Monday, 27 October 2014

Naturally Nice, Rice

Tagliatelle di Riso Integrale con Funghi Shimegi & Verdure
Brown Rice Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms & Vegetables


I love that I can still discover so many new things when it comes to grocery shopping- I so often hear people complaining about not knowing what to buy or cook and find it amazing how little most people are prepared to try something they are not familiar with... Really! You can't have it both ways folks! There are whole universes of flavor to be explored out there! What is it that you are so afraid of?

Case in point this evening- these rather unspectacular, but very wholesome noodles made of brown rice, and a new variety of mushroom for me- Shimeji, which are like larger Emoji mushrooms- which are of course still much, much smaller than our regular mushrooms- but not a bit less tasty!


So I decided to make something simple, so as to become better acquainted
with them both, keep the seasoning mild and let their own flavors speak for themselves. At the same time, I wanted my dish to be tasty and colorful and so I added a few other vegetables for some contrast and a hint of spice and good seasoning- and a great, simple stir-fried dish was born!


My ingredients were 1 portion of brown rice noodles, 1 carrot, 1 Spring onion, 2-3 small peppers (or some regular bell pepper), 1 handful of sugar snap peas, about 2" of ginger, a 200g "block" of mushrooms and a little handful of cilantro.


I kept the seasoning mild, relying on soy sauce, 5-spice powder, sesame oil and oyster sauce, but of course there is plenty of flavor right there in those ingredients too which I did not want to overpower- I wanted to get to know the flavors first!


I cut the carrots into relatively thin slices, on the diagonal and simply cut the mushrooms away from the large base, so that they fell apart into their own individual pieces. I decided to cut the peppers and peas into strips and chopped the ginger finely, so that its flavor would be evenly distributed... and having done that teensy-bit of prep-work, I got bust with the real work! But be careful not to blink- as this cooks so quickly you may just miss something!


The first ingredients to start frying are the carrots, peppers and ginger- I gave there 2-3 minutes in a little peanut oil and then added the stalks of the cilantro... you know how I love using them! They really are full of great flavor!


Next came the peas, mushrooms and spring onion, along with a teaspoon of 5 spice, a little pepper and a few drops of sesame oil and soy sauce to round off those flavors nicely. Whilst everything sizzled away merrily, I dropped the rice noodles into boiling water and let them soak for 2-3 minutes- just the time it took for the mushrooms to fry- they are soft and cooked through in a flash!


I drained the rice noodles, added a little sesame oil and soy, a squeeze of lime juice and a good sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro and they were ready to go!


Don't fret, don't worry, just try out something new and be happy! It's only food- and you have nothing to lose but everything to gain in your own kitchen! Enjoy!


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