With our trip to Cambodia just a few days away, we’ve got Asian flavors on the brain! We don’t have a lot of experience cooking Asian cuisine, so we’re looking forward to learning more on our upcoming travels.
However, this recipe was actually not inspired by our trip so much as from a new cookbook – “Fresh” by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal. It’s a wonderful compilation of delicious-sounding recipes from the Fresh restaurants, located in Toronto. I must say, the book makes me want to take a special trip to Toronto just to try the restaurant out!
A recipe for a rice bowl caught my eye, so we developed our own version using radishes and beets from our winter farmer’s market, which just showed up this week! (It’s starting to look like spring…)
In developing this recipe, we experimented a bit and learned some things about Asian ingredients – namely, they’re hard to omit or substitute since they’re so unique! I was planning to omit the jicama (since we try to cut back on special ingredients), but after trying it we found it so refreshing and delicious we decided to keep it in! I even added fresh ginger to the ingredients list; since we had it on hand, I tried it and found it to be an integral part of the flavor profile of the dressing.
So, here it is — an Asian Rice Bowl with some fresh Indiana ingredients! We found it to be tangy and flavorful – a delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of raw veggies!
We recommend the Fresh cookbook as a great resource for meatless recipes with whole, natural ingredients.
Asian Rice Bowl with Fresh Vegetables
Inspired by Fresh by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal
Makes 4 bowls
Notes: Use whatever vegetables are in season. We found napa cabbage and fresh jicama were integral to the overall feel of the dish! Also remember that ground ginger cannot be substituted for the fresh ginger!
What You Need
2 1/2 cups dry brown rice
Several heads broccoli
Other raw veggies of any type: we used carrots, beets (including beet greens), and radishes
Several green onions
1 piece fresh ginger (enough for 2 teaspoons minced)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or substitute plain rice vinegar)
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
What To Do
1 Make the rice: Cook the 2 1/2 cups brown rice (we used this method from Saveur, but with a bit less water). This step can also be done in advance.
2 Prepare the broccoli: Chop the broccoli into florets, and stream the florets until crisp tender. (You also can skip this step and use fresh broccoli if desired.)
3 Prepare the other vegetables: Peel the jicama, cut it into thin slices, then cut each slice into very thin strips (to make julienne cuts). Thinly slice the napa cabbage, green onions, and radishes. Peel the beets and carrots, and cut them into very thin strips (julienne). If desired, thinly slice the beet greens as well (if using).
4 Make the dressing: Peel the ginger, and finely mince it. In a small canning jar, place 2 teaspoons minced ginger, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, and 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari. Shake vigorously to combine. (Alternatively, you can whisk these ingredients together in a small bowl.)
5 Assemble the bowls: Place about 1 1/2 cups cooked rice in the bottom of a bowl, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon dressing. Top with all fresh veggies, saving the green onions and almonds to top last. Drizzle with another 1 tablespoon dressing and some squeezes of fresh lemon juice.