15 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for another 15 mins, then stir through the mirin. Remove the lid and give it a good stir. Serve with any or all of the optional toppings.