Watch a Michelin Star Chef Make a Japanese Staple Dish Almost Entirely in a Rice Cooker


Chef Hiroo Nagahara is the owner of Bao Hiroo in the Arts District of Downtown LA. His spot is known for offering unique dishes that mesh the best of both his Japanese and Taiwanese heritage.


He earned his first Michelin Star at the age of 24 as the CDC (Com de Chef) of Restaurant Charlie in 2010, which prompted a flood of offers from investors interested in starting a restaurant with him. He declined them all and instead went to Japan and decided to stag (work as an unpaid kitchen intern) at Narisawa (2 Michelin Star) and Kagurazaka Ishikawa (3 Michelin Star) to expand his culinary knowledge. Most recently, he was Executive Chef at the acclaimed Nomica in San Francisco before starting Bao Hiroo in 2019. 


NextShark was recently able to land a paid collaboration with one of our favorite brands, Zojirushi, to promote their new rice cooker, the NP-NWC


The rice cooker uses a combination of artificial intelligence, automatic pressure, and induction heating technology that works together to cook the best possible rice every time.


It also comes with a variety of settings including sushi/sweet, jasmine, porridge, congee, brown, GABA brown, steel cut oatmeal, and its famous “Umami” option, which soaks the rice for 20 minutes in water before cooking, elevating the rice’s potential in both taste and texture.


As a long-time fan of Zojirushi himself, Chef Nagahara thought it was best to test out the unit by cooking his own version of the Japanese staple dish Donabe Gohan. Traditionally, the rice dish is cooked in a ceramic “donabe” pot, but Chef Nagahara wanted to try making it entirely in a rice cooker this time.


The best part about this recipe is that aside from the rice, which is the most important part of this dish, everything else can be added based on your own taste and preferences.

“My father always said, the entire meal could be great. But if the rice is flawed, then the entire meal is flawed,” Chef Nagahara told NextShark.

Check out the video below to see how Zojirushi’s latest rice cooker stood up to the challenge:


Donabe Gohan With Salmon - Chef Nagahara Version

Chef Hiroo Nagahara
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 people


  • Rice Cooker
  • Grill/Pan/Oven
  • Meat Cooking Thermometer



  • 4 Cups Satsuki rice Available at your local Japanese market
  • Seasoned Dashi (fill to 4 cup line in rice cooker) Available at your local Japanese market
  • AN Corn Kernels AN = As Needed
  • AN Julienned Ginger Julienne - to cut into small strips like matchsticks


  • AN Hijiki Seaweed Available at your local Japanese market
  • TT Ginger Juice TT = To Taste
  • 1 Grilled King Salmon (sashimi grade only!)
  • AN Japanese Scallions (Asatsuki) Available at your local Japanese market



  • Rice wash 5 - 6 times until water runs clear
  • Soak rice in water for 20 minutes (skip this step if using Zojirushi NP-NWC rice cooker)
  • Cut out kernels from the corn
  • Julienne ginger
  • Grate ginger and then squeeze out the juice. Set aside.
  • Chop Japanese scallion into small fine pieces

Donabe in Rice Cooker

  • Put rice in rice cooker, fill it with dashi up to 4 cup line
  • Top with corn and julienned ginger
  • Cover rice cooker lid and start cooking (select "Umami setting if using Zojirushi NP-NWC)


  • Cook in Salmon Grill/Pan/Oven until internal temperature is 42 ℃ (107/108 ℉)
  • Top cooked donabe with salmon, hijiki seaweed, scallions, and ginger juice
  • Mix and serve!

Would you like to make quality rice at home? Grab your own Zojirushi NP-NWC! Supporting our sponsors helps us continue keeping the lights on here. Thanks for everyone’s help!


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