Rice + Greens + Omelette

16 Sep

Greens OmeletteWe went to the food mecca, Whole Foods, the other day and I saw some gorgeous broccoli rabe or rapini. Its kind of like kang kung, bok choi or kai lan back home, but it has these lovely little broccoli like florets hiding in the deep green leaves. Its also incredibly bitter, which can be a nicely astringent flavour, but it needs to be managed carefully, and juxtaposed against creamy, sweet and salty in order to truly shine.

Tonight, I was looking for a really simple Asian inspired meal, because we have been eating rather richly of late. I wanted something clean, and yet rather toothsome. I decided to saute the rapini with sesame seeds, and a sweet salty sauce. But in order to manage its bitterness, I simmered the rapini in water for a few minutes before draining it and running under cold water. This fixed its colour and flavour, and allowed the rest of the saute to happen in minutes. It also mitigated that deep bitterness that some people find too pungent.

With it, I served plain jasmine rice, which to me is food of the heavens. I love rice, and I cook it how my mother taught my sister, and my sister taught me. That is, without measurements, but by eye and rule of thumb. And I made a very simplified omelette which I cut into strips and served on the side. If you are vegan, just saute some tofu instead. Its all good, and makes for a light, quick, easy meal… with enough leftovers, hopefully, to make fried rice the next day!

This recipe will feed 4 – 6 people depending on amounts, which are totally up to you, as you will see!

Jasmine rice

Everyone has a different way of making rice. Usually at home, I make it in a rice cooker, but my sister believes in old school.

Take 1 medium saucepan, and pour in some rice. I usually try and cover the bottom of the pan, up to about halfway up the pad of my thumb, may be an inch or so of rice… This should serve 4 people, but if you want leftovers, add more. Rinse the rice in the pot with cold water, draining the water out from the rice to get rid of a bit of starch. Do this at least three times, or until the water runs clear.

Make sure the rice is in an even layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Pour in enough water so that if your thumb is resting against the top of the rice layer, the water comes up to the first joint fold of your thumb. I swear this works for just about anyone….

Put in a pinch of salt, and bring the entire thing to the boil. Once it has boiled, reduce to simmer, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow to simmer until the rice is done, about 15 – 20 minutes. Once the rice is completely cooked, fluff with a fork and serve.

Its that simple, and that difficult … it is a matter of getting a feel of the rice, a feel for your own hands and measurements, and a feel for the timing of the thing. But it does work, and it is really easy once you get the hang of it!

Rapini with Sesame Seeds

  • 2 – 3 cups rapini (about 1 head)
  • Water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil – olive, canola, vegetable or sesame, your choice

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp honey or agave syrup if you are vegan
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce (I used Lingam’s from home)

Prepare the rapini: cut off the bottom of the stems, and chop the rapini in small 1 inch chunks.

Fill a large frying pan with water, and bring it to the boil. Tip the rapini in and boil for about 2 – 3 minutes.

The rapini will turn a deep emerald green. This is good. Once it has boiled for a few minutes, tip it into a sieve and run cold water over to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Make the sauce. In a teacup or small bowl, combine all the ingredients, whisk with a fork, and taste. Adjust so it is sweet and nutty and salty and hot all at the same time. Add or subtract to your liking. Set aside.

In the same frying pan, toast the sesame seeds. Once they turn light brown, and give off that distinctive sesame scent, add the oil and chopped onion. Saute for a minute or two until the onion has become soft.

Add all the rapini, and cook for a few seconds, mixing in the sesame seeds and onion with the rapini.

Pour the sauce over, and allow to bubble a bit.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve in a bowl, with a spoon to scoop up the sauce and pour over the rice.

Asian omelette

This serves 4 people – I always use 1 less egg than the number of people I am serving. Adjust accordingly. Also, I use a spice mixture I got at a Japanese grocery. It has seaweed, nuggets of wasabi and sesame seeds. If you cannot find this, add some crumbled dried seaweed strips (usually coated with soy or teriyaki) or just add some sesame seeds and may be half a teaspoon of mustard.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Japanese spice mix or as in note
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oil

Whisk together the eggs, sesame oil, spice mix and soy sauce in a small bowl, and set aside.

Heat the small amount of oil in the same frying pan as you cooked the rapini until it just shimmers.

Pour in the egg mixture and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the omelette to cook through, shaking the pan every so often, and using a spatula to encourage the uncooked egg to go to the bottom of the pan.

Once the omelette has cooked through, use your spatula to segment the omelette into quarters. Place on a cutting board or a plate and slice finely into thin strips.

Serve with rice and rapini for a beautiful juxtaposed light meal.

One Response to “Rice + Greens + Omelette”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Malaysian Dinner « delectable - October 5, 2010

    […] Prepare some jasmine rice. […]

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