Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rice with Shrimp, Spinach, and Egg Sprinkles & Mushroom

Oh my!  I'm so sorry!  I actually made this last night, but I completely forgot to post it up until this morning.  I'm blaming it all on visiting the kitties in the engine room.  At least Kirby, Tubby, and Niki were grateful for the treats, and Willy got a good dinner last night....and Tubby.  But enough about kitties--I felt like having rice last night, and I always wanted to try making these "sprinkles" to put on it.  This is a modification of a classic bento lunch that moms often make for their kids in Japan.  Of course, mine's not in a box and I used shrimp instead of fish, and I added mushrooms, but who's counting?  It's the same idea, anyway.  This is super easy and just about everyone should have the ingredients for this.  The only thing you might not be able to find readily is the mirin, but I think you should just be able to substitute a little sugar water, and you can use any sort of mushroom you want if you don't like or can't find shiitake.  I know this looks like a lot of work, but each item only takes a minute or two to cook, so it's actually done faster than you would think.  (And if anyone is wondering why my egg looks a little funny colored, I used the same spatula the whole time and I had some of the sticky soy sauce mixture stuck on the spatula after cooking the mushrooms.  It tastes just fine, it's just stained from the soy sauce.)


Rice with Shrimp, Spinach, and Egg Sprinkles & Mushroom

Ingredients:

1/3 c. rice (rinse it if you're using white rice)
1/2 c. water
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 raw shrimp, pealed and de-veined
large handful of baby spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. brown sugar (you can use white sugar, too)
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. mirin (or use 1/4 tsp. sugar with 1/2 tsp. water)
vegetable oil
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)
nori seaweed, cut into 1/4 in. strips (optional, to serve)

Mix the rice and measured water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid on the stove and bring the water to a boil.  Continue to cook the rice until all the liquid is absorbed, but don't let the rice burn.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes minimum.

Put the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  When reconstituted, slice into 1/2 in. strips and set aside.

Rinse the spinach and drain.  Heat a dry small frying pan and add the spinach.  The water still clinging to the leaves should be enough moisture.  Cook until the spinach has wilted.  Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.  When cool, mince the spinach into little pieces (sprinkles).

Heat a little oil in the pan, then add the shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp turns pink, then remove from the pan and mince into little pieces (sprinkles). 

There should be enough oil residue in the pan, so add the mushrooms along with the soy sauce and mirin.  It should come to a frothy boil.  Continue to cook and stir the mushrooms until nearly all the liquid has boiled away and the mushrooms are well glazed.  Be careful not to let it burn.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan. 

At this point, you could just cook the egg in the glaze in the pan, or you can pour water in the pan to deglaze it, then dump out the liquid.  It's up to you.

Beat the sugar and salt into the egg.  Add just a little more oil to the pan, and add the egg.  (Egg butcher-ers unite!!)  Stir the egg around as much as possible and use a slicing motion with your spatula to fully cook the egg and form it into little granules (sprinkles, about 1/8 in. diameter or so).  Remove from heat.

To serve, lay down a bed with the rice on a serving plate.  On one third, sprinkle the shrimp; on another third, sprinkle the spinach, and on the last third, add the egg sprinkles.  Top the egg with the mushrooms, the shrimp with the nori slices, and the spinach with sesame seeds.

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