Happy Donabe Life

Clam Rice

Asari Gohan

This is a popular Japanese dish and we love it especially in the spring time when the clams are in the top season. Plump sake-steamed clams are folded in to the donabe rice, cooked with the combination of clam juice (from steaming) and dashi. My version uses extra amount (almost double or more) of clams compared to normal clam rice recipes, because I like to really enjoy the meaty clams in the rice! But, you can also make the dish with less amount of clams, and the dish would still taste delicious.

I also like to cook this dish with the addition of Mochi Mugi barley. If you would like to cook with the Mochi Mugi, add a packet of Mochi Mugi to the rice and extra 1/2 cup (120 ml) of dashi and a pinch of salt in Step 3 of the recipe.


Kamado-san (3 rice-cup size)




  • 2 rice cups (360 ml) short grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pounds (900 g) clams in shells, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon white tamari or ayu fish sauce
  • About 1 1/3 cups (300 ml) kombu and bonito dashi or water
  • 1 tablespoon very finely julienned ginger
  • Coarsely chopped mitsuba (Japanese parsley) or chives for garnish


  1. Combine the clams and the sake in medium sauce pan, and set over medium-high heat. As soon as the sake starts to boil, turn down the heat to simmer. As soon as the clams open (about 3 – 4 minutes), transfer to a bowl. (They don’t all open at the same time, so transfer every clam as soon as it opens.) Discard any clams that didn’t open. Let the clams cool down slightly.
  2. Remove the clams from the shells and set aside. Discard the shells. Strain the cooking broth through a fine-mesh sieve and combine with the white tamari. Add the dashi until the broth measures 1 2/3 cups (400 ml). Let it cool down completely.
  3. Combine the rice and the broth in Kamado-san. Spread the ginger on top. Let the rice soak in the broth for 20 minutes.
  4. Cover Kamado-san with both lids and cook over medium-high heat for 12 – 15 minutes, or until 2 – 3 minutes after the steam starts puffing out of the top lid.
  5. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Quickly open both lids and add the reserved clams, then quickly cover with both lids again. Let it stand for additional 15 minutes.
  6. Add the mitsuba and gently fold in with the rice with a rice paddle.
  7. Serve into individual bowls at the table.

Once it’s ready, add some minced mitsuba and gently mix.

The clams taste really meaty in this dish.


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