Bowled over by rice

James Carrier
Delicious, easy dinner solutions

In my family, we bought Texas long-grain white rice in 50-pound bags and ate some every night. The same is true for many other Asians all over the world ― a meal is not complete without rice. One reason: It doesn't take much more to make the meal complete.

Westerners are catching on to this simple concept in the form of the rice bowl.

What is a rice bowl? A little protein, some vegetables, and lively seasonings spooned onto hot rice. The result is a supper that's quick, satisfying, nutritious, and very easy to make, particularly when you turn to Asian roots for inspiration.

Start with your choice of rice (hot cooked Long-Grain, Short Grain, or Brown rice) and select toppings from the following favorites from Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand. All ingredients are available in a well-stocked supermarket, but some of them are alternatives for the authentic seasonings that you can find in an Asian food market.

Suitable foundations for these one-bowl meals are long-grain white or aromatic jasmine rice; sticky short- or medium-grain rice; or chewy brown rice. If rice is tender to bite before all the liquid is absorbed, drain. When using a rice cooker, follow manufacturer's measurements and directions.

Hot Cooked Long-Grain Rice
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 25 minutes MAKES: About 6 cups; 4 servings

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine 2 cups long-grain or jasmine rice and 31/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until rice is tender to bite, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: 337 cal., 1% (5.4 cal.) from fat; 6.6 g protein; 0.6 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 74 g carbo (0.9 g fiber); 4.6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Hot Cooked Short-Grain Rice
Follow directions for hot cooked long-grain rice (preceding), but omit long-grain or jasmine rice, and use 2 cups short- or medium-grain rice (pearl, calrose) and a total of 21/2 cups water.

Per serving: 358 cal., 1% (4.5 cal.) from fat; 6.5 g protein; 0.5 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 79 g carbo (1 g fiber); 1 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Hot Cooked Brown Rice
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 50 minutes

Follow directions for hot cooked long-grain rice (at left), but omit long-grain or jasmine rice, and use 2 cups long-grain brown rice and a total of 4 cups water. Simmer, covered, over low heat until tender to bite, about 45 minutes.

Per serving: 342 cal., 7% (24 cal.) from fat; 7.3 g protein; 2.7 g fat (0.5 g sat.); 71 g carbo (3.2 g fiber); 6.5 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.


Thai Curry Rice Bowl

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

Korean Marinade

Japanese Tofu Donburi

Japanese Chicken Donburi

Chinese Shrimp and Pea Rice Bowl

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