Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meatless Monday: Japanese Rice & Eggs

Eggs are comfort food to most cultures, and rice is ubiquitous for this purpose basically everywhere else but here.

Combined, they can do no wrong.

Preparing Japanese short-grained rice is a little finicky, but worth trying. I leave the house to get sushi, but stay in to eat Japanese rice and eggs. When we make miso soup, we eat it all by itself with a condiment made for expressly this purpose. It's a feast with seared tuna and a really gingery salad.

There are a thousand different correct ways to make short grain rice stick together. The one that works for me is pretty fool-proof as long as you don't open the container 'til the rice has cooked and rested.

2 cups sushi rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp butter
1/4 shallot, finely diced, per person
1 fresh egg per person
salt and pepper to taste

To make the rice:
1. Add rice to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swirl your hand around and drain off the water. Repeat until the rice is rinsed and the water coming out of the bowl runs clear.
2. Drain the rice in a seive for 30 - 40 minutes.
3. Add the drained rice to a large, heavy saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water.
4. Bring to a high boil, cover tightly and immediately reduce heat.
5. Cook over moderately low heat for 6 minutes. 
6. Reduce heat to very low and cook the rice for ten minutes longer.
7. Remove the pot from heat and let stand (no peeking!) for at fifteen minutes before eating.

To assemble:
1. Chop shallot finely and add to skillet with a bit of butter until cooked but not browned.
2. Remove from pan.
3. In same skillet, fry eggs 'til medium-hard. Do not break yolk.
4. Top approximately one cup of rice with a fried egg.
5. Season well with salt and pepper.
6. Add pan-fried shallot.
7. Consume at once.

Serves three to four.
- F

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