Mame gohan, or Japanese green pea rice, is a classic rice dish that is often served during the springtime when the peas are in season.
Mame Gohan is a humble dish. As you see, it’s just simple steamed rice with green peas. I remember I didn’t like eating peas that do not come in a pod. I love snap peas and sugar peas as I can eat the crispy and crunchy pod together with the peas inside. The reason is if the peas are not fresh or cooked properly, they are mushy and wrinkly and taste bland.
As I grew older, I appreciate subtle flavors in ingredients more. Since it’s spring and peas are in season, I want to introduce you to Mame Gohan – a signature dish during spring in Japan. And don’t worry, it’s very tasty!
Mame Gohan (Green Pea Rice) for Springtime
Many of you probably have never heard of Mame Gohan as Japanese restaurants outside of Japan (or even in Japan) don’t serve this dish, but it is a classic home cooked dish that most Japanese grow up eating during the springtime when peas are in season.
Mame (?) means any type of bean or legume in Japanese, like edamame, and gohan means rice. However, when we say Mame Gohan, it usually refers to rice with green peas.
Mame Gohan 2 Ways
You can make Mame Gohan two ways. There is no “wrong” way to make it and everyone has their own preference.
Method 1 – Cook rice and peas together:
All you need is one pot or rice cooker for this method, so this is the convenient option. Plus, the rice will absorb nice flavors and aromatics from the fresh peas while cooking. However, the drawback is that green peas will slightly discolor after being cooked.
Method 2 – Cook rice and peas separately:
For the second method, peas and rice are cooked separately and mixed together afterwards. The best part about this method is that green peas can maintain their beautiful bright green color and crispness (the peas will not be overcooked).
What’s my method"...