Saturday, April 16, 2011

Asian-Inspired Rice Bowl

There’s one thing you should know about me, if you’re going to read my food posts. I. Love. Carbs. I have yet to meet a carb that I don’t like, except maybe barley, which doesn’t count because apparently your body doesn’t process it like a carb. It’s kind of weird to admit this, but I’ve been known to eat just a bowl of rice (with some butter and salt) as a snack.

So it’s no surprise that I love Italian- and Asian-inspired dishes. When I was watching Iron Chef a few weeks ago, I saw Morimoto (my favorite, of course) make this delicious-looking rice bowl. He topped it with fish and a fried egg. It looked so simple, I just had to try it!

If you read the “Food” tab above, you’ll note that I rarely measure ingredients when cooking. Don’t get tied to your measuring cups and teaspoons! Experiment with me :)
- 1 cup uncooked rice (I used Minute Rice, but the real stuff works great too)
- 2 eggs
- 1 package frozen snap peas (you will have leftovers!)
- 4 filets of a firm fish, like tilapia
- flour
- sesame oil (can substitute butter or canola oil)
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- soy sauce

Start by cooking the rice. If you’re using the real stuff, it’ll take about 20 minutes. If you’re using Minute Rice like me, it’ll only take about five minutes. Once the rice is ready, spread it out onto a plate and pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes—just enough to cool it down, but not long enough to freeze it.

While that’s going on, dredge the fish in flour. You can use a little egg or milk to help the flour stick, but I usually go without on this dish for a lighter finish. Plus, I usually use fish that has just come out of my freezer and is still a little damp from the defrosting process, so extra moisture isn’t as necessary.

Heat the sesame oil (or substitute fat) in a skillet. Actually, heat it in two skillets. One for the fish (medium-high heat), and one for the eggs (medium heat). These will take about the same time to cook, unless you have a really thick cut of fish. Start cooking the fish, seasoning with a tiny bit of salt, some pepper and a dash of garlic powder. When you crack the eggs in the other pan, be careful to not break the yolks. Season those with salt and pepper too. In the meantime, start cooking the snap peas. I buy the kind that you can microwave right in the bag; it usually takes about five minutes.

Flip the fish after about three or four minutes. Just before you flip it, pour some soy sauce over the whole thing. Don’t go overboard or you’ll have a salty mess. I usually use about a tablespoon, maybe two. Ish. After you flip the fish, drizzle a little more soy sauce over the cooked side that is now facing up—just a couple drops.

As for the eggs. I prefer to flip mine to make an over-easy/over-medium yolk, which I still find a little difficult sometimes. In the pictures, you might notice that I did in fact break a yolk. If you want to play it safe, just cook them sunny-side up.

Now, the rice. Morimoto re-fried it in a pan, but I think it’s so much easier to nuke it. Grab two bowls and make two rounded little hills of rice in each one, making a medium-sized indent in the top (this is where the egg will go). When the snap peas are done cooking, set them aside and nuke the rice for 30 seconds to a minute, until it’s good and hot.

Time to assemble! Carefully slide an egg into the indent in each mound of rice. Make a small little pile of snap peas on one side of the mound, and arrange the fish on the other side. You’ll notice in my photos that my fish isn’t a filet; it’s a mess. I used cod, which is too flaky for this dish and fell apart while I was cooking it. Tasted good though.

This dish is particularly fun to eat. Break open the egg yolk and let it drizzle down over the rice. I like to dip my snap peas in it, too!

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