July 25, 2011
I designed this recipe to accompany two other recipes I've already published, Grilled Pork Chops with Asian-Spiced Honey Glaze and Roasted Asparagus with Soy-Lemon Glaze. My goal in coming up with the recipe was to make a rice dish that tasted like fried rice, but which didn't require as much attention as fried rice. This was important because I wanted this dish to cook while I was grilling the pork chops.
After considering options, I decided to cook some vegetables in oil, brown the rice, then boil the rice and vegetables in a combination of water and soy sauce. The pre-cooking would supply the fried flavor. At the last minute I decided to toss in some toasted sesame seeds (something I was also using with the asparagus), which would add a bit of nutty flavor.
This recipe turned out great. The rice was quite tasty, and a lot less greasy than is often the case with fried rice, the flavors of the vegetables blended nicely with the overall flavor of the dish, and adding the sesame seeds and green onions after the rice was cooked provided the dish with a bit of crispness. This rice dish went great with the other two dishes, and I think it would go well with a variety of Chinese dishes. Since it was so quick and easy it was to make, and since it mostly cooks with minimal attention, thus allowing you to cook something else at the same time, I expect I'll be turning to this recipe again in the future.
Chinese Rice Pilaf
yield = 4-6 servings
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
4 ounces button mushrooms, minced
8 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green
2 cups long grain white rice
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Heat the oil to shimmering in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, yellow onion, mushrooms and the white parts of the green onions and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
Stir in the rice and cook until the rice has started to turn golden-brown.
Stir in the water and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes or until the rice is done. Stir in the sesame seeds and the green parts of the green onions. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.