Shichimi Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

I made this mushroom topped brown rice bowl the other night when I returned from Yosemite - chanterelles, garlic, kale, tofu, and lots of Shichimi Togarashi, the Japanese spice blend.

Shichimi Mushroom Rice Bowl

If you're flying east from either San Francisco or Oakland on a cloudless day, and if you're lucky enough to get a window seat on the right side of the airplane, you might get to see one of my favorite views of Yosemite. Look carefully, not long after take off (ten minutes?), and try to pick out Half Dome jutting up from the surrounding foothills below. It's pretty cool to see.

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

Wayne is always trying to get me to go to Yosemite, I usually pass. As impressive as it is, I'm more of a coastal type. Up until this week I'd only been to Yosemite in the spring and summer, and my impression has always been that there are typically lots of people, and traffic to and from to match. But, this time of year is supposed to be quieter. So we packed a cooler, hopped in the car on Wednesday, and decided to give winter in Yosemite a try. A first for both of us. I'm going to include a bunch of pics from our trip, and also the recipe for the mushroom rice bowl I threw together when we returned home. It was the sort of thing assembled from some leftover kale and tofu in the refrigerator, following a quick dash to the store to pick up some golden chanterelle mushrooms.

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

Thank you to everyone who sent Yosemite recommendations. We did the hike to the base of Vernal Falls, the bridge rather, and followed that up with a walk to Mirror Lake. Most of the trails were snowy and icy, but the roads were clear and the sky was blue. A guy on the trail near us at Vernal Falls said he saw a bobcat, but as far as wildlife goes my list is short: crows a plenty, a handful of squirrels, and one raccoon. Do the ants in our hotel room count? ;)

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

This was my view for the better part of the day. Wayne loooves a nature walk. There's apparently a cabin you can snowshoe to from the valley, and I suspect that is next on his list. We watched the sunset from a near-empty parking lot at Inspiration Point, and made our way back in time for dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

This is me on the bridge near Vernal Falls. You can't believe how fast the water was running, and how much water was moving in the valley in general. The waterfalls were strong wherever you looked. Frazil ice fans will be sad to know, it's too early in the season for it, next time!

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

I popped into a number of antique shops in the Sierra foothills, and made a couple neat finds. Hopefully things that will make appearances in future posts. And then I made this rice bowl when we got home. One ingredient some of you might not be familiar with is the Shichimi Togarashi spice mixture I used for seasoning here - although I suspect you'd recognize the little jar it often comes in. It's a Japanese spice mixture which includes red chile pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, and a number of other ingredients. I love it sprinkled over brothy soba noodle soups, directly on tofu, on blanched vegetables, etc, etc. It's a great way to add pep and dimension to an endless list of foods and preparations. But as I mention down below, if you don't have it on hand, some red pepper flakes will do the trick for this recipe.

Mushroom Rice Bowl Recipe

So the overall concept here was pretty simple. Pan-fry slices of mushrooms until they're nicely browned. Do a quick saute of tofu and kale in the same pan. Then serve over brown rice. Season it all with Shichimi Togarashi. For those of you who need to get a jump start on weeknight meals, there's no reason you couldn't prep the brown rice, tofu, kale, and mushrooms ahead of time. The actual cooking time here, aside from the rice, is minimal.

I hope to have a few more Yosemite shots to share once I get my film back. Thanks again to all of you who left me notes and sent suggestions. It was a uniquely beautiful place to visit this time of year. -h

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Mushroom Shichimi Rice Bowl

For those of you who would like to make this vegan, use more olive oil in place of the butter.

2 cups cooked brown rice*
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Fine-grain sea salt

12 ounces / 340 g chanterelles or mushrooms of your choice, sliced ~1/4-inch thick

8 ounces / 225 g firm tofu, cut into tiny cubes
1 small bunch kale / 3 oz / 85 g, well chopped
Shichimi Togarashi or red pepper flakes, to taste

If you need to cook the rice from scratch, do so.*

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer, stir well, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, and then brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir a few times along the way, but don't overdo it; you want the mushrooms to be deeply browned on both sides. Stir in the garlic roughly 20 seconds before the mushrooms finish cooking. If you need to cook the mushrooms in two batches, do so. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate, set aside.

Using the same large skillet, no need to clean it out, cook the tofu along with a couple pinches of salt over medium-high heat until heated through, and until it starts to brown a bit. Roughly one minute before the tofu is finished cooking, stir in the kale. It should collapse and cook down over the next 60 seconds.

Season all the components generously with Shichimi Togarashi and salt to taste. For each serving, dish up a heaping spoonful of brown rice along with some of the tofu/kale mixture and a some of the mushrooms.

Serves 3-4.

*To make a pot of brown rice: The ratio I use to cook brown rice is 1 part rice to (just shy of) 2 parts water, plus a good dose of salt. The following recipe will make more than you need for the above recipe by about double, but it's worth making extra for later in the week.

