Because you don’t want to study (so you eat clay pot rice!)
I’ve been eating out a lot recently. It takes a lot of time to cook, and, honestly, during finals, my poor brain gets depressed and only wants to eat something tasty without having to think about how to get there. Plus I don’t want to have too much food left in my fridge when I move out in two weeks (omg, so soon!). So if you asked me what I’ve been eating recently . . . I’d have to tell you “I don’t know,” because I have been stuffing my face with food that I would not, in good conscience, serve to friends or at a dinner party.
But then again, that’s how it goes, right? The life of a single girl living in a city where cooking for one is never easy– or cheap.
But yesterday I decided that I was going to cook lunch, and I was going to do it right (instead of whipping up a quick saute of broccoli or simple bread’n’cheese sandwich).
I’ve been reading through my friend’s old, discarded Food+Wine magazines, and one day I stumbled upon an issue that had an article about Hung Huynh, the winner of the 3rd season of Top Chef (2007). There were several of his recipes attached, one of which was the following recipe, and I finally decided that it was high time I started cooking “real” food again. At least, every now and then.
The crusty rice reminds me of dolsot bibimbap (a Korean dish involving a sizzling-hot stone bowl filled with rice, veggies, meat, egg, etc.), but the flavors are completely different. Hung’s recipe called for bacon, but as I didn’t want to buy an entire box of bacon because I’d have a massive amount of leftovers (as I said earlier– cooking for one person is difficult), I used half a can of spam and cooked that until it was crispy. The original recipe is here: Hung’s Clay Pot Rice.
I didn’t have bacon, so I substituted half a can of low-sodium spam. And because there isn’t nearly as much fat in spam as there is in bacon, I added 2 tbsp of olive oil while sauteing the spam to compensate. I have also changed the directions below to follow what I did. (There’s a pic of me to the right, chowin’ down. Yummay!)
- 1 cup short-grain rice (7 ounces)
- 3 ounces mixed mushrooms such as oyster and stemmed shiitake, quartered if large (2 cups)
- 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 can of low sodium spam, cut in thin squares (think of what diced bacon would look like, and try to imitate)– you can use less spam, if you want
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. In a bowl, cover the rice with water and let soak until the grains turn white, about 1 hour. Drain the rice.
2. In another bowl, toss the mushrooms and scallions with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper; let marinate for 10 minutes.
3. In a small, enameled cast-iron casserole, clay pot or medium saucepan, add the olive oil and cook the spam over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soaked rice and stir to coat with the fat. Add the marinated mushrooms and scallions, the water and the remaining 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Drizzle the oil around the edge of the pot so it runs down the insides.
4. Cover the pot and cook the rice over low heat until tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 10 minutes. Raise the heat to high and cook the rice, covered, until sizzling and a crust forms on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Serves 4 (although I ended up eating half of it all on my own . . . hey, stress of finals. A girl’s got to keep up her energy! Brain food!)
Speaking of which . . . time to get back and crank through some intellectual property law! 😀 Wish me luck, everyone!
Filed under: Homemade, law school, photography, Recipes | 7 Comments
Tags: asian, Chinese Trinity, clay pot, GGS, Hung Huynh, law school, rice, san francisco, scallions, spam, top chef