03 Mar rice bowl
Ah, the humble rice bowl. More than once this super speedy supper has come to my rescue on nights where I felt I simply did not have the energy to cook. Ready in as long as it takes to boil some rice, this comforting supper delivers big time on flavour.
The beauty of a rice bowl is that you can play around with the key ingredients to find your favourite combination. I’ve used tenderstem broccoli and mushrooms here but you can use tofu, roasted sweet potato or shredded chicken. My rice bowl this week is vegetarian as there is enough richness in the runny egg yolk mixed with the umami of the mushrooms, that I didn’t feel meat was called for.
This speedy supper is inspired by one of my favourite chefs, Katie Sanderson, whose food I’ve eaten at The Fumbally as well as through her food projects Dillisk and Living Dinners. At a couple of festivals last year, she popped up at stalls cooking and serving up life-saving rice bowls. Somewhere along the line she created her Peanut Rayu, an unbelievably yummy chilli peanut sauce, inspired by her up-bringing in Hong Kong. If you haven’t been able to get your hands on a jar of this sauce, you can absolutely substitute it for your own favourite chilli sauce, such as Sriracha.
When I say use a small cup of rice in the ingredients I literally mean a small cup, such as a coffee cup. The rule I follow with rice is give it a good wash, add double the water than the rice and let it simmer heartily until the water is evaporated, being careful not to burn the bottom of your pan. I find the small coffee cup a good way to avoid food waste, which I think often happens when cooking rice. It’s easy to cook too much. I’ve also suggested you use tenderstem broccoli but if you can’t find those, simply substitute them for a few florets of regular broccoli.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 small cup of rice
A small bunch of tenderstem broccoli
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
About a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
A couple of tablespoons of Peanut Rayu
1 red chilli, sliced
A pinch of black sesame seeds (optional)
1. Place the rice in a colander and give it a good rinse under cold water. Place in a saucepan and now put double the amount of water into the pan. Bring to a hearty simmer and bubble away until the water has evaporated. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes, until they’re starting to brown and absorb the oil.
3. Add the broccoli (adding a little more oil if necessary) to the pan, along with the finely diced garlic and fresh ginger, and fry over a medium to high heat for about three minutes, until the broccoli has taken on a lovely green colour but the garlic or ginger hasn’t burned.
4. Remove the broccoli and mushroom mix from the pan and keep warm. Your rice should be nearly ready now. Take it off the heat if the water has evaporated.
5. Just before serving, add a little more oil to the frying pan and fry your eggs the way you like them. For me, a runny yolk is best as it adds to the rice bowl.
6. Divide the rice into two bowls. Top with the fried mushrooms and broccoli. Add an egg on top, and add a few dollops of the Peanut Rayu or a drizzle of your favourite hot sauce on top. Garnish with a few slices of fresh red chilli and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.
Storecupboard Essential: Peanut Rayu
Irish Chef Katie Sanderson launched her chilli peanut sauce under the White Mausu label last year, creating an evangelical frenzy among food lovers who could get their hands on the precious jars of yumminess. Available in selected stockists such as Ard Bia in Galway, The Green Door Market in Dublin 8 and at The Dublin Flea Market, this is one of the most delicious condiments on the market. Find out more about Sanderson on www.katiejanesanderson.com.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on March 2nd 2017