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November 8, 2006
Aromatic brown rice

[top bento tier with prok shu mai, edamame, red bell pepper; bottom bento tier with tempura shrimp over aromatic brown rice]

Top: pork shu mai, steamed edamame and red bell pepper, grape tomato garnish
Bottom: shrimp tempura over aromatic garlicky brown rice

A simple bento for today that is made special by the aromatic garlicky brown rice that I made up on a whim the other day. Do not let the easy-peasy recipe fool you. The rice is delicate and flavorful and is the perfect accompaniment to many dishes. I used my rice cooker for ultimate convenience, but the recipe can be adapted easily for stovetop cooking.

2 rice cooker cups short-grain brown rice (medium- or long-grain would work well too)
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
chicken broth
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

  1. Rinse rice and drain. Repeat.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden. Remove from heat..
  3. Add the rice and garlic mixture to the rice cooker pot. Add water to the line marking "1 cup." Then add chicken broth until the water level reaches the line for "2 cups."
  4. Set the rice cooker on the brown rice cycle and hit start.
  5. Once the rice cooker cycle is completed, let the rice steam for an additional 10 minutes. Then fluff with a rice paddle and fold in the scallions.

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