You'll need 2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g brown rice, rinsed and drained + 3 1/2 cups / 830 ml water + 2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the rice, water, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot. Any leftover rice can be cooled and then stored in the freezer for later use.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Love the pics! I hope you guys had time for ice skating :) And next time you're in the park, you'll have to come visit us at Camp Wawona. We're a year round camp and retreat center located at the end of Forest Dr in Wawona (near the South entrance). We're just a short walk from a really cool swinging bridge and we'd love to meet you since we only serve vegetarian meals here. The rice bowl looks delicious! HS: Thanks for the heads up and invite Rachel.


Beautiful post Heidi! I absolutely love the photos! My family and I have never been to yosemite, but from what you photographed and shared- it seems like a lot of fun! Also- the rice bowl- genius! This is just the thing that I could sit down to on a cold winter night while studying for an exam, writing a paper, or writing a post for my blog. Simple, quick, and I suspect- quite delicious. HS: Thanks Kamran! If you ever make your way west I'd be happy to give you some pointers re: where to visit :)

kamran siddiqi

Yosemite is lovely in winter. I hadn't heard of frazil ice previously either. Thank you for sharing the photos, recipe and story.


I've never used this Shichimi Togarashi spice mixture but I am surely going to check it out as it sounds fabulous, Heidi..what a beautiful trip and a great picture of you! Love it...thanks for this amazing recipe; hope you are keeping warm. Have a great night.

The Healthy Apple

Love the mountains in the winter. As a SoCal transplant to Seattle I identify with your apprehension to go to Yosemite in the winter and also with your awe of the beauty of the mountains this time of year. Before getting to the cafe and opening my e-mail I had a fantastic view of the Olympic mountains on my walk in Queen Anne. I'd love to see the 'painted pools' of Yosemite (is that what they are called?) in the winter. Lovely, contemplative time of year and lovely, hearty fare to go with it. Thanks for the little moment of calm and beauty.


simple and yummy...i love chanterelles! ...and your pictures are quite beautiful!


Oh, I think you've breathed new life into my orphaned bottle of schichimi...


Great looking recipe. I'll have to try it soon.


So funny, I had pulled out some brown rice and dried wild mushrooms earlier to see if I could cobble together a pilaf, and was going to use up some lemongrass with them. Your recipe reminded me I had tofu on hand too. Yay. Thanks! Sounds delish.


Looks like good everyday cooking. I love rice bowl meals. Just one suggestion... cook your mushrooms without the oil and butter first. The liquid they give will keep them from burning. Once they stop giving off water add the fat to soak right into the ready mushroom.

Cassandra Potier Watkins

Heidi, Thank you for this. I love chanterelles, and Yosemite, and combining them sounds like heaven. I was just in Yosemite this past September on my honeymoon. We agreed we couldn't have done better. What kind of cooler do you use for long car trips, when you want to bring food with you? Thanks for all your posts. I make your recipes often.

amy graves

This looks wonderful and nourishing! There's nothing like mushrooms, greens and tofu over brown rice. Reminds me of a less soupy version of what I made last night: stir-fried bok choy with shiitake mushrooms, glass noodles, and soft tofu.

Lida (Octopus Gourmet)

Wow this rice bowl looks amazing and perfect for dinner tonight! I love all your photos too... always beautiful!


Heidi, Love your trip and photos. I always send things my DD can make along to her too she is celiac and lots of allergies so not all things will do for her. But this is a good one for her too. You and Wayne are so fortunate to be able to travel and see our world with your view. I thank you for sharing that view with us. Bev


A lovely simple recipe I'm going to have to try. But did you say you'd post some more picture when you get your film back? Goodness me, there can't be too many like you still using film these days! In fact if you want it in the UK you need to go to online specialist suppliers to buy it. A bit like Shichimi Togarashi, come to think of it!

Joe Fuller

i LOVE your site, your writing, your pics, your photography. your recipes. i was storm stayed on Lake Huron shoreline Friday to Sunday due to snow storms and could have cared less. Power stayed on and i baked and cooked my to my heart's desire. thanks for the motivation and inspiration.


Wonderful looking dish - but, as much as I am a beach-type person, Yosemite and the Napa Valley are my two absolute favorite places. Yosemite is breathtaking and Napa, well - my idea of a perfect day is sitting in the valley, sipping some wine, enjoying a freshly made picnic basket!


Thank you for this recipe....I had a bumper year of Chanterelle picking last year and have run out of recipes to use them. This sounds great!


Yosemite in winter looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your pictures--they are beautiful. I love that you just whipped the mushroom bowl together when you got home. I'm not sure I've ever made something so lovely in a pinch like that.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

I've been reading your blog for about 6 months now and I just wanted to tell you that I enjoy every post. I'm a vegetarian, live in Northern California and am a graphic designer/illustrator and so I love your combination of recipes and photography.


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