Friday, February 17, 2012

Japanese 7 Spice Rice Bowl with Greens...

Yesterday I was really craving greens, all kinds of greens! Anything from broccoli to kale to collards to cabbage. Originally I had planed to make some sauteed Swiss Chard with Baked Tempeh but as the day drew nearer it’s close I started longing for something a little less involved. I started thinking about rice, which got me thinking about Japanese food, which in turn got me thinking about sushi. Sushi, now there was an idea! Except it was eight o’clock at night and after a couple hours of hard study I wasn’t really in the mood to break out the bamboo mat and start rolling Maki.

Instead I decided to make a Japanese inspired rice bowl. One that would combine the flavors I love about sushi, with simplicity and my desire for a plate loaded up with greens. Though you can really use any green veggie you like I strongly suggest the broccoli asparagus combination. Not only do they taste good together but they always taste great with rice. Initially I chose them out of convenience, as I always have bags of frozen broccoli on hand and I had just bought a pound of asparagus the day before yesterday. Convenience or not though it turned out to be a stellar choice.

This bowl is so full of flavor, and I particularly like the application of Japanese 7 Spice here - also known as Shichimi Togarashi - for the subtle heat and refreshing citrus flavor it lends to the dish. This meal is both satisfying and filling yet light. Which is exactly what you want if you’re forced to have a late dinner. You don’t want to be bogged down with digestive distress and gastric upset right before you slip into bed right?

Japanese 7 Spice Rice Bowl with Greens


2 C Brown Rice
2 1/4 C Water
2 tsp Kelp Granules
2 Tbsp Brown Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
½-1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
6 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 tsp Sesame Oil


2 Tbsp non-dairy Mayo
2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 tsp Umeboshi Plum Pate
½ tsp Agave Nectar
1 1/4 tsp Japanese 7 Spice Seasoning (or to taste)

1lb Asparagus trimmed
½-1 lb Broccoli Florets
1 tsp Sesame Oil (or to taste. Optional)
2-4 tsp Sesame Seeds (to taste)

- To make the rice combine rice, water, vinegar, kelp, and sugar in a rice cooker and cook as directed by manufacturer. Or combine in a pot and cook the old fashioned way. (Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 30-45 minutes making sure to check and stir occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn.)

- While rice is cooking heat the tsp of sesame oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the grated ginger and minced garlic. Saute for a few minutes until fragrant and golden. About five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

- Trim asparagus of tough ends and place into a steamer basket along with the broccoli. Or if your steamer basket is small work in batches. Asparagus first then broccoli. Steam the vegetables until they are tender but still a bit crisp, about 5-8 minutes. They should be bright green and vibrant!

- To make sauce combine Mayo, liquid smoke, umeboshi paste, agave and 7 spice seasoning. Taste for flavor and adjust as needed. A word of caution though, both umeboshi and 7 spice seasoning are strong, so a little goes along way. It’s important that you taste the sauce before deciding to add more and If you do add more add it in small increments. Once sauce is combined set aside.

- Once the rice has finished cooking add the sauteed ginger and garlic mixture to the pot. Stir until combined.

- Divide the rice mixture amongst two bowls. Into each bowl place 1-2 Tbsp of the sauce and mix it into the rice until well combined. Top each bowl with an equal amount of asparagus and broccoli.

- Drizzle any remaining sauce over top of the veggies. Divide the remaining 1 tsp of sesame oil and drizzle a half tsp over each bowl. (Optional but recommended) Then sprinkle 1-2 tsp of sesame seeds over top of each bowl. I used black sesame seeds because it was all that I had but feel free to use brown.

- Serve and enjoy!


  1. WOW! This looks so delicious!!!!! We love rice and broccoli! I AM going to make this for sure! Love the dishes you prepare and post!! Thanks! S.T.

  2. You're right about this going together perfectly. It was so delicious! I loved the combination of asparagus, broccoli, & rice mixed w/ that sauce.