18 April 2011

Purple and paradigm-shifting

Hello?  Oh, hi!  Just was yearning for some inspiration...and starting to feel lonely as my favorite blogs haven't been updated in a while.  Then I realized I'm a bit guilty myself, so hi! here's another post from me!  What have you been up to in the kitchen lately?  Leave me a comment--I'd love hear about your adventures and be inspired by you guys!  And in exchange, here's a dish that has revolutionized my view of rice.

I first had this purple rice a couple months ago at a restaurant in Los Angeles' Koreatown.  The striking color, the surprising addition of black beans, and the crispy layer of rice that formed in the bottom of the stone pot all captivated me, and after coming home I immediately set about investigating how to make this kind of rice.

After researching a number of recipes, I confess I was a little overwhelmed.  Known as Ogokbap (오곡밥), or "Five Grain Rice," the authentic versions are made with a combination of glutinous rice, black beans, glutinous African millet, sweet red bean, and glutinous rice millet (though some have barley in there as well as wild rice), and each ingredient has its own individual soaking and cooking specifications.  How do you coordinate all that while making all the other dishes involved with the meal?  I knew I had to streamline this somehow.

Enter my version, which I'm calling "Four Grain Rice."  Much easier than the elaborate recipes I've read to date, with ingredients that are not so hard to find.  (For example, I just haven't been able to find glutinous African millet anywhere, so that got nixed from the recipe.)

It's a healthy rice dish, with protein and fiber from the beans, and I'm thrilled by what a breeze it is to prepare it!  Try making this next time instead of your usual steamed white rice! 

Four-Grain Rice
Serves 2-3

2 Tbs. dried black beans
½ cup sweet/glutinous white rice (chapssal, 찹쌀)
2 Tbs. wild sweet rice
2 Tbs. pearled barley
¼ tsp. salt (optional)

Soak the black beans in a cup of water overnight at room temperature.

On the day of cooking, place the white rice, wild rice, and barley together in a pot, cover with water, and soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Strain all water from the rice and beans, and then place them together in a pot.  Add 1 cup water and salt (if using) and cover pot with a well-fitting lid.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce burner to low and cook for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and let continue to steam for at least 10 minutes.  (Do not open lid during cooking!)

Before serving, lightly fluff rice with chopsticks or skewers.

P.S. The pearled barley I used stayed kind of chewy; if you don't like crunchy bits in your rice, substitute the real Korean-style barley, which is split and polished a bit more than regular pearled barley found in the USA.


The Church Cook said...

Oh, Erica! It delights my Korean heart whenever I see your beautifully made Korean foods. And here multi-grain rice! Looks fabulous in individual earthen ware. :) I have this week off from church cooking so I have been cleaning & organizing my house. And it feels so good! Have a great Easter week! Hugs.

Susan Lindquist said...

This little bowl of steamed grains and beans looks wonderful ... I am wishing a for a side a pulled pork or shredded beef and vegetables to go with ...

erica said...

mmm....great idea! I've actually got a spicy pork soup that I want to share next--it goes great with this rice!

Anonymous said...

I'll be leaving soon for Korea to pick up my new daughter and I'm so looking forward to eating Korean food 24/7. I was thinking how much you would enjoy visiting Seoul and eating the food! I swear you've got a bit of "seoul" in you!

Unknown said...

erica - Your four grain rice looks great. So are you sure you don't have any Korean in you? Just kidding. These days, there are all kinds of mixed grains sold in packages commonly with seven grains and even nine grains. I usually buy 9 grain mix. It's a staple in my pantry.

erica said...

hi hyosun--that is a good tip! i guess in my excitement to find all the individual grains in my ingredients list i didn't even think to look for a nice mix! a 9-grain combination sounds wonderful! :)

hillary said...

hi erica - as i was looking at the photos of this dish i was thinking that finger millet might be a nice addition if you're looking to add another texture. it might just be the way i cook it, but i've never managed to get it completely soft, it always has a bit of a bite that squeaks against your teeth, and they're super tiny little grains so it might be a nice pop in there. the color of it would work really well in there too, such a gorgeous purple.

great blog, by the way!

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