~*~ Bamboo Rice with Mushroom Tea ~*~
SERVES: 2 ⎪ LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE
This recipe is a French variation on Japanese chazuke which, essentially, is half rice bowl, half tea. My take is meant to symbolize the transition from winter into spring. The tea represents the melting snow, bamboo rice is the green shoots, and mushrooms are…well, the mushrooms. You don’t need to be as theatrical as I am though. This dish is super customizable and great for using up whatever you have lying around the kitchen. It’s best served with leftover rice, but freshly cooked is fine. If using leftover rice, make sure you reheat it in the microwave otherwise it will cool down the dish. Green tea is traditionally poured over the rice, but you can use other mild, non-black teas. For more flavor use chicken, vegetable, or in my case, mushroom broth. The topping options are endless: eggs, fish, pickles, beans, leftover veggies, herbs, sauces…the fridge is your limit! Enjoy as a snack, lite dinner, or complete meal.
12 oz dried porcini mushrooms
8 oz mushrooms of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
optional flavor booster
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 rib celery
George Winston ⎯ Winter into Spring
1. STEEP THE TEA
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl or a Pyrex measuring cup, and pour over 3 cups boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl.
2. MISE EN PLACE
Meanwhile, remove stems from mushrooms and thinly slice the caps. If you don’t have leftover rice, now is the time to cook some.
3. COOK THE MUSHROOMS
Melt the butter in a pot. If using the optional vegetables, cook until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften. Add reconstituted porcini and it’s liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until soft. Taste the broth and season with salt as needed.
4. STRAIN THE TEA
Set a strainer over a pitcher or bowl. Strain the mushrooms out and set aside.
Spoon fresh cooked or re-heated leftover rice into bowl. Top with cooked mushrooms and pour over mushroom tea. Add an egg, chicken, or tofu for added protein if you wish. Freeze any leftover stock to use in soups, sauces, or for cooking more rice!
~*~ JAPANESE VARIATION ~*~
Substitute mushroom tea with green tea. Top with salmon, dried seaweed (nori), and roasted sesame seeds.
~*~ MEXICAN VARIATION ~*~
Substitute mushroom tea with chicken broth. Top with chicken, black beans, corn, and cherry tomatoes.