I think I’ve mentioned before how much I dislike lunch. Or how much I dislike traditional American lunch meals (sandwiches, salads, etc). I was recently at a friend’s house for lunch, for a playdate, and the mom is Korean American and she served us kind of an ultra-simplified bi bim bap: rice with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, some veggies, soy sauce, etc. It was absolutely brilliant–and made me realize how limited I am in my conception of lunch. Many Asians just automatically have rice made all day long, but not being Asian (and enjoying many different kinds of rice), I of course do not do that. But it does not mean that quickly making rice is difficult.
We have started experimenting with various rice dishes for lunch, most reminiscent of Korean or Japanese food, and the results have awesome. The kids love it, I love it. The seasoning is simple yet tasty. The idea is not unique or fancy, but it took my friend making something similar for lunch for it to occur to me. So in case it has not occurred to you, I now pass on the idea.
1 cup Kokuho Rose rice (or jasmine or some other sticky rice), cooked according to preference
3-6 eggs, scrambled (amount depends on how much your guests like eggs)
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 T minced garlic (I use bottled for lunch)
1 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
1-2 cups thinly sliced shitake mushrooms (we use more as it is our favorite part)
1-2 T Japanese style soy sauce, to taste
1 T dark sesame oil
Korean fermented chile pepper paste, optional
rice vinegar and honey, optional condiments
Make the rice–while it is cooking, prepare the eggs and set them aside.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok. Add the onions on high heat and stir fry until translucent and soft. When they reach this point, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Then add the garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir. Add the sesame oil and stir. Remove from heat. Serve the rice, topped by egg and the veggies. Serve with a dollop of Korean fermented Chile pepper paste (or some other Asian hot sauce). I also like some honey and rice vinegar drizzled onto it.