- Cut up the chicken thighs and place them in a bowl. Add soy sauce and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Using a separate cutting board and knife, slice the mushrooms.
- Peel the kabocha squash and cut it into cubes (about 3-4 cm).
- Rinse the rice if necessary (refer to the instructions on your package of rice).
- Sauté the mushrooms in the non-stick pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, cook the chicken until it is no longer pink but not fully cooked. Dish it up and set aside.
- Again, using the same pan, cook the kabocha squash with 3-4 tablespoons of water on high heat until all the water evaporates. Turn the cubes regularly while cooking to avoid burning.
- Transfer the rice into a large deep dish or bowl and add 2/3 of the amount of water you would normally use to cook the rice (refer to the instructions on your package of rice).
- Place a steam rack into the pot and add water until the rack is covered. Place the deep dish with the rice in it onto the rack. Cover the pot and steam the rice over high heat.
- About 10 minutes after steam starts rising from the pot, layer the sautéed mushrooms and squash onto the rice and continue steaming.
- Continue steaming for another 10 minutes, then layer on the partly-cooked chicken. To avoid burning your pot, check that there is enough water under the steaming rack, and add hot water to the pot as necessary. Steam for another 20-25 minutes.
- Check that the bottom layer of rice is fully cooked (the rice should be soft and white) before serving. Continue steaming in 5 minute intervals, as necessary, until fully cooked.
- This recipe can also be made using a rice cooker. Simply layer the sauteéd ingredients on top of the rice once the water in the rice cooker starts bubbling.
- Don't worry if you don't have a steam rack at home, you can invert a heat resistant bowl or steaming basket for the same effect. The purpose of the rack is to elevate your ingredients from the water.
- As rising steam can result in burns, remove the dish from the pot to layer the ingredients and then return it to the pot instead of doing so while it continues to cook on the stove. A plate-lifter can be a very helpful gadget!