Let’s Talk Food: Rice bowls

When you think of a rice bowl, or your complete meal all in one bowl, we in Hawaii immediately think about a loco moco or bibimbap. But that concept we grew up with is now a fad on the mainland and is a hot “new” thing!

I found a restaurant at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that made meals in a bowl. Its breakfast bowls include:


• Pork belly, egg and rice — pork belly with scrambled eggs, green onions and carrots on a bed of rice.

• Spam, egg and rice — Spam with scrambled eggs, green onions and carrots on a bed of rice.

• Tofu, egg and rice — tofu with scrambled eggs, green onions and carrots on a bed of rice.

• Chicken, egg and rice — shredded chicken with scrambled eggs, green onions and carrots on a bed of rice.

Here are a couple of rice bowls from Cuisine that, like a bibimbap, have the protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.

Asian Brown Rice &Tofu Bowl with Shiitake Mushrooms

Makes: 4 servings


1 package extra-firm tofu (14 ounces) drained and sliced into 3 planks


3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided

3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

1 scallion, whites and greens separated and minced

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

4 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided

2 tablespoons grated ginger

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vegetable oil


8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned

1 1/2 cups julienned carrots

1 zucchini, shredded or spiralized


2 cups cook brown rice

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1 cup cooked shelled edamame

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Press tofu by using two baking sheets. Place planks on a baking sheet lined with paper towel and place the other on top of the planks, topped with paper towels, followed with cans and press 25 minutes, changing out paper towels once.

Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat for the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons garlic and minced scallion whites, cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons grated ginger, honey, chili garlic sauce and scallion greens, bring to a simmer, then transfer to a mini food processor and puree. Thin ginger-garlic sauce to desired consistency with 1-2 tablespoons water.

Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and toss with cornstarch until coated.

Cook tofu in two batches in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil per batch in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until golden brown, 4-5 minutes per batch; transfer to plate. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until lightly browned, 5 minutes; transfer to plate. Cook carrots with 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic sauce until crisp and tender, 2 minutes; transfer to plate. Cook zucchini with 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic sauce until just softened, 2 minutes; transfer to plate

Combine rice, sliced scallions, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic.

Divide rice, tofu, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and edamame among bowls. Garnish with sesame seed and serve with ginger-garlic sauce.

Note: Tofu adds plant protein, with no cholesterol; brown rice contains fiber, Vitamin B6 and magnesium; zucchini and carrots are good sources of Vitamins A and C, important for eye and bone health as well as the immune system.

Wild Rice &Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

Serves: 4

For the turkey, combine:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound turkey tenderloins

For the vinaigrette, whisk:

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic

1 teaspoon minced orange zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the bowl, combine:

3 cups cooked wild rice

1 teaspoon minced orange zest

6 cups sliced romaine hearts

3/4 cup halved fresh orange segments

3/4 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced red onion

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

For the turkey, combine 1 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon salt, granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; rub turkey with spice mixture.

Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add turkey to skillet and cook until lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the thickest parts register 165 degrees, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and slice when cool.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together fresh orange juice, vinegar, oil, tarragon, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

For the bowl, combine rice and 1 teaspoon zest.

Divide turkey, rice, romaine, orange segments, celery, red onion and cranberries among serving bowls; drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with walnuts.

Note: Turkey has 28 grams of protein, less than 2 grams of fat; walnuts have healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; wild rice is high in magnesium, potassium and Vitamin B6; dried cranberries contain fiber and potassium.

Foodie bites


Hawaii Community College’s Culinary Arts Cafeteria is open from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today till Friday. Call 934-2559 for takeout orders.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.

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