Thursday, April 13, 2017


It's intriguing, beguilingly tasty and decidedly Korean. Bowl food is the rage these days and this Asian meal lives up to all its hype. You start with cooked sushi rice. Artfully arrange various sauteed vegetables and pickled cucumber over the rice. Feel free to add cooked meat to the bowl. I prefer the vegetarian option. Add a fried egg. Spoon ribbons of a mouth-blistering chile sauce over the whole thing. Sounds uncomplicated? Not quite. It's takes time to prep this layered composition.

Start by cooking sushi or any short grain rice. I love its toothsome mouthfeel. Saute carrots, greens, mushrooms in a soy emulsion. Give cucumber and radish slices a quick brine in vinegar. Fry some  quail eggs. They look adorable perched on the veggies. Most importantly, whisk gochujang with sugar and water to a thick sauce. I said it was delicious.....didn't say easy!

Serve 4-6

2 cups Sushi or any Short Grain Rice
1 cup grated Carrots 
2 cups Shiitake or Cremini Mushrooms 
4-5 cups Spinach or Swiss Chard
1/2 cup Water
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce 
2 chopped green Chiles
5 minced Garlic cloves
3 sliced Scallions 
5 tablespoons Canola Oil 
1/2 seedless Cucumber
4 Radishes
1/2 cup White Vinegar
1/3 cup Gochujang 
3 tablespoons Water
1 teaspoon Garlic paste
2 teaspoons Sugar 
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
4-6 Quail Eggs or regular Eggs

Put sushi rice in saucepan. Do not rinse. 

Add 3 cups water to rice. Stir. 

Place saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. Take off the flame and keep aside.

Put white vinegar and sugar in small bowl.

Cut cucumber and radishes into thin slices and add to vinegar. Make sure the vinegar covers the slices. Let the veggies sit in vinegar till you are ready to plate the dish.

Wash and slice mushrooms. If you are using shiitakes, cut off the woody stem and slice.

Wash greens well. Chop roughly into large chunks.

Put water in a bowl. Add soy sauce, green chiles, minced garlic and scallions to water. Whisk well.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in saucepan.

Add grated carrots to hot oil. Saute till coated with oil.

Pour 3 tablespoons of soy sauce blend into carrots. Saute for a few minutes till slightly limp. Take carrots out and place them in bowl.

Add another tablespoon of oil to pan. Wait a few seconds and add mushrooms to pan. Stir to coat with oil, them add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce blend. Saute for 3-5 minutes till mushrooms are done.  Shiitakes take a little longer. Take mushrooms out into a bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the saucepan. Wait a few seconds and add chopped greens to oil. Drizzle remaining soy sauce over greens. Saute till greens are wilted and cooked. Place the greens in a bowl as well.

Heat remaining oil in the saucepan. Add cooked sushi rice to pan, spreading it so you have a thick layer of rice. Cook rice covered over a medium flame for 8-10 minutes till you have a light brown crusty bottom. Keep aside.

Whisk gochujang, water, garlic paste, sugar and salt till smooth.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet.

Break quail eggs carefully into oil and cook till yolks are almost set.

Drain vinegar from veggies.

Assemble by ladling a cup of sushi rice into a bowl.

Top with carrots, mushrooms and greens.

Lay the egg over veggies.

Drizzle ribbons of chile sauce over egg.

Tuck cucumber and radish slices around the egg.

Reach for a pair of chopsticks and dig in!

A meal in a bowl is novel and exciting!! It's portable!! That it is bathed in a tongue-tingling sauce is an added bonus. Fork or chopsticks is the only dilemma....