Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sesame Shitake Veg Rice Bowl

Alright... After starting and deleting several versions of attempted witty banter it occurred to me: I have nothing to say today.

And so rather than spewing out a bunch of random and mostly boring stuff like 'I still haven't emptied my suitcase from last week's vacation' and oh yeah, 'I have to vacuum up the protein powder mess in our bedroom, courtesy of Minni Pinni', I have decided I'll just give you the amazing recipe.

Brown rice paired with an ultra flavorful sauce and beautiful bright veggies.

When in doubt of what to cook for dinner I usually end up reverting back to my roots: when I was single, I ate a lot of brown rice and broccoli. Those are my roots.

I remember one time, back in the day, offering a friend to stay for dinner. A dinner of brown rice and broccoli. She later confessed that she ate it then left wondering what she was going to have for dinner.

So let's call this recipe 'my roots all grown up'. Definitely not boring or lacking in flavor. Or color. My meat and potatoes Honey was all over this Granola Mama's grown up brown rice dish.

Yield: About 6-8 servings

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos
4 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry short grain brown rice
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed or diced
1/2 medium shallot, diced
About 12-15 shitake mushrooms, de-ended and sliced
2-3 stalks broccollini, chopped into about 1 inch to 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups shelled edamame beans
3/4 cup matchstick carrots
3/4 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Wrap tofu block in a paper towel then wrap that in a kitchen towel. Place something heavy on top and let sit while you prepare your other items.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a pan, combine water, Earth Balance and salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place rice in an oven safe container with a lid OR you can use tin foil to cover it.

When water boils, pour over rice, give it a quick stir then cover and place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

In a lidded container, combine toasted sesame oil, Bragg's aminos, rice wine vinegar, agave nectar and crushed red pepper. Seal and shake well to combine.

Unwrap tofu from towels and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes. Put in a bowl and add half of your sesame oil mixture. Stir to combine and let marinate for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes or even overnight if you're planning ahead.

In a wok, heat a bit of toasted seame oil on high heat, then add tofu cubes. Cook on high, stirring continually, until tofu cubes have a nice sear on them. Note: I find the wok works best to get the sear you want.

Once tofu is nice and crunchy, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Note: You can prepare the tofu ahead of time but start the rest of this recipe when your rice is almost finished baking in the oven, for the sake of timing.

In wok, add a little more toasted sesame oil along with garlic and shallot on med/high heat. Cook, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes then add shitake mushrooms. Reduce heat a bit and cook, stirring occassionally until mushrooms are soft.

Add broccollini and continue to cook on med/high heat another 3-5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

When your rice is done, remove from oven and fluff.

Add edamame beans, carrots and cabbage to your wok, stir, then add then add rice to wok as well.

Add the remaining dressing then stir well to evenly combine ingredients and dressing.

At this point, taste your dish. If you feel it needs it, add a little more dressing ingredients, tasting as you go.

Scoop into a bowl and top with several pieces of tofu. Finish the dish with a beautiful garnish of fresh chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Serve alongside a green salad, if you want a little more crunch, though this dish is intended to be al dente so you may not need it.

This dish is really simple, super flavorful and beautiful to look at. Guaranteed to be a winner in your home, like it is in ours.



  1. Oh goodness, you're making me hungry over here!!! YUMMY! :)

  2. Jamie... Thank you! I'll make it for you sometime! :)



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