Recipe + Poem: A Cheesy Affair with Rice

Potato Au Gratin is one of my favorite dishes. You add layers of thinly sliced Potatoes, shredded Gruyere, Heavy Cream, some salt, and pepper, and bake it at 400°F until the cheese is bubbly and the potatoes are done. It was a simple dish that I learned to make when I had a ‘Cutting Skills’ class at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Potatoes are great, but rice is my preferred my carb. And last Saturday (my self-proclaimed vegetarian day), I found something fantastic about rice!

It all started on one fine afternoon when I was watching Solitary Gourmet (Kodoku no Gurume). Goro-san goes to a western-style restaurant, where he ends up ordering Bruschetta, Oyster Meuniere (Oh my sweet brown butter 😍), and Omurice with American sauce. He goes ahead with the mouth-watering descriptions of the dishes, but I was drawn to the Seafood Doria ordered by his neighbors in the adjacent table. The Doria had a bubbling cheese top in the video (S5EP11), and I immediately started craving cheesy stuff with a mild flavor. I was about to cook my trusted potato gratin again, but first, I wanted to find out more about Doria since I had never heard of it before.

And there it was, my perfect gratin dish! Doria is a gratin dish that consists of buttery Rice and Bechamel sauce with your choice of meat or vegetables topped with Cheese. According to this article and this book, Doria was first served by the Swiss Chef, Sally Weil, at the Yokohama New Grand Hotel. I obviously wanted to test, and I went for a Mushroom Doria.

Trying to figure where I should start after I made the Doria. The melted cheese was so enticing!!


The first element of cooking,
A blazing desire of a human heart,
A subtle warmth,
Or a roaring rage,
It’s the opposites combined
In orderly chaos.



  • 1/2 cup – Uncooked, Short Grain White Rice (rinse with water, drain and repeat 3 or 4 times, until water runs clear)
  • 100 grams – Mushrooms (I used Seafood Mushroom because that was the only one I had on hand, but I think Chanterelle, Porcini, or Shiitake will be much better)
  • 170 mL – Chicken stock (I eye-balled this one. It should be just enough to cover the rice and mushrooms)
  • 40 grams – Minced Onion (I used Sweet Onion)
  • 1 tablespoon – Butter
  • 1 tablespoon – Olive Oil
  • 8 grams – Flour
  • 150 mL – Milk
  • 2 slices (about 48 grams) – Pepper Jack (or your favorite cheese)
  • 50 grams – Mozzarella Cheese (I used fresh Ovoline)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recommended Equipment + Tip:

  1. Let the rice and mushroom soak together for at least 1 hour before you start cooking the rice. This will make the rice more fluffy and soft
  2. I usually have a rice cooker in my house. My first rice cooker was this one, but I currently use this one. If you don’t have a rice cooker, please follow the instructions below:
    • Add the rice and mushrooms to a heavy-bottomed pot, and add just enough stock/water to cover the mushrooms and the rice
    • Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and let it simmer on low heat
    • Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or so, or until the rice is completed cooked (it should be fluffy and soft)
    • Fluff up with a fork
  3. I used a Porcelain dish like this for my recipe. Please do not use a glass dish. You can get a disposable Aluminum casserole bowl from the dollar store if you don’t have an oven-proof dish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Add the rinsed rice and mushrooms to a rice cooker, and add just enough stock/water to cover the mushrooms and the rice (follow tip 2, if you don’t have a rice cooker)
  3. Start the cooking process for the rice in the rice cooker
  4. In the meantime, let’s make the Bechamel Sauce. In a pan, add the olive oil
  5. As it heats up, add the onion and fry till golden brown
  6. Now add the butter, and let it melt in medium-low heat
  7. Add the flour and whisk all the ingredients together
  8. Now slowly pour in the milk, while whisking constantly
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste
  10. Let the sauce thicken to your desired consistency and turn off the stove
  11. Now in an oven-proof dish, add the cooked mushroom rice as the first layer and then pour in the Bechamel Sauce
  12. Top off the Bechamel sauce with the sliced Pepper Jack and dollops of Mozzarella
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil on high for 3 minutes (or until the cheese is nice and bubbly)
  14. Garnish with Scallion and serve warm!


3 thoughts on “Recipe + Poem: A Cheesy Affair with Rice

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