As featured on NPR. Amazing photos from Ellen Silverman.
So this is a verrrrrrrry close knock-off of the “Whole Bowl” and/or Cafe Yumm’s “Yumm Bowl.” What is it you ask? It is widely popular here in Portland and is a bowl of short grain brown rice mixed with black & red beans, sliced black olives, cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream, and a secret curry based sauce. The sauce is what melds everything together nicely and gives it much flavor. It’s creamy, garlicky, and lemony. There are a lot of copycat recipes online for the Yumm! Sauce and Whole Bowl’s Tali sauce. I chose to go with the Yumm! Sauce recipe and it turned out awesome. Could it be because of the extra special curry spice I used that my MIL brought from Vietnam???… who knows but nonetheless, being able to make this sauce at home is like a miracle.
Be aware that this recipe for the sauce yields 4 cups. At first I thought it was too much but it’s so good that I drench my bowls in it (the more the merrier!), and I also eat it with veggies and fries. I can usually make around 12-14 bowls. Yep, 12-14 bowls! We eat it for lunch/dinner for about a week straight. I don’t get sick of it but Ben can only handle about three days worth. It’s one of the very few vegetarian dishes that I find hearty, healthy, and DELICIOUS!
Yumm!/Tali Sauce (adapted from Food.com)
- canola oil- 1/4 cup
- sliced almonds 1/2 cup (substitute almond flour for creamier consistency)
- nutritional yeast 1/3 cup (available at Whole Foods and in the bulk foods section @ Winco)
- chickpeas, cooked- 1/2 cup (I used canned. Remember to rinse and drain!)
- silken tofu- 1/4 cup
- filtered water- 1/2 cup
- fresh squeezed lemon juice- 1/2 cup
- garlic cloves, peeled- 2
- kosher salt- 1/2 teaspoon
- curry powder- 1 1/2 teaspoon
- dried oregano- 1 teaspoon
- In a food processor (best in 11-cup to prevent spillage) blend oil, almonds, chickpeas, and tofu.
- Add the remaining ingredients and puree until the texture becomes creamy.
- Pour in a jar, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Remember the yeast and don’t cover too tight.
Feel free to use as much, little, or none to your liking. To assemble your bowl, you will need:
- short grain brown rice, cooked :: I eat about 2 cups *oink oink
- black beans, cooked (I used canned) :: 1 1/2 spoonful
- red/kidney beans, cooked (I used canned again…) :: 1 1/2 spoonfuls
- sliced black olives :: 2 spoonfuls
- avocado, sliced :: 3 slices
- medium cheddar cheese, shredded :: 2 generous pinches… or 3
- light sour cream :: a dollop
- cilantro, chopped :: a couple pinches
- Layer everything in the order listed above.
- Drizzle the Yumm!/Tali sauce over everything (I like mine saucy).
- Mix everything together in the bowl with your spoon.
- Lick your spoon and then dig in.
My favorite kinds of fried rice are (in order):
- Traditional Vietnamese.
- Kimchi with Spam!
- Omurice (a Korean omelet filled with fried rice served with ketchup)
- You have a large quantity of rice leftover.
- There’s a potluck.
- Everyone likes it! From adults to the little kiddos.
We eat rice with our meals about 2-3 times per week. I always make a little extra just in case and it usually results in having leftover rice more so than not. There’s a large ziplock bag in the freezer reserved for those occasions. It accumulates over time and a full bag will yield enough fried rice to feed 8-10 hungry mouths! If you don’t know already, fried rice is better made with rice that is a day old or has been previously refrigerated/frozen. I don’t recommend using freshly cooked rice at all.
Traditional Vietnamese fried rice is my favorite and I learned how to make it by watching my MIL, YouTube videos, recipes online, and some books. Now I have a go-to recipe that I can always count on. I was able to pick and choose from several different versions and formulate the perfect one, IMO ;)
Traditional Vietnamese Fried Rice
- fish sauce- 1/4 cup
- oyster sauce- 1 heaping tablespoon
- sugar- 1 tablespoon
- ground black pepper- 2 teaspoon
- cooked rice **preferably NOT just cooked. if so, let it cool first.**- 6 cups
- olive oil for the pan
- eggs- 4
- water- 1 tablespoon
- medium onion- diced
- garlic- 4 cloves chopped finely
- carrots- 2 diced (I usually blanche diced carrots for about 3-5 minutes beforehand)
- frozen snow peas- 1 cup
- small baby shrimp- 1 cup -or- raw shrimp- 1/2 lb peeled, deveined, and cut into 1/4″ pieces
- Chinese sausage- 2 cut in half length-wise and diced
- scallions- 2 sliced
- fresh cilantro- small handful chopped
- Maggi Seasoning Sauce- 1 tablespoon
First, make your eggs.
