Kayaku Gohan: A Traditional Osaka Dish

When you come to Osaka, you may want to enjoy the truly local food that Osakans eat in their home. One such example is Kayaku gohan.  

Kayaku Gohan 

About Kayaku Gohan

Kayaku gohan is lightly flavored rice mixed with finely minced vegetables or other ingredients. This is a very down-to-earth meal and is often a good way for families to use up leftovers from the night before.

As a result, the ingredients for this dish vary from family to family, but the most iconic combination consists of carrots, burdock root, shiitake, and konyaku

Kayaku gohan
The classic contains tofu age, carrots, konyaku, and burdock

Back in the Edo Period, Osaka had just come into itself as a new bustling center of commerce. The growing merchant class found themselves faced with a very modern problem: they had very little time to eat. Traditional Japanese meal consists of many small side dishes and can take a while to finish. However, time is money so this prior style of dining was no longer as practical.

This shift in attitude resulted in the merchants and business-minded of Osaka increasingly preferring heartier dishes that were filling and quick to eat.

Not to mention it even tastes good when it is cold.

Kayaku gohan from Daikoku near Dotobori Street
Daikoku in Dotonbori has a tried and true version!

Pre-made Options

Kayaku gohan is known as gomoku gohan or takikomi gohan. Sometimes a Japanese supermarket will stock pre-made mixes of gomoku gohan, but they always contain too much sugar and frankly do not taste much like kayaku gohan. The sad truth is the best version will always come from home. 

Throughout the Kansai, many udon or soba restaurants serve kayaku gohan as a set meal since all of those require broth.

kayaku gohan and soba noodle set
Set meal with soba, yummy!

Minced ingredients simmered in gently flavored broth with rice offer an authentic taste of traditional cuisine. This dish is not very complicated to make, so you can easily recreate it. You may need to substitute certain ingredients like burdock root, but there are many variations of the dish that you can customize based on what is available in your area.

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