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Meatless Day Challenge: Savory Breakfast Brown Rice Bowl

Posted Jan 26 2010 12:00am

What do you eat for breakfast? I’m actually curious what people eat at the start of the day. My breakfast choices have improved compared many years ago. I used to eat cereal in boxes with milk but it doesn’t give me the satisfaction being set for the day. I also had my share of eating white bread with peanut butter, luncheon meat (the ever famous Spam), sausages, hotdogs and corned beef; some days are plain congee with dried pork floss and salted eggs; pancakes and waffles are always a favorite served with fake maple syrup; and of course Fridays are always bacon and fried eggs.

But these days, I want to eat something different, something unconventional for breakfast. At least, they are familiar for my taste. When I have leftover rice, I would combine them with chicken broth and add whatever ingredients that I have on the fridge. And I would do the same thing with soba noodles. And if I don't have anything, I can always have a smoothie.

Filipinos are big on eating rice (garlic fried rice) for breakfast either with chicken adobo, pork tocino, beef tapa or fried milkfish with egg and it’s served with a sweet pickled papaya relish called atsara. I prefer to eat them than bread. Some of them are good choices depending on how it’s cooked and they can be eaten any time of the day, and that includes past midnight.

But for this week’s meatless challenge, I want something fresh and clean-tasting for breakfast such us this brown rice cooked with hijiki (a type of sea vegetable) served with boiled egg, some vegetables and a toasted sesame seed and miso dressing. I had this for breakfast before when there’s nothing left to eat and I don’t feel like eating anything that I’ve mentioned above. In the fridge, I have the leftover rice, the vegetables and the dressing, and I all have to do is to cook some eggs. I don’t want to eat them cold so I steam the rice and heat up the vegetables while the eggs are cooking. When I don’t have any vegetables available and I don’t have the time to cook, I use kimchi instead. It's very simple dish but absolutely satisfying.

The toasted sesame seed and miso dressing that I posted last July is great with almost anything. But I lowered the amount of honey used and replaced with additional soy sauce. You can also double or triple the recipe. And if the dressing is not available, I serve this with miso soup instead. After having this meal, I feel more grounded and concentrated ready to face the day. This is also a dish that I could eat for lunch or dinner.

Savory Breakfast Brown Rice Bowl

Makes 4 servings

Brown Rice
1 tbsp dried hijiki
1 cup short-grain brown rice (soaked in water overnight with 2 tsp whey, buttermilk, yogurt or kefir)
1¾ cups water
½ tsp unrefined sea salt

Toasted Sesame Seed and Miso Dressing
¼ cup white sesame see
3 tbsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
3 tbsp shoyu
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp shiro miso (miso paste)
2 tbsp honey
½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
shichimi-togarashi (7-spice powder) to taste

4 eggs
vegetables of your choice (steamed, blanched or stir-fried)

To prepare the rice, first soak the hijiki in cold water for 10 minutes. Then rinse and drain well. Next, drain, rinse and place the soaked rice in a large pot with water. Add ½ tsp of salt and hijiki. Bring to boil, then lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook the rice for 45 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. This can be prepared in advance.

To start the dressing, place the sesame seeds into a frying pan. Turn heat to low and toast sesame seeds shaking the pan occasionally until light golden brown. Transfer to plate and allow to cool.

In another bowl, combine the rice vinegar, shoyu, sake, shiro miso, honey, sesame oil and togarashi with a wire whisk.

When the sesame seeds have cooled down transfer to a spice grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. I prefer not to grind the sesame seeds into a powder.Add the flaked sesame seeds with the other ingredients and whisk until combined. Transfer to a bowl or a jar. Set aside until ready to use. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Stir with a spoon before using.

To cook the egg, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer. Lower the eggs with a slotted spoon and cook for 8 minutes for soft-boiled egg or 12 minutes for hard-boiled egg. When the eggs are ready, transfer them onto an ice bath. When cooled, remove from the ice and peel.

To serve the rice dish, scoop the rice on a bow large bowl, cut the egg in half and place it on top along with the vegetables. Serve with the dressing.


Gluten-Free (if wheat-free soy or tamari is used; Lacto-Ovo Vegan; Dairy Free

The brown rice, vegetables and dressing can be prepared in advance.

Gain a better understanding on how to cook eggs by checking this lesson Cooking Eggs Part 1 by Rouxbe Online Cooking School.

So, what are you having for breakfast?

Love and light,

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