Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Stir Fried Jasmine Rice with Bulgar, Onions and Mushrooms

Some of the best dishes I learned are the ones that are totally opposite of what I knew how to cook.  I consider myself 'expert' rice cooker and know very well how to cook rice.  Then, came the 'doubt'.  If Rice is one of your staples in your diet, surely you know all about it.  At least we all think that way, but quite a few new varieties - Japanese rice, for example, have been introduced in the past 10 years, I doubt even the culinary best can keep up with them.  GEN-JI-MAI and HAIGA-Rice are two of the Nutri-whole Grain Brown Rice that I enjoy for the last couple of years.  It is advertised as "Gen-JI-MAI is a premium medium grain brown rice that is lightly polished.  This special procedure removes only a limited amount of the outer bran layer, allowing the water to absorb quickly, much in the same was as milled white rice.  This process leaves a product that is not only superior in taste to ordinary brown rice, but one that also cooks quicker.   Since 100% of the rice germ (HAIGA) and much of the healthy bran layer are left intact, GEN-JI-MAI is much more nutritious than ordinary milled white rice, with: 64% more Fiber, 286% more Potassium,  583% more Magnesium, 161% more Vitamin B6, 1,021% more Vitamin E, and 400% more Antioxidant capacity.  You also benefit from the convenient quick cooking time of GEN--JI-MAI."   While the cooking direction in the back of the package indicates to use the "rice cooker" manufacture's suggested rice to water ratio, I find some of the new crops require half cup less water than the older brand.  I have 30 years old rice cooker from Japan.  The ratio of rice to water has changed by 1/2 cup since the introduction of 'new crop'.  Before the appearance of rice imprinted with 'new crop' on its bag, whether I cook Thailand rice or short grain, the ratio was 1:1 with my rice cooker.  Now, with new crop, it is 1:1/2.  However, interestingly, when the rice is cooked with ZOJIRUSHI brand 'atomic' rice cooker -- I call it 'atomic' because it is pre-programmed to cook mixed rice, brown rice, sushi texture rice, hard rice, soft rice, white rice, quick cooking, etc.  the rice cooker seems to "know"--calibrated to cook all rice at 1:1.   But we noticed that the rice is too soft, as we all prefer "al dente" - the bite feeling with our cooked rice.  So, we cook the new crop rice with 1/3 C less water in the atomic rice cooker. 
All around the world, there are many different types of rice - Long grain, medium grain, short grain, sweet rice, varieties of grains.  Learning just a couple of different methods of preparation certainly has changed my diet in the last couple months and to a better health.  And this is one of them.
1 C Thailand three ladies Jasmine Rice - "new crop"- washed to remove talc - water is clear during rinsing,1/2 C Bulgar, 4 Tb Clarified butter, 1/2 C chopped onions, 1/2 C chopped mushrooms.  1/4 C dry white wine.  2 C Hot Boiling homemade chicken stock (you might not need all 2 C of stock.)  Saute onions and mushrooms in 2-1/2 Tb clarified butter and evaporate liquid from mushroom.   Add the rest of the butter.  Stir in rice and Bulgar and coat well with butter.  Add dry white wine.  Let rice mixture absorb all liquid and mix well with onions and mushrooms.  Add hot stock 1/2 cup at a time.  Stirring rice mixture, let the rice absorb.  Repeat.  Stirring.  The method is similar to making Paella and Risotto.  The finished rice should not be soupy or soggy, but fluffy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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