紫米秋葵舟 Okra Rice Boat
Okra and mushrooms are two of my favorites. So put them in one dish is a lot of fun to cook. Being a part-time vegan myself, I think it’s very important not just to eat a balanced diet, but the food also need to be enjoyable to my tastebuds as to my eyes. So here come the little okra boats filled with black rice, jasmine rice, diced mushroom, and okra seeds filling. The two rice mixture is first stir fried with okra seeds, fine diced champignon braun, drizzle of sesame oil to give a tasty flavor then fill in the halved, deseeded okra to steam and sauté. Pumpkin puree adds moisture and creamy texture to balance the sauteed okra.
- 5-6 okra
- 1 cup of *steamed black rice and jasmine rice mixture
- 2-3 brown mushrooms (or any other types of mushrooms etc. shiitake, chanterelle, pleurotus, shimeji… mushroom portion can vary depending on how much minced mushroom)
- 200g pumpkin
*When I cook rice for a meal, I usually mix rice with other whole grains or beans such as quinoa, soy beans, black beans… for healthier meal. (Finely milled white rice is high glycemic index food. So it’s always better to choose whole grain rice then white rice, even though white rice does taste better!) The steamed black rice and jasmine rice mixture is such a product from my last dinner. Overnight steamed rice is best for making stir fry rice because it’s drier, less sticky. so I use it for the okra boat filling. If you don’t have black rice or jasmine rice, using any other steamed rice is fine. You can even replace steamed rice with cooked quinoa, which is richer protein source.
- Rinse okra under water then rub with salt to remove the fuzz on its surface, then rinse again and pat dry. If your okra is young and tender, you can skip the rubbing part (even if you don’t defuzz okra, it is fine to cook with it). Chop the top of the pod off, halve it, then empty the seeds. You will find okra becomes slimy after you cut it open. I usually just neglect it since it’s no harm and this slimness is part of the reason okra is a superfood. However, if you really don’t like the slimy liquid coming out from okra, you can try to freeze cleaned okra half way then prepare it. Keep the seeds for later stir-fry and set halved okra aside.
- Mince mushrooms. Bring a frying pan to medium heat, drizzle sesame oil, then add in the minced mushroom and okra seeds to stir fry a few minutes until mushroom softens then add in steamed black and jasmine rice, bring down to low heat. Continue stir fry for 2-3 minutes, season with a pinch of salt and *shiitake powder then remove to a bowl.
- Mix 1/2 tsp of potato starch with 1 tbs of water well, sprinkle the mixture on the fried rice content and blend evenly. Potato starch serves to bind the rice content together after it is steamed to better form a shape on the halved okra. Fill okra with the rice content then steam the raw okra boat for 6 minutes in medium heat.
- Boil steam or microwave pumpkin until soften then chop and remove pumpkin chunks into food processor. (I usually keep pumpkin skin to process together if it is an organic, younger pumpkin) Add in sprinkle of salt, 2-3 tbs of fresh double cream (or enough to make it smooth), grated nutmeg and process until the pumpkin puree is ready.
- Remove the okra boats from steamer. Heat up a non-stick pan to medium heat, drizzle olive oil. Put in okra boats when oil is hot enough, sautée the bottom of the okra, not the filling for 3-5 minutes until okra surface slightly dries up, about to turn brown, then switch off heat.
- Reomve okra boats from pan, plate with pumpkin puree, garnish with sprouts, goji berries, pepper flowers as you like.
*Shiitake powder can be homemade from dried shiitake mushrooms, rock sugar, dried kombu (or kelp) as a natural flavor enhancer. This is due to shiitake mushroom’s umami flavor produced by its animo acid called glutamate. Natural glutamate is not the same as artificial additive MSG (Monosodium glutamate) that’s unhealthy to your body. Shiitake powder is easy to make, I will upload the making of shiitake powder in my new post soon.