Indonesian Rice Bowl
This satisfying one-dish meal comes from one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s favorite food writers, Renee Shepherd. The popular peanut sauce—and the version in this recipe is perfect—is one of the definitive tastes of the Southeast Asian and Thai cuisines. It all settles beautifully with Thai jasmine rice.
This simplified version of the rijsttafel table, a popular full-rice meal in Indonesia, looks incredibly festive served with all the condiments.
1 cup Thai jasmine rice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2½ cups fresh or frozen petite peas (2 pounds fresh unshelled)
2½ cups shredded, sautéed tofu (or organic chicken)
½ cup hot vegetable stock
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, white parts only, minced (chop the green tops for garnish)
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
Separate small bowls of chutney, sliced bananas, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut, minced fresh cilantro leaves, mandarin orange segments, chopped applies, plain yogurt.
1. Make the rice. If using a rice cooker, coat the rice cooker bowl with non-stick cooking spray or a film of vegetable oil. Place the rice in the rice bowl. Add the water; swirl to combine. Close the cover and set for the regular cycle. If cooking in a pan, follow the cooking directions on the package.
2. Make the sauce. In a medium-size saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until the mixture achieves a sauce-like consistency. Cover and keep warm.
3. When the rice is ready (if using a rice cooker, when it switches to the Keep Warm cycle), sprinkle the peas and tofu on top of the rice. Close the cover and let set for 20 minutes.
4. Transfer the rice mixture to a warmed serving platter with sloped sides. Pour the hot stock and peanut sauce over the rice. Stir gently to combine the peas and tofu with the stock and peanut sauce. Sprinkle with the green onion tops and peanuts. Serve immediately with a choice of condiments.
Adapted from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, et al (The Harvard Common Press, 2002).