What's your go-to comfort food?
As someone who grew up eating a lot of Chinese dishes served family-style, I like to whip up fried rice at home on a regular basis. It's easy and oh-so-versatile. For special occasions like Chinese New Year, I like making Yangzhou fried rice, loaded with roast pork and shrimp. But most of the time I just like making a vegetarian fried rice using fresh finds from the farmer's market.
Recently I was asked by BlogHer to develop a recipe for RiceSelect™, which has a wide range of rice available, including brown rice, sushi rice, arborio rice, and American basmati rice. Since I love working with all types of rice, and making dishes from around the world like biryani, risotto, coconut rice, and rice pudding, I was more than happy to participate. (You can visit RiceSelect's site to find out more about its distinct types of rice and the many dishes you can make with each kind.)
For the program, I tested out RiceSelect's Jasmati® rice, a long grain American grown jasmine rice. And what I really wanted to do was a fried rice using kale and fresh shiitake mushrooms from the Union Square Greenmarket. The inspiration actually came from an amazing kale salad I recently had at neighborhood Italian restaurant; instead of just raw kale with a light dressing (delicious in itself), it also had bits of fried kale scattered throughout. (Heaven in a bowl, if you ask me. I've been thinking about it for weeks.) So I wanted to recreate that experience in a fried rice dish.
I started off by cooking up some Jasmati rice and leaving it in the fridge overnight to cool (you can also do it in a few hours if you're in a hurry.) The next night, I stir-fried some scallions and ginger in the pan, then added the finely chopped mushrooms and kale and kept moving the kale around until it cooked through and got nice and crispy. Finally, I added the rice with some hoisin sauce and soy sauce, then added salt and pepper at the end to taste.
This crispy kale and mushroom fried rice takes a minute or two longer than most fried rice dishes, but only because of the added time to get the kale extra crispy. Otherwise it's a very simple dish that's easy to prepare at home for a side dish or a light meal. And the Jasmati rice — with a sweet aroma, soft texture, and subtle nutty flavor like Thai jasmine rice, only grown in the U.S. — was perfect for it.
Giveaway: How do you like to incorporate rice into your family meals? What are your favorite rice dishes to make? Each comment will automatically be entered for $100 Visa gift card! UPDATE: Congrats to Steph for winning the $100 Visa gift card! ____________________________________
Crispy Kale and Mushroom Fried Rice
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 3 cups cooked RiceSelect Jasmati rice, cooled
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced or grated ginger
- 1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps finely chopped
- 1/2 pound kale, thick stems removed and leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Break up the cooled cooked rice into smaller clumps.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the ginger and scallions and cook for about 30 seconds, until just aromatic.
- Add the mushrooms and kale. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through and the kale is starting to get crispy.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan. Toss in the rice and break up any remaining clumps with a spatula. Continue to stir-fry until the rice starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce and soy sauce and stir until well-mixed with the rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the rice to a large communal bowl or individual bowls and serve.
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