- Set a fry pan over medium-low setting and drizzle with olive oil. Swirl pan to coat evenly.
- Whisk eggs and water in a bowl.
- Pour egg mixture into fry pan and let it sit still for about 5-10 minutes.
- Check every now and then to see if it’s flippable.
- It might still be slightly runny on top but if you can, gently flip the egg omelet and let it cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Every stove is different so use your best judgement and make sure the eggs are cooked slow enough to prevent it from browning too fast. You want it to be soft and gently puffed with sponge-like air pockets inside.
- Remove from pan onto a cutting board. Let it cool.
- Slice into thin strips and then dice. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and black pepper.
- Place rice in a large bowl. Set aside within reach of your wok.
- Have all your vegetables, shrimp, Chinese sausage, eggs, fish sauce mixture, scallions + cilantro ready to go on the side.
- Heat your wok or a large heavy bottomed skillet/pot on medium high.
- Add olive oil to coat the pan and swirl to coat evenly.
- Add your onions and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to a little below medium.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add shrimp and cook until pink (cook time depends on size of shrimp)
- Add carrots and snow peas and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add fish sauce mixture and stir to mix everything well.
- Add Chinese sausage and continue to stir for another 5 minutes.
- Add cooked eggs and stir to combine.
- Add your rice and combine well. Continue mixing and cooking over heat for 5 minutes.
- Add scallions and cilantro.
- Add Maggi Seasoning Sauce and toss everything again to combine.
I like to make this when I have leftover roast meats (ham, turkey, chicken). Typically, I won’t add Chinese sausages if that’s the case because that would be meat overload (but still good!). Omit and add anything as you please. What I love most about a traditional Vietnamese fried rice is the fish sauce mixture, scallions + cilantro, and eggs!
Combined with baby bella mushrooms, butterleaf lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced hardboiled eggs, and freshly ground black pepper. This was a really delicious/fulfilling salad made fast with what was already on hand. My boyfriend was amazed and had a second, and even third helping of it!
After my failed attempt of making Cook’s Illustrated’s Wine Braised Pork Chops, I decided to lay low on making complex dishes. Ben and I moved into our current home a year and a half ago. We have an (as much as I hate to admit it) abandoned blog over on Blogger that we started when we first moved in and documented our daily home improvements. Like most everyone else, we did it to share with family and friends. I took a peek at it again and I must say, we did a great job capturing all of those moments. I consider it a modern alternative to scrap-booking. We’ve started many little projects around the house but haven’t completed them. One of them being the kitchen but we’ll get to that later. Between work and everything else, our home can get majorly cluttered where at any given point a photo is snapped, it captures an eye-sore somewhere in there.
I decided to do something about it one corner at a time. I began with our main bookshelf in the living room. Here is the before shot:
It doesn’t look so bad in the picture but from the outside looking in, it looks scattered and unorganized.
This is what you see at eye level: books, a Swiffer duster, magazines, frames w/o real pictures, miscellaneous figurines, a light bulb, and DVD’s.
Lower level: Cords, camera, CD’s, pots, vases, stuffed animals, a toy car in a box, random large book on dogs.
My sorting method:
- Moved all DVD’s, CD’s, chargers, cameras, and cords into the entertainment system drawer. To think that all this time we had an enormous empty drawer!
- Self-help and “For Dummies” books went into the office… I need to clean the office, too.
- Empty plant pots and vases to the garage.
- Stuffed animals into the linen closet.
- The blue fish figurine is now used as a rubberband keeper in a kitchen drawer.
- Frames with random pictures also went into the entertainment drawer (for now).
- I put the Swiffer duster away where it belongs- in the laundry room cleaning closet.
- Cookbooks and vibrant Travel books placed at eye level for easy access. Books are arranged by type and then by height.
- Larger books and magazines lay horizontally for character.
- Small sentimental figurines- wooden bench & a puppy (given by my biological mother & my parents at different times but coincidentally compliment each other very well!) were left on display as a nice change of scenery from the books.
- Porcelain flying pig placed on the highest shelf, out of reach, and as a statement piece. It casts a really nice shadow, too.
- Ben made the snowboarding figurine in a jewelry making class back in college. It was used as a filler piece for the lower shelf but he later moved it higher so that Ollie, our Doberman puppy, wouldn’t destroy it.
Something relaxing to look at.
Ahhhhhhhhh so much better!
I’ve got a head start on spring cleaning already.