There is no getting around it: You need some Asian ingredients to make this recipe as written. While you can substitute store-bought shiitake mushrooms here -- very different, but still delicious -- you do need the Japanese "trinity" of soy sauce, mirin and sake. You also really ought to have a proper dashi broth, too, although you could substitute chicken broth if you had to. You will see I am using Chinese chives here, but any chive (or even green onion) will work fine.
8ouncesmatsutake mushrooms, sliced and chopped(see below)
2cupsshort- or medium-grain rice
10-12gingko nuts, peeled(optional)
Chives or Japanese mitsuba for garnish
If you are making the dashi, here's how. Pour the water into a large pot and add the kombu. Turn the heat to medium. Keep an eye on the pot, and at the moment it boils, remove the kombu. You can dry it out again and reuse it if you want to. Add the bonito flakes and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain this through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside. If you are using chicken stock or instant dashi, just use it when you cook the rice.
For the matsutake, trim the stems so you can make pretty slices. Slice the mushrooms about 1/4 inch thick. Save the pretty cross-sections. Chop the remaining parts roughly.
Put the chopped matsutake, rice, sake, soy, mirin, salt and enough dashi (or chicken broth) to cook the rice (follow the directions on the package, as different rices need different amounts of liquid to cook properly) in a bowl and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, and up to an hour. When you are ready to cook, put the contents of the bowl into a rice cooker or a pot and add the gingko nuts if you are using them. Lay the pretty slices of matsutake over everything. Cook according to your rice's directions.
When the rice is done. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes. Lift off the pretty matsutake slices and set aside. Fluff the rice and mix in the chives; this rice is supposed to be a little sticky, by the way. To serve, put in bowls and lay the matsutake slices over each bowl.