This recipe for soboro beef and rice is from Bon Appétit. It was easy to make; I ended up doubling the amount of beef to make it more substantial, and that’s what I wrote below. Note that this makes a generous quantity of rice (I didn’t touch those amounts!). You can always serve it with gomashio if you have leftovers. As a vegetable side, I made spiced roasted carrots with avocado and yogurt from Smitten Kitchen, which were really, really great. Unfortunately, our avocado was subpar, and I feel like it makes the close-up looks unappetizing, so I’m not sharing it – but I do recommend that recipe as well!
For the rice
2 cups Japanese short-grain white rice (I used sushi rice)
Place rice in a large saucepan, add water to cover, and swirl rice with your hand (water will become cloudy). Drain through a fine-mesh sieve and return rice to saucepan. Repeat process until water is clear when mixed with rice (3 or 4 times). Drain rice a final time and cover sieve with a kitchen towel; let rest 15 minutes (this will help the grains hydrate evenly).
Return rice to same saucepan and add 2 cups water. Partially cover pot and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until water is mostly absorbed and rice is very fragrant and tender, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a large spoon, re-cover pot, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
For the soboro beef
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef chuck (20% fat)
¼ cup sake
¼ cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2-3 scallions, chopped
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Cook beef, stirring and breaking into small pieces, until browned and nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add sake and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add mirin and soy sauce and cook until pan is almost dry, about 1 minute longer. Add scallions and toss to combine. Serve on rice.