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Rice Bowl Dinner


Inspired by our friends Stacie Billis, Rachael Hutchings and Marc Matsumoto and their Peko Peko cookbook (read previous post here), today I’m sharing an Asian inspired rice bowl recipe with you.

Two dinners in one. Simple, fast and fun. Here is a rice-bowl “recipe” (it is really more an inspiration) that you can assemble in no time. I am giving you a few suggestions for toppings, like the very cool pinwheel omelet, but do cook with the seasons that surround you, and with your family’s favorite vegetables.

This is another of the participation meals we love so much. Tonight let your family add the finishing touches to their own dish at the table. Everyone gets a bowl of rice, then you all add all your favorite toppings — a little carrot and some peanuts for crunch, some edamame, a drizzle of this, a sprinkle of that — and before you know it everyone has created their very own masterpiece.

But wait there is more. Be sure you double the amounts when you prepare the rice and vegetables, then tomorrow you will have just the right ingredients for making fried rice! And the quick recipe is on the bottom of the page. Now isn’t that twice as nice?

You need

For the rice:
4 cups brown rice (enough for leftovers, I like short grained for rice bowls but any kind is fine)
4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

For the omelet pinwheel:
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 scallion finely sliced
2 Teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Suggestions for the toppings:
A few shredded raw carrots for color
A cup or two of defrosted edamame hot or cold
A bunch of shredded purple cabbage (isn’t it so beautiful?)
Corn, fresh or frozen, hot or cold, raw or cooked
A few finely chopped scallions
Cubed firm tofu (you can also use the pressed kind that comes flavored)
Sliced avocado (sprinkled with a little lemon to prevent it from turning brown)
Leftovers! (roasted vegetables, chopped chicken, maybe not pizza…)
A cup of chopped peanuts
A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds

Sauces to drizzle:
Hoisin sauce for the sweet
Soy sauce for the salty
Peanut sauce for the nutty (we have a couple of great recipes for it in our book)
And hot sauce for the brave

To make the rice (about 8 servings including leftovers)

Here is a cool brown rice cooking method adapted from Saveur magazine. First rinse your rice. Bring a big pot of water to a boil just like you would for pasta. Pour in the rice, and boil uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain the rice. Then return it to the pot, off the heat. Gently fold in 4 tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar. Cover the pot and set it aside and allow the rice to relax comfortably for 10 minutes.

To make the omelet pinwheel

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl gently mix all the omelet ingredients together. Pour into a small baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the eggs have set. Let the eggs cool a bit, then roll the egg “omelet” into a tight roll (like you would roll a jelly roll). Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and put aside.

To serve

Arrange all your chopped toppings in little bowls or on a big platter, bring out your sauces, slice the omelet pinwheel… give everyone their own bowl of rice, let everyone add their own toppings. Bon appetit and have fun!

Leftover Tip

Twice is nice fried rice: In a big pan saute a sliced red onion, a sliced garlic clove or two, then add all the chopped leftover vegetables (add extra cabbage if you need to). Throw in the rice and when it is good and hot add a few eggs beaten with soy sauce and sesame oil. Saute stirring vigorously for a few more minutes until the eggs are cooked. Top with sliced scallions, sit down and enjoy yesterdays labor.


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