Asian Menu with Vegetarian Phở

 Sesame Rice for 2

  • 1 cup of arroz yamani (golden rose medium grain brown rice)
  • ½ an onion
  • ½ a red bell pepper (or your fave veg- we used this for the color!)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (pretty and higher in iron than the white ones)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Cook the rice in 2 cups of water, first bring it to a boil then simmer it covered and without stirring it until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Beat the egg with a little salt and cook on a hot skillet, then turn it out onto a cutting board and slice it into strips.
  3. Chop the onion and the pepper or other vegetable.
  4. After the rice is cooked heat the oils together and add the onion, when it begins to soften add the pepper or other vegetables.
  5. The pepper can stay crunchy so add the rice and sesame seeds pretty quickly after adding the pepper. Spread the rice evenly and let it cook without stirring it too much so that it gets a bit crispy. Stirring it too much will make it gummy.
  6. Serve rice topped with omelet strips

We serve this rice as a starter with a cabbage and grated carrot salad. You could use other veggies and maybe cilantro. We dress it with lime-juice, sesame seeds, and a little salt and cayenne pepper.

Vegetarian Phở for 2

(When I don’t know how to make something I look at several recipes to figure out what are the common flavors/ingredients. What we end up making is usually a combo of recipes and is adapted so that it can easily be made with ingredients found in Buenos Aires so that those of you living here can replicate it. I’m sure you Phở fans will notice that we left out the noodles entirely. It’s not that you can’t get them here – you can get rice noodles in Barrio Chino or some dieteticas, it’s that they are hard to eat and I personally like the soup without them! Of course add them if you like them!)

Broth

  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ a cabbage, finely sliced

Toppings (you could actually just be creative with this, try what you like!)

  • Protein such as fried or baked tofu, toasted peanuts, or omelet cut into strips or squares.
  • Vegetables such as mushrooms or brocolli
  • Chile sauce, you could make it by blending spicy chilis with oil. We used La Milagrosa hot sauce available at the Sunday Feria in San Telmo.
  • Chopped chives (could be green onions)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • Large handfuls cilantro and basil
  1. Char onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler (I used the broiler method and it was quite easy, though the ginger never charred as much as the onion) until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.
  2. In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add water, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.
  3. Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and then add cabbage or bok choy. Keep hot until ready to serve.
  4. While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.

To serve fill bowls about ¾ full of broth and then be very generous with the toppings!

We serve this soup as a main dish along with baked butternut squash rounds topped with a bit of wasabi sauce. Just wash and slice the squash – keep the skin on, it’s very nutritious and satisfying to chew, and place in an oiled baking dish. Takes about an hour for the squash to soften and for it’s sweet nutty flavor to come out!

 

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