Monday, February 15, 2010

One Pot Rice Meal

As part of my homage to korean food traditions ala my childhood, I have decided to revisit this dish.  It is kind of the Korean version of a crockpot style, one pot meal...made in a rice cooker.  I dont think my mom invented it but then again, I have never seen it in any K-food restaurant menu either.  My mom's version could probably most accurately be called Korean Bean Sprout rice.  I have taken it one step further and jazzed it up.  Brown rice instead of the traditional white.  Ready to go bean sprouts in lieu of the usual by the pound sprouts which require about a half hour of extra prep due to having to wash and trim the ends.  I have also added ground turkey which has to be browned up in a separate pan first to ensure appropriate texture and cookedness. 

Isnt my rice cooker the cutest?  It was a gift from my mom since I was stll using this cheapo one from college.  I love it cuz it has a setting for brown rice, mixed rice and porridge as well as the regular white rice.  It is completely in Japanese so it took me forever to figure out how to use it...between you and me, I randomly push buttons until it points to the brown rice setting and then I push COOK.  One day, one day.  So I measured out two cups brown rice, rinsed, added appropriate water.  Then I threw in a healthy handful and a half of the ready to go sprouts and kinda crammed it in there--you can add as little or much as you want, depending on the size of your rice cooker.  Mine leans toward the small end so I couldnt add as much as I would have normally wanted.  I added chopped green onions and just threw them in there too for extra flavor.  Then I browned about a quarter pound of ground turkey with just S&P.  Im not a big meat person so that is enough for me for the entire pot.  Dump that sucker in too, right on top of the rice grains, water, sprouts, and onions.  My rice cooker takes 2 hours for the brown rice so I had to go and busy myself for a few hours.

This is what you will see when you open the lid.  It doesnt look like much but just wait.  Make sure you mix the rice, sprouts, and meat around thoroughly to spread the goodness.  Im going to portion off the contents and freeze them so I can just reheat later.  It should stand up to the freezer and microwave later on since the sprouts arent cooked to mushiness. 

This is the final version of the rice bowl.  My mom usually makes a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil and korean paprika in a separate bowl hat you spoon onto you rice and mix it all around.  Im lazy and frankly was too hungry and impatient to care so I just threw some soy sauce (I usually only use low sodium soy), sesame oil drizzles, and a dash of chinese hot chili oil cause I'm spicy like that. 

The beauty of this dish is in its simplicity.  You taste each ingredient so you want to use good ingredients.  Only minimal seasonings really if you think about it.  And everything goes nicely with each other and you end up feeling full without feeling oily or just "too much".  Do it now. 

Oh yeah, and happy valentines day too. 
xx kiddos

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