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RICE

The Flavors of Rice

May 12, 1999|NINA SIMONDS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

* Bring water to boil in heavy saucepan with lid. Add rice, return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is just tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff lightly with fork to separate grains. Drain rice in colander if necessary, stirring occasionally.

* Spread rice in thin layer on tray to cool. Refrigerate before using if making Wild Mushroom Fried Rice.

6 servings. Each serving: 278 calories; 7 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 60 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.69 gram fiber.

Mushroom Fried Rice

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes * Low-Fat * Vegetarian-Adaptable

8 cloves garlic

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms

2 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons rice wine or sake

2 cups minced green onion tops

5 cups Boiled Long-Grained Brown or Unmilled Rice, chilled

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

* Smash garlic with flat side of cleaver and slice very thin. Rinse and drain shiitake mushrooms. Trim stem ends and thinly slice caps. Rinse and drain crimini mushrooms. Trim stem ends and thinly slice caps.

* Heat wok or heavy skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until hot. Add garlic and shiitake and crimini mushrooms, and stir-fry until slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add rice wine. Partially cover and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 3 1/2 minutes. Uncover and add green onion tops and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

* Add rice, breaking up with spatula, and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper, and toss lightly to coat. Add cilantro and toss to mix. Spoon rice onto platter and serve.

6 servings. Each serving: 236 calories; 801 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.74 grams fiber.

Seafood Casserole With Mongolian Sauce

Active Work Time: 50 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes * Low-Fat

Chinese chicken broth is available at Asian markets, or plain chicken broth may be used.

1/2 pound firm-fleshed fish fillet, such as haddock, red snapper or lake trout

1/2 pound shelled shrimp

3 tablespoons rice wine or sake, plus 1/3 cup

1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger root

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Chinese or nappa cabbage, about 1 1/2 pounds

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms

1 bunch (1/2 pound) enoki mushrooms

1 teaspoon canola or corn oil

4 cloves garlic, smashed lightly

4 cups Chinese chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups Jasmine or Basmati rice

1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch dice, optional

2 green onions, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices

* Cut fish into 1-inch-square chunks and place in bowl. Cut shrimp along back to butterfly and add to bowl with fish. Whisk together 3 tablespoons rice wine, ginger and sesame oil, and add to seafood, stirring to coat. Marinate 20 minutes.

* Separate stem and leafy sections of cabbage, and cut into 2-inch squares. Remove stems from shiitake mushrooms and cut caps into thin slices. Trim stem ends from enoki mushrooms. Rinse lightly and drain.

* Heat Dutch oven or covered casserole over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until hot, about 30 seconds. Add garlic and cabbage stems, and stir-fry over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add remaining 1/3 cup rice wine and lightly toss, cover and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Remove cover and add remaining cabbage, chicken broth and salt. Partially cover and bring to boil, then simmer 5 minutes.

* Rinse rice under cold, running water, using fingers as rake, until water runs clear. Drain rice in colander. Put rice in 4-quart casserole that can be used on stove top or in Dutch oven. Pour broth with cabbage into casserole, cover and cook on top of stove over medium-low heat 15 minutes.

* Place shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms and tofu in separate piles over rice, leaving space for seafood. Cover and bake at 450 degrees 10 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange seafood over rice. Cover and bake until fish flakes with fork, about 8 minutes.

* Sprinkle green onions over casserole and let sit, covered, 1 minute. Spoon into bowls, being sure each portion gets some of seafood, mushrooms and tofu. Sprinkle with Mongolian Sauce.

MONGOLIAN SAUCE

3/4 cup soy sauce

3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake

3 1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons minced green onions

2 tablespoons minced ginger root

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon hot chile paste, optional

* Combine soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, green onions, ginger, garlic, sugar and chile paste if using.

6 servings. Each serving: 450 calories; 3,142 mg sodium; 58 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 76 grams carbohydrates; 25 grams protein; 2.06 grams fiber.

Hand-Rolled Sushi With Salmon

Active Work Time and Total Preparation Time: 1 hour * Low-Fat

2 cups short-grain or Japanese rice

Water

1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

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