Late Night Cooking Series: Shanghai Vegetable Rice ~深夜食堂第二話:上海菜飯

This is installment two of my late night cooking series.  This time, I’ll be introducing Shanghai Vegetable Rice, which I dub as the Asian style risotto.  I have to admit, this late night cooking project was brought on by a hangry attack and rescued by a sneal. I have a love for U.S. slang and play on words (how ingenious is the word brunch?)  Two  examples that have amused me to no end lately, are the words “hangry” (hungry + angry) and “sneal” (snack + meal).   When you are in a hangry situation, it’s not enough to just throw some fruit or crackers or even a bag of chips at the situation. Instead, you need something warm, and preferably with carbs.

The ingredients for Shanghai Vegetable rice are simple; you need bok choy, sausage and mushrooms, and some garlic and ginger for seasoning. I also had some leftover fresh mushrooms left from dinner, so I added those in too. If you’re extra prepared, then you can include broth to steam the rice in, but if you’re caught short like me, 1) you can just either use water, or 2) quickly steep the mushroom stems in some hot water and pretend it’s “mushroom broth” (waste not, want not!)

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Late night cooking series: Shanghai Vegetable Rice ingredients

你們有聽過美國最近的流行詞嗎? 就是 “hangry” (hungry+ angry) 意思就是 ”餓到生氣“  ”餓到胞“ ”餓到抓狂“ ~ 還有 ”sneal” (snack + meal) 代表一個比較有份量的點心, 但不算是正餐。 這次 的深夜食堂, 要介紹給大家的是 上海菜飯。   上海菜飯這個 sneal  真的可以消除 hangry 的感覺 (雖然吃宵夜也不是好的習慣, 但比直把一包洋芋片塞進肚子裡好一些些吧?)

The steps to make Shanghai Vegetable Rice are quite straightforward too. First you brown the garlic, add in the sausages, then you stir in the rice (raw rice! not cooked!) Lastly, you gently fold in the bok choy.

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Then you add in your broth or water, and pop the lid onto the pot and turn the heat to a low simmer and hope for the best. I’ve almost never cooked rice in a pot before (I have a rice cooker which requires no skill or brain power whatsoever, as long as you measure properly, remember to plug it in, and turn it on) so this process of cooking rice in a pot makes me a bit nervous.  I almost just about imploded from anxiety when the liquid was absorbed, but the rice was still a tiny bit hard.  Luckily for me, (and the rice) my phone rang, so I turned the heat off, popped the lid back on and proceeded to chat with my friend about 10 -15 minutes or so.  And… that was indeed the magic trick.  After I turned the heat off, the rice continued to steam in the residual heat of the pot, and it turned out to be perfection.

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步驟其實滿簡單的。 我那個傍晚本來是餓的發昏, 就先吃了一點水果, 然後開著音樂在廚房裡的備料跟烹飪 (聽起來真的很享受!)

打開鍋蓋時,本來以為飯煮的太硬了。還好那時候手機響了, 我就把火關了,鍋蓋蓋上,跟朋友聊天。 過了差不多15-20 分鐘以後, 再掀開鍋蓋, 發覺飯粒軟的剛剛好。 哈哈 太好了!

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Of course, there was enough rice left for dinner the next day, and enough to make a tiny bento to shove in the back of the fridge to stave off hangry attacks that may occur later in the week.

Enjoy!

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Recipe for Shanghai Vegetable Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Bok Choy (chopped)  (about 6-10 small bunches)
  • 1 1/2  cups uncooked rice
  • 4 Chinese sausages (diced)
  • mushrooms (either dried or fresh, I didn’t measure, I just used what I had left)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (some of the cloves I used were tiny, so I threw in a couple extra for good measure)
  • 1 1/2 cups broth (or water)
  • salt to taste
  • oil

Directions

  1.  Cut the bok choy, mushrooms and sausages.
  2. Stir fry the garlic and mushrooms.
  3. Add in the rinsed and uncooked rice, stir.
  4. Add in the bok choy, stir gently until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Put the lid on the pot, and bring to gentle simmer over medium heat (about 15 minutes)
  6. Lift the pot lid, check to see if the broth has been absorbed.  If not, cook gently for another 2 minutes or so.  If so, turn off the heat, replace the lid and let the rice sit for about 15-20 minutes.
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