My favorite food trend right now? The rice bowl. They’ve been around forever, of course. I imagine the entire Asian community is laughing at our “new” obsession with putting things on a bowl of rice and calling it dinner. That being said, one of my favorite things about them is the variety you can bring to it. Want to go Mexican, Thai, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Italian? Sure, why not. Throw together a few ingredients and spices from the area of the world you have in mind, and throw it on a bowl of rice (or whatever grain happens to float your boat), and you are all set. These find their way on to my menu at least once a week.
While there are usually a few different components, they are quick to throw together and perfect for “build your own” dinners that will please everyone at the table. It’s easy to vary the greens, protein or veggies according to your personal tastes and whatever happens to be in your refrigerator and always fun to experiment with different flavor combos. With this one the only spicy element is the sauce, so add more or less depending on how spicy you like it. Also, you can add more of the gochujang (a spicy Korean pepper paste) into the sauce to make it more spicy as well.
One of my favorite new ingredients with which I’ve been experimenting is finishing salt. I have at least six flavors of infused sea salt from Lords of Salt (check them out at lordsofsalt.com) and I am having so much fun with them! The black garlic flavor was perfect for this, adding a nice depth of flavor to the greens and shrimp and the perfect finishing touch on top.
Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl
(adapted from Cooking Light)
1 cup dry Batsmati or brown Rice
1/2 pound shrimp
1 bunch chard (or spinach or kale or other green you like), cut into ribbons
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 green onion, sliced
2-3 eggs (1 per serving)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp. gochujang (find at Asian markets, or sometimes in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 small clove garlic
Finishing salt (I used Lords of Salt black garlic salt, but any coarse sea salt will work fine)
Cook rice according to package directions. Heat large skillet over medium heat. If using chard, add stems first and let cook for a couple minutes in a bit of olive oil. Then add 1 clove minced garlic, sliced mushrooms, green ribbons and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté 4-5 minutes until greens are tender. (If using spinach, this only takes a couple of minutes).
Remove greens to a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil to pan and then add shrimp. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes until shrimp is no longer pink. Remove to a small bowl.
Build bowls with a big scoop of rice, topped with greens, shrimp, and raw veggies. I usually put each thing in its own little section to make it pretty, but hey, a pile works too.
In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, 1 small clove garlic (smashed into a paste), sesame oil, and gochujang. Stir well until ingredients are blended into a thick sauce.
Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Break eggs into pan and turn down to medium low. Cook slowly until white are done for a perfectly yolky sunny side up egg. Slide egg on top of bowls and sprinkle with a bit of finishing salt and green onion.