Sunday, 3 January 2016

A Grain and A Grain

Riso & Grani Miste al Miso con Rucula, Fagioli di Soia & Gamberoni
Miso Rice & Mixed Grains with Arugula, Edamame & Shrimp

Ok- it is not strictly "Asian"- but it does use some Asian ingredients... and anyway- it is absolutely 100% ME- and that is a whole lot more important!

As usual, I looked what I had in the house, thought how I could combine the ingredients, textures and flavors- and improvised! Which to me- is what good cooking is all about.

The main part of this meal was the combined mix of rice and grains, which can be readily bought at most Asian supermarkets and consists of a number of rices- including red cargo and sticky rice, mung beans, lentils, lotus nuts and even dried plum. 

And not having any Asian greens like water spinach or even pak choi, i decided to simply wilt down some arugula- and indeed, why not? The leaves have a great peppery tang to them so that just went to add to the spice... and speaking of which- click on to the ingredients list and I will tell you more about that as well!

So, let's start at the beginning- I had for 2 god servings, 2 cups of the rice and grain mix, a good handful of edamame (frozen), 5-6 large shrimp, 1 heaped teaspoon of miso paste, 1 shallot, 1 handful of arugula, 1 heaped teaspoon of 5-spice powder, chili flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds and hoisin sauce.

So- we have the richness of the miso in the chewy rice and grains, the sweetness of the edamame, the peppery arugula leaves and the chili and hoisin flavored shrimp... any questions? Nope! I didn't think so either!

To prepare the rice, i simply added half of the shallot and 1 teaspoon of miso paste to it, added 3 times the amount of water and let it cook in my rice-cooker for around 40-50 minutes. It does take longer than regular rice on account of the beans and grains and the sticky rice does absorb more water- so keep an eye open and top it up if necessary.

After around 45 minutes, I added the 5 spice powder and the edamame, topped up with a little more water and then turned the heat back on for a further 10 minutes of cooking. In which time I prepared the shrimp and arugula.

The shrimp were simply sprinkled generously with chili and briefly sautéed in sesame oil- you can't get easier than that.

And as for the arugula- I simply fried the remaining half of the shallot until golden, then added the leaves, a splash of sesame oil and quickly tossed them until they wilted down- just 1-2 minutes at the most.

The rice and grain mix was thick and they and rich with miso and the fresh, sweet flavor of the edamame made for a great contrast... and not only in color!

I topped it with the arugula and shallot, which had become lovely and golden- and was just one step away from being able to serve... all I needed were those shrimps!

With a drizzle of Hoisin sauce for seasoning and a light sprinkle of sesame seeds as a finishing touch- that was it! Not authentically Asian- but authentically me!

Time to grab those chop-sticks and a spoon and to dig in!

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