Asian Grain Bowl

Looking for a hearty vegetarian dinner? This fits the bill.

Start to finish: 80 minutes (45 active)
Servings: 4


For the miso sesame sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white or red miso
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 ½ tablespoons well stirred tahini
1 teaspoon sugar

For the grain bowl:
1 cup brown rice, wheat berries or whole grain of your choice (you’ll need 3 cups cooked)
8 ounces firm tofu
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
Kosher salt
Black pepper
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1-inch pieces
5 ounces baby spinach
4 large eggs
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Korean chili sauce (Gochujang), Sriracha or the hot sauce of your choice
Kimchi for garnish (optional)

Make the sauce: In a blender combine all of the ingredients with 1 tablespoon water and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Prepare the grain bowl:

Cook the rice, wheat berries or quinoa following the package directions (you should have about 3 cups) and keep warm. Slice the tofu into planks 1/3-inch thick, place the planks between paper towels on a plate, top the plate with another plate and a weight, such as several cans of tomatoes, and set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, season them with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, until they are crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet.

Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, just until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and another pinch of salt to the mushrooms and cook, stirring, just until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet with the carrots.

Cut the tofu planks in half and pat the pieces dry. Heat another 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet, over medium high heat and add the tofu. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes a side. Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet and put the baking sheet of ingredients in the oven to keep warm while you fry the eggs.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat, add the eggs and fry until cooked to desired degree of doneness.

To serve, mound ¾ cup of hot grain into the center of each of 4 shallow bowls. Arrange one fourth of the tofu on top along with one egg and one fourth of the carrots and the spinach mixture. Sprinkle the scallions and sesame seeds over the top and drizzle with the miso sesame sauce and hot sauce. Serve with the kimchi on the side.

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