Fried Brown Rice With Tamarind & Dates
We are now knee deep into Fall, and I’ve heard through the grapevine that some towns north of Toronto have had snow already (eek!). So, needless to say, I’m on the hunt for warming and comforting dishes that I can cozy up on the couch with and watch a movie, while day dreaming of warmer days.
One of my favorite things to eat is fried rice, but since the gluten allergy reared it’s ugly head, I haven’t been able to indulge (not like I want to any more because of all the MSG) in fried rice from my local Chinese Food restaurant. Did you know that most soya sauces contain wheat?
Of course, I could make fried rice myself, and I could use wheat-free tamari, but I thought I would try something new…something a little bit different. I prefer to eat brown or wild rice, instead of white rice. So, I went straight to my man, who is a chef FYI (lucky me!) to discuss my options.
He suggested that I make wild and brown fried rice, flavored with tamarind, dates and sesame seeds. And, that brings us to today’s Food Love recipe.
I made this brown fried rice recipe, yesterday, and I must say…it’s amazing! It ticks all the boxes: a little bit sour, a little bit sweet; and, I put a small amount of hot chili pepper for a little bit of heat.
This rice bowl is so comforting and hardy! It’s perfect for the cold winters days that are about to storm and blow. And, you know what the best part about this recipe is? You get to experience a taste explosion when you get a spoonful of rice with a piece of mellow, sweet date hidden inside. Yum!
- 3/4 of a cup of brown basmati rice
- 1/4 of a cup of wild rice
- I cup, plus 3/4 of a cup of water
- 1/2 red onion (chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced thinly)
- 3 cups of chopped bok choy
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- I large garlic clove (minced)
- 2 tbsp of fresh ginger root (minced)
- A handful of chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp of finely chopped red chili pepper
- 2 one-inch chunks of raw tamarind pulp
- 4 medjool dates (chopped)
- 4 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp of coconut oil (you can also use grapeseed or peanut oil)
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- Heat up a medium sized pot on the stove. Once heated, add the brown and wild rice. Toast the rice for 3 minutes: stir the rice constantly.
- To the rice, add 1 cup, plus 3/4 of a cup of water (it’s quickest to add boiled water from a kettle).
- Once the water is up to a boil, move the pot to the smallest burner on the stove. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, add a pinch of sea salt, and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the rice for 45 minutes.
- Put the two one-inch chunks of tamarind pulp into a small bowl. Add 3 tbsp of boiling water. Let the tamarind soften for 10 minutes. Mash and squeeze the pulp with a spoon a couple of times. You want to squeeze out all of the softened pulp from the tamarind.
- Strain out the tamarind fibers, by pouring the tamarind pulp into a wire mesh strainer, placed over a bowl. Push the pulp through the stainer with the back of a spoon.
- Place the sesame seeds in a small pan. Turn the heat up to high. Toss the seeds constantly over the heat, until they turn a golden brown colour.
- Heat a wok on high heat. Once heated add the coconut oil. Then add the onions, ginger and chopped chili peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic, bok choy, red bell peppers and carrots. Continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes, until the veggies are softened to your liking.
- To the veggies add the dates, half of the tamarind pulp and rice. Turn the heat up to high. Mix and toss the rice in the wok, constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- After 4-5 minutes of continually tossing the rice in the wok, add the remaining tamarind pulp, sesame seed oil, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.
- Taste the rice. Ask yourself, “is there enough salt?”. If the rice tastes bland, add a little bit more salt.