fast family dinner: japanese chicken and rice

I have a little confession to make…I owned my thermomix for over 2 years before I really embraced the varoma (aka the steaming unit) which comes with your thermomix. It all changed when I was at tenina’s class and a lovely lady was telling me how she was told of someone who would use the varoma every time they were making rice and cooking something over 20 minutes. Well that was it for me. We use it at least once a week and it makes some great tasty dinners.

This isn’t a fancy looking recipe but is just really simple and delicious and a great midweek meal. It’s a new one for us that I’ve made twice this week and had the kids wanting seconds….not that there was much to go around for seconds. You could add more vegies or whatever you like or have in the fridge. My kids eat carrots so I went with carrots this time.

Now this dish is subtle in flavour rather than really packing a punch and perfect for when you feel like eating something good and healthy. I also made myself a cup of miso while the dinner was cooking just to go for the whole japanese dinner in my own home experience.

But now a word on the dashi, if you go to the asian supermarket a lot of the powdered dashi that I’ve used in the recipe will come in packets and contain MSG. I’ve just found this brand online, Spiral Dashi (red) with no msg and they also have a vegetarian version too so might be stocking up on some for the next time I make this.

and this dish was prepared under normal dinner time conditions with a few kids coming into the kitchen while I was cooking and one toddler pulling out the contents of one cupboard. So if you’re a busy mum at home then you can rest assured that I don’t do my recipes locked away in the kitchen without any disturbances. No ma’am. Plenty of little people who need to know where I am and stay nearby.

4.5 from 2 reviews
fast family dinner: japanese chicken and rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinners
: japanese
Serves: 4
What you'll need
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1 1 /2 cups uncooked sushi/short grain rice
  • 3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp cooking wine (I use a chinese one)
  • 1Tbsp dashi powder (you could also use bonito flakes or regular stock if you can't get your hands on any or a Tbsp or two of miso paste)
  1. Slice chicken into small cubes or thin slices and carrots into slices as well.
  2. If you have a thermomix then lay chicken and carrots in your varoma making sure you leave some vents uncovered for the steam to come through.
  3. Fill your thermomix bowl with 1 litre of water and the tamari, mirin, cooking wine and dashi/stock that you are using.
  4. Pour rice into basket and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Now I use almost 2 cups of uncooked rice in this recipe so if you have more people to feed just make more rice.
  5. Place basket into thermomix. Put on the lid then the varoma and cook for 20 minutes, speed 4, varoma.
  6. I lay out a teatowel and place my varoma on the tea towel and lift off the top layer, pour the chicken to the bottom layer and then remove the rice bowl from the thermomix.
  7. Pour chicken and carrots into the liquid (let's call it the sauce) with a good dash of tamari in your thermomix bowl and gently stir around.
  8. Serve out rice topped with chicken and pour the sauce on top. I top with a few sliced spring onions and for those who like a stronger flavour just add a bit more tamari to each dish.
  9. If you don't have a thermomix then there are a few ways to do this. Firstly you cook could the rice using the absorption method and in a saucepan cook the chicken and carrots in a reduced liquid of 300mls with the above ingredients.
  10. And another way is a just making it all in one pot on the stove top. Heat up 500mls of water, add in the dashi and the carrots and bring to the boil.
  11. Add the chicken, tamari, mirin and cooking wine and the rice and cover the saucepan.
  12. Bring to the boil and boil for about 5 minutes, reduce your heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until your rice is almost cooked.
  13. Remove your saucepan from the stove, with the lid on and leave for at least 10 - 15 minutes for the rice to continue cooking and absorbing the liquid.



  1. I love chicken and rice meals, total comfort food and something I know my kids will always eat. xo

  2. Oooh yummy! I got my thermomix as a Christmas present and I am loving it! I can’t wait to try your japanese chicken and rice dish – it sounds delicious. Thanks for another great recipe :-) xx

    • oh yay! I didn’t know that! oh you are going to love it, just get in the habit of using that varoma early on, that’s my best advice then it becomes habit

  3. This looks great! Thanks for sharing your family dinners :)

    I’ll have to look for some dashi next time I go shopping so I can try this. By the way, I stopped worrying about MSG when I read this article then I did a bit more research and now I feel pretty confident that msg isn’t harmful and I don’t need to go out of my way to avoid it.

