It’s hard for me not to be racist since I was born and raised first in an almost exclusively-white suburb of Detroit, then raised later in another almost-exclusively white suburb of highly conservative Cincinnati. In a Midwestern sea of blonde hair and light-colored eyes tagged with last names like Miller, Parker, and Robertson, an ebony-headed broad face with slits for eyes and a last name that is oddly always difficult to pronounce for having only one syllable was something of an anomaly on the receiving end of racial stereotyping — science freak math geek kimchee reek violin virtuoso whose family owns one of only two Chinese restaurants in the city (one of them is actually Japanese but, you know).
Wait…just…one…second here. How is it that I’m racist?
In case it wasn’t totally obvious from the profile photo of my chin up there in the sidebar, I’m Asian. That science freak math geek kimchee reek was me — except that I was neither quantitatively intelligent nor musically talented and my parents have never owned an Oriental restaurant in their lives. Kimchee sin reeking to heaven, though, is another story. About as close as my parents have gotten to a stereotypical honest oriental living was…nothing. Dry cleaners? Liquor store? Nail salon? My parents are probably part of the reason why I am a little bit racist toward Orientals.
Oops, I meant “Asian.”
But before we get any further into what will most certainly be self-offensive, let’s see who wins the copy of the Complete Whole Grains Cookbook, out of which, there was very surprisingly a recipe for Bi Bim Bap…
Jane! Number 18? Or, in a different, non-white language…uh, “18?” The Random Integer Generator picked you for The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook so you can cook for your diabetic Dad! Please send an email to me at sarah[at]thedeliciouslife[dot]com with your mailing address and I’ll have my people send it out.
“My people,” meaning , pretty much, “me.”
Korean-Style Rice Bowl
from The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook
Makes 4 servings
3 cups hot cooked short-grain brown rice
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sliced green beans, blanched
1 cup diced carrots, blanched
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 green onions, white part with a bit of green, thinly sliced
1 cup diced English cucumber
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Asian chili paste, such as sambal oelek
1 Tbsp sesame oil
4 eggs, optional
Preheat oven to 400.
1. Spread rice in a thin layer in prepared pan. Brush lightly with 2 tsp vegetable oil and bake in preheated oven until crusty, about 15 minutes. Set aside
2. Meanwhile, in a wok, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, until mushrooms lose their liquid, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1 Tbsp of oil to wok. Add green beans, carrots and bell pepper and cook, stirring until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a bowl, combine green onions and cucumber. Toss with rice vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine chili paste and sesame oil. Set aside.
6. Divide baked rice into 4 bowls. Arrange mushroom, green bean and cucumber mixtures over top. Drizzle with a small amount of chili-sesame oil and place remainder in a small dish to pass at the table.
7. If using eggs, heat remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in wok. Add eggs, 2 at a time, and fry until crispy brown around the edges. Top each rice bowl with a fried egg and serve immediately. Serve with kimchi, is using.
Brown Rice Risotto
from The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook
Makes 6 servings
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups homemade vegetable stock or reduced-sodium chicken stock
½ dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp butter, optional
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley, optional
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. In a bowl, combine rice and water. Stir well and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, drain, reserving soaking liquid.
2. In a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add stock, wine and reserved soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Add drained rice and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes, placing a heat diffuser on the element, if necessary, to keep the mixture at a true simmer. Remove lid, stir well and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in butter, parsley and cheese, if using.