Asian Rice Bowl Many Ways

September 3, 2015 2:21 pm Last Updated: September 8, 2015 7:30 am

Fork in the Road: The ability to customize your own rice bowl, and then choose one of two sauces to top it with, means that everyone is creating their ideal meal.

What's more fun for the kids than a restaurant-style buffet at home? (Courtesy of Workman)
What’s more fun for the kids than a restaurant-style buffet at home? (Courtesy of Workman)

Yield
Serves 4

What the Kids Can Do
This is a perfect recipe to engage kids of all ages. Hunt through the fridge and pantry with them, deciding what would be attractive components to put in the bowls. Let them help prep whatever you choose, set up a little rice bowl buffet, and absolutely let them assemble their own creation.

Make Ahead
Not so much.

Asian flavors and dishes pepper this book wildly, because they pepper our dining table weekly. And the idea of taking an Asian dish and giving it an American twist is too good to resist.

This is a boilerplate recipe and an excellent reason to have extra cooked rice in the fridge. And a seriously unshabby way to turn leftovers into a brand-new meal, ?which I have been trying to make an Olympic sport for years. Damn IOC, so narrow-minded.

You can put out a variety of toppings and let everyone assemble their own rice bowls (fun), or make executive choices in the kitchen based on what you have and what your various family members like.

4 cups hot cooked rice (such as brown, white, or jasmine)

Vegetable Toppings
Sautéed greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli rabe, or Swiss chard
Sautéed snow peas
Sliced hearts of palm
Cubed or sliced avocados
Shredded lettuce
Shredded carrots
Sautéed or roasted mushrooms
Bean sprouts
Protein Toppings
Cooked fish or seafood
Cooked chicken, steak, or pork
Fried or poached eggs
Steamed or sautéed tofu

Condiments, Drizzles, Sprinkles, and Sauces
Hoisin sauce
Toasted sesame oil
Soy sauce, preferably reduced-sodium
Lemon, lime, or orange wedges
Sriracha, gochujang (see Sidebar), or other hot sauce
Cayenne pepper
Chopped peanuts
Sesame seeds
Crumbled dried seaweed
Cilantro Lime Sauce or Ginger Scallion Sauce (page 353), optional

1. Place a serving bowl with the rice in the center of the table. Surround the bowl with bowls or dishes of a selection of vegetables, protein, and condiments, and either of the sauces, if desired.
2. Spoon 1 cup of rice into each of 4 dinner bowls.
3. Let everyone customize their rice as they choose.

Gochujang
Sometimes called Korean red pepper paste, gochujang is a dark red, concentrated condiment made from chilies, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes a bit of sweetener. It’s featured in Korean cooking, and adds wonderful flavor and heat to various dishes. It lasts for months in the fridge.

(Recipe from “Dinner Solved!: 100 Ingenious Recipes That Make the Whole Family Happy, Including You!” by Katie Workman, Workman Publishing Company, 2015, $17.95)