    • oh wow so glad you shared that, the dashi I found had MSG in it so I had a bit of a panic that I couldn’t share the article with people. But I do like the sound of the vegetarian version which would be great in recipes. We just love japanese food:)

  4. Thanks for sharing the information and recipe for the Varoma. I rarely use mine as I’m not sure what I can do in it. I’ll give it a go now. Meanwhile, Madam Thermo has been working overtime lately. I even made French dressing yesterday from EDC and it is excellent. Can’t live without my Thermo!!!

  5. Yum. This will definitely go on the to-make list as the kids love Japanese. Also going to try your sushi rice bowl idea. I think they’ll flip for that.
    Ms,Darling thanks for the MSG article link. A very interesting read.

    • sushi rice in the bowl is the best thing ever! our latest thing is buying the inari wrappers from the japanese grocery store and slicing them up and putting on top of the rice! so delicious:)

  6. That looks delicious, plus I adore the fact that you keep it real! I find it’s getting harder to make one handed dinners now as Tilly is getting heavier and heavier!!!

    • yep! I need things that are easy and don’t need too much intervention for me at dinner time as there are always things to do and people who need things

  7. Georgia Murphy says:

    I have had my Thermie for over two years and have never used the varoma. I think my 6 year old boy would love this dish. So let this be the start of a new habit!

    • you really do save time with dinner because everything is cooking all at once. I truly just never used it and now I use it whenever I’m cooking rice and it’s just so easy! hope he likes it:)

  8. Hi Corrie, this looks delicious thanks again for another of your yummy recipes I will give this a go the no themomix method would love one though! :-)

  9. Just had to send a message about how delicious this is! Thanks for the Varoma inspiration. First time I’ve used it for dinner (have only steamed cup cakes in it previously). Yum! I used the miso and soy sauce subs.

    • oh yay great to hear! I was hoping someone would test out the substitution for me, and you did! great! and once you’ve made something once you tend to do it again without needing the recipe. Now keep using that varoma!!!! That’s an order:) because it makes dinners easier

  10. Hi Corrie, thanks for such a great, easy recipe. Can I just confirm that you use both trays of the Varoma?

  11. Hi corrie, just made this tonight for dinner, as I was a bit inspired by your post. I did mine on the stove and it was definitely a winner! The japanese flavours are subtle, but make a nice change from the usual chicken casserole I usually make! To quote my son, it was “20 fingers up for dinner mum!” Ive made extra and stashed it in the freezer for when Im working and dont have time to cook. Thank you for sharing the recipe xT

  12. Just made this, so delicious!!!! Your recipes are fantastic! 😀 keep them coming! (you might have to write a Thermomix book!!! 😉 ) Thanks!!! 😀

  13. Thank you Corrie! Minus the Kirin I’m making this for my little family now. Must go to a class specializing in Varoma and one pot meals! Thanks for dinner

  14. Carleene Waken says:

    Hi…how much volume of food does the Thermomix hold, it doesn’t look like a huge amount? I fear I wouldn’t have enough food for my lot!!:)

    • The bowl holds 2 litres so when it makes a curry I get dinner and then leftovers for 2 the next day. It comes with a steamer on the top so you can be steaming loads of meat, fish, veg on top and cooking rice underneath. We have 5 kids but small eaters and my husband is a big eater but there are big families like Seven Cherubs with 7 children who use it. There are dishes where you cook the pasta in the bowl after you’ve made the sauce and we don’t have leftovers for that but if I made the sauce and boiled the pasta on the stove then I could boil more pasta as it does about 350-400g pasta in the bowl but you could do more on the stove. I love it for a big family because it allows you to make so much from scratch. The cookie dough makes trays and trays of cookies :)

  15. Hi Corrie,
    Love the subtle flavours of this recipe. I have had my thermomix for less than a week. This may be a silly question, but do you have a special tip for cleaning the jug?

  16. Emma Adma Weda says:

    Yay trying this tonight super easy and I am sure it will taste amazing xx

  17. Thank you so much for this recipe. I left hubby to make it tonight as I had to run some errands. Came home to a beautiful, tasty & delicate dinner. Yum yum! Like comfort food, but healthy haha. A new family favourite!

  18. Hi, how much liquid (or sauce) will you have left in the TMX after cooking for 20 mins? I am wondering how much ‘sauce’ you pour over the rice and would it make the rice more like porridge/congee?

    For the chicken rice in the Asian cookbook from Malaysia, the liquid that was used to cook rice and steam the chicken is used to make soup. So I thought I better check with you first.

Leave a Comment



Optionally add an image (JPEG only)