Sometimes, the simplest things are the most intimidating. I didn't know if I would be able to rival the authentic fried rice (but what's the degree of authenticity in restaurant Chinese cuisine abroad?). I decided to not attempt to imitate, but, rather, to have fun, to create, while paying an homage to Chinese gastronomy and using in-season, farmers' market veggies.
My creation could be called a "fried risotto", compact because made with sticky sushi rice, and fried along with a colorful assortment of seasonal vegetables. The other peculiarity is that I made it with caramelized onions.
It was tasty and esthetically pleasing. A success, according to my team of tasters.
(serves 3 -with extra)
3 cups sushi rice, cooked
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup tamari
1 small head of broccoli
3 good looking whole red cabbage leaves
1/4 red cabbage, sliced
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup tofu
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp herbes de Provence
3/4 inch ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Cut onions in 1/2 inch long slices. In a pot, melt 3/4 of the coconut oil, and sauté the onions on high.
When they start sticking, turn the heat down and pour a little tamari, enough to remove from the bottom.
Keep cooking, stirring regularly. Add tamari or 1 tbsp water if it sticks.
Meanwhile, cut carrot and broccoli in bite-size pieces, small enough to cook easily, big enough to not get totally mushed.
Your onions should be caramelized by now: brown, juicy and sweet.
Add the carrots and broccoli, pine nuts, grated ginger and pressed garlic. Stir.
Delicately, take off 3 cabbage leaves.
Steam cook them. When they are cooked (limp so that they can fold, but not so that they disintegrate), turn off the heat. Keep the lid on and reserve.
Cut mushrooms in bite-size pieces.
In a food processor, blend the tofu (or mash it with a fork).
Add tofu to the veggies. Stir.
After 5 minutes, add the rest of the coconut oil, and the rice. Stir.
Cook for about 10 minutes, and make sure it doesn't stick and burn.
You have a compact substance, different from a classic fried rice, that you can mold into shape.
Molding the rice. Coat the the bowl with a little bit of coconut oil, so that the sesame seeds stick to the whole surface. Pour the seeds and make sure they don't just fall at the bottom.
Fill the bowl with the fried risotto. Press down.
Suggested sides: Brussels sprouts, for the color coordination, but if you fear a cruciferic OD, a nice green salad will look beautiful.
Think grilled tofu (in that case, don't put any in the risotto). If vous choose green cabbage instead, why don't you bake some beets?
-Stuffed cabbage leaves. Don't mold rice, but roll small portions (like a cigar) in steamed cabbage leaves. Don't make them too big, so you can pick them with chopsticks and dip them into tamari.
-Vary the ingredients according to seasons. In summer, use zucchini, eggplant and stuff it in red peppers.