All right, to begin with, if you don’t have bamboo rice, use any variety of the regular Asian white rice. Bamboo rice is a specialty item which I picked up on a lark. Not very much of it, either. I wished to find out what was behind this “variety” before I committed to buying a lot.
It is pre-washed, so keep that in mind if using a rice cooker (as I did). Rice cookers may have a setting for pre-washed, and a setting for non-pre-washed, as in my experience with Zorjirushi’s brand.
This is a pleasantly green colored, short grained rice, somewhat sticky like sushi rice, but not entirely so, but it does have enough body. I understand it is a white rice that is soaked before you buy it, in young bamboo greens, imparting the green color, and some additional flavor. According to the people I bought this from (The Other Brother Darryl’s Seafood, Otis, Massachusetts) you mix 1 part rice with 1.25 parts water. I’ve seen other combos on line, but I decided to stick with my source for this ratio, this time around. It worked.
I didn’t add a lot of seasonings to this, because I wanted not to lose the delicate flavor of the rice, especially since this is the first time I’ve tasted this (and no, bamboo rice is not cheap).
So anyhow, making this vegetarian rice dish:
Prep Time: 10 minutes prep… and most of the rest can be done while the rice cooks...
Cooking: rice cooks about 35-40 min during this time. Veggies: about 5-10 minutes while rice cooks.
Rest time: not needed.
Serves: 2 main courses. OR 4 sides.
Bamboo Rice and Veggies
* 120 ml (1/2 cup, or 4 ounces) green bamboo rice (or any Asian white rice — although use the ratio of liquid recommended for the variety you are cooking)
* 150 ml (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, or five ounces) liquid (water — or perhaps one part water to one part low sodium boxed vegetable broth)
* 1 tablespoon oil or butter — I used avocado oil, with a hint of toasted sesame oil.
* 5-6 white button mushrooms, sliced
* 1/3 to 1/2 bell pepper, color of your choice, slivered
* 5-6 ounces of mung bean sprouts,
* Ground pepper and sea salt to taste. (Low sodium veggie broth already has salt, even if less than the alternative. In most cases, you won’t need more.)
* Optional cilantro sprigs, chopped coarsely, for garnish
For the rice, I used the rice cooker, pre-washed setting, white rice setting — rice and liquid together and let her go! Otherwise, use a stove top pot and cook, covered, stirring periodically, and ascertain no sticking towards the end.
Once the rice was cooked, I kept it covered (warmed) in the rice cooker, and cooked the veggies as below. (Although you can cook the veggies towards the end of the rice cooking process, as well — I just happened to be otherwise engaged.)
In a skillet, heat up the cooking oil to medium high, add the mushrooms and allow them to cook for about five minutes, using a spatula to move them around. I then added the bell pepper, but I do like mine more au dente than most people apparently do. You could add yours after a couple of minutes of cooking the mushrooms, if you prefer. Add in the ground pepper, and salt if you are using.
When the mushrooms and peppers are cooked to your liking, add the mung sprouts and stir for another minute.
In your serving dish, lay out the rice, and top with the veggies. Add the cilantro if you have it (as you may notice, I didn’t have any to hand, but it would have been a nice touch)! I had this as a main course; it serves two this way.
The rice does have a nice delicate flavor that one source claims is something like the taste of green tea. Similar, yes. You definitely don’t want to overpower this with heavy spicing!
Other veggie options you could pick and choose from: Snow peas. Chopped baby bok choy. Water chestnuts. Baby corn. Garden-fresh peas. Sliced onions. Thin-sliced shiitake mushrooms. Shredded Napa cabbage… Enjoy!