One of my keys to quarantine success is flavorful food. Mission accomplished.
I’ve made Spicy Beef Sushi Bowl at least 3 times in the past few weeks. The spicy beef and the cool cucumbers, the sticky rice and the crunchy vegetables, the tangy dressing and the flavorful herbs, this is not your run–of-the-mill at-home dinner.
I know the recipe looks like a lot of steps but when one thing is cooking you can knock out 3 other things. Lickedity split.
The first step is the rice.
When you’re making sushi,
rice matters. Sushi rice is short-grain rice. The small, round grains are what you need. Minute Rice, long-grain, or Jasmine rice are not suitable replacements. Sushi rice cooks up sticky and that’s what’s make sushi stick. Look for sushi rice, Japanese rice, or CalRose in the Asian section at the store. While you’re in that aisle, pick up the rice vinegar, fish sauce, chile garlic sauce, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil.
While you may think raw fish where you hear sushi. But sushi refers to the vinegared rice. It’s easy to make.
2 cups cooked short-grain rice, find in the Asian section
¼ cups rice vinegar, find in the Asian section
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Cook rice according to package directions to end up with 2 cups cooked rice. Typically, this is 1 cup uncooked rice 1 cup water equals 2 cups cooked rice.
While the rice is cooking make sushi dressing. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a glass bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave at 50% Power for 30 seconds, stir after 15 seconds. Set aside. Or heat it on the stove over medium-low heat. The goal is to melt the sugar.
Using a wooden spoon, spread cooked rice on a large baking sheet. Drizzle sushi dressing over warm rice (warm rice absorbs the dressing better), stirring gently with wooden spoon to distribute but not smash or compact the rice. Scoop rice into a large bowl. Cover rice with a damp cloth or paper towel until ready to use. This rice is sticky, dipping your hands in cool water helps prevent those little grains from sticking.
Note: This could be done a day or two ahead of time.
Now, let’s get to the other ingredients.
Spicy beef seasoning
2 tablespoons fish sauce, find in the Asian section
2-3 tablespoons chile garlic sauce or Sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
Mix together fish sauce, chile garlic sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, and ginger.
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Spicy Beef In a large skillet, over medium heat, add oil and ground beef. Use a spoon or spatula to break up meat and spread out in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, 4-5 minutes, until bottom is crusty and browned. Turn meat over. Cook 4-5 minutes. You want chunks of crispy meat. Drain fat. Add Spicy Beef Seasoning (chile garlic mixture), lower heat, cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
sushi bowl dressing
2 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
While beef is cooking, combine rice vinegar, fish sauce, water, and sugar in small glass bowl or measuring cup, heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir. The goal is to melt the sugar, so you may need 10 seconds more. Set aside.
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cup cucumber, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ to 1 jalapeno, minced
½ cup fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley), torn into pieces
To toast sesame seeds, heat in skillet over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, until some the seeds pop and they smell toasty.
Layer in a bowl, sushi rice, spicy beef, cucumber, red pepper, jalapeno, fresh herbs. Drizzle with Spicy Beef Sushi Bowl Dressing. Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author.