Sunday, May 16, 2010

deconstructed rice bowl

This recipe is almost embarrassingly easy, but is a common staple around my house. My rice cooker has a delay function, so this is one of those things I can come home and whip up in a few minutes, which is something I need to do with more and more frequency these days. My favorite thing about this meal is that I can use whatever I have lying around the house to put it together. Frozen vegetables, fresh vegetables, tempeh, tofu, seitan, leftovers, whatever! It's amazingly versatile, and always tastes good. There's no down side!

For the rice...
3 cups short grain white rice, cooked
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar

for the sunomono...

1/2 cucumber
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

for the toppings...
assorted frozen or fresh vegetables

extra firm or super firm tofu
blackening spices
olive oil or olive oil spray

for the garnish...
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp crumbled nori

Cook the rice in your rice cooker or in a pan, as per the instructions indicated on your device or on the back of the package. When the rice has finished cooking, drizzle the seasoned rice vinegar over the top and fluff it to coat entirely.

Mix the sliced cucumber and rice vinegar

Towards the end of the rice's cooking cycle, you can start to prepare the other ingredients. I tend to just dump the frozen vegetables in a nonstick frying pan, and toss them over medium to high heat until they're good and hot, then set aside. When finished, spray or drizzle a bit of olive oil in the same pan, and add the tofu. Sprinkle your blackening spices (I use a blend my brother created, which I will link to whenever he gets around to posting it. In the mean time, something like this would work) over the top of the tofu, and toss. Please be careful!! The smoke from the spices can be very potent, and will hurt your eyes if you aren't! When the tofu is almost done cooking, you can add as little or as much tamari as you'd like to the pan. It will cook very quickly and stick to the pan, so take it off of the heat and toss the tofu immediately to coat. Set aside.

Add the garnish ingredients to the same pan, and toss until toasted. It will not take long. Be careful not to burn, as the pan will be hot from repeated use.

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and enjoy!