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WHAT SHE'S HAVING

Recipe: The Butter Rice episode in the series ‘Midnight Diner’ will make you want to try this simple Japanese dish

'Midnight Diner' Butter Rice.
'Midnight Diner' Butter Rice.Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

In the Butter Rice episode of the Japanese Netflix series "Midnight Diner," all the customers in the tiny place watch the local wandering musician, Mr. Goro, eat this dish with such deep pleasure, you know at once that a bowl of rice with a little butter means much more to him than just a meal. While short-grain or medium grain rice is the everyday grain in Japan, made in a rice cooker (and use it here if you have one), this recipe cooks medium-grain or long-grain white rice on the stovetop. The ratio of water to rice is not typical; this formula, with less water, makes more compact rice. Use a larger pan than you think you'll need because rice likes to bubble up and over the top edge. To serve the dish, spoon the rice into bowls, add a nubbin of butter to each one, let the butter melt for half a minute, then let each diner sprinkle several drops of soy sauce onto the rice before eating. Because there are so few ingredients, use the best quality of each. The finished dish is much more than the sum of its parts.

cups water
¼teaspoon salt
cups medium-grain or long-grain white rice
4tablespoons butter
Soy sauce (for sprinkling)

1. In a saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Sprinkle in the rice and cover the pan.

2. Simmer the rice for 16 minutes, or until the grains are tender when tasted and all the water in the pan has been absorbed. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, if necessary. Turn off the heat and place a double thickness of paper towel on top of the saucepan. Cover with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Spoon the rice into 4 bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to each one and let it sit for half a minute to melt. Serve and let each diner sprinkle several drops of soy sauce onto the butter before stirring the rice.

Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

In the Butter Rice episode of the Japanese Netflix series "Midnight Diner," all the customers in the tiny place watch the local wandering musician, Mr. Goro, eat this dish with such deep pleasure, you know at once that a bowl of rice with a little butter means much more to him than just a meal. While short-grain or medium grain rice is the everyday grain in Japan, made in a rice cooker (and use it here if you have one), this recipe cooks medium-grain or long-grain white rice on the stovetop. The ratio of water to rice is not typical; this formula, with less water, makes more compact rice. Use a larger pan than you think you'll need because rice likes to bubble up and over the top edge. To serve the dish, spoon the rice into bowls, add a nubbin of butter to each one, let the butter melt for half a minute, then let each diner sprinkle several drops of soy sauce onto the rice before eating. Because there are so few ingredients, use the best quality of each. The finished dish is much more than the sum of its parts.

cups water
¼teaspoon salt
cups medium-grain or long-grain white rice
4tablespoons butter
Soy sauce (for sprinkling)

1. In a saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Sprinkle in the rice and cover the pan.

2. Simmer the rice for 16 minutes, or until the grains are tender when tasted and all the water in the pan has been absorbed. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, if necessary. Turn off the heat and place a double thickness of paper towel on top of the saucepan. Cover with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Spoon the rice into 4 bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to each one and let it sit for half a minute to melt. Serve and let each diner sprinkle several drops of soy sauce onto the butter before stirring the rice.Sheryl Julian


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.