With the exception of the rice this recipe is totally raw, meaning it boasts plenty of nutritious goodness, as well as being quick and easy, and having a fantastic colour, flavour, and bite. About a year ago I went on a short raw food retreat with my mum. It was fascinating learning about the numerous benefits of a raw diet, as well as all the interesting ‘cooking’ techniques. This recipe is influenced, in part, by things learnt on retreat, as well as ingredients found at Herne Hill Farmer’s Market yesterday: the Portobello mushrooms were so plump and perfect it somehow seemed a shame to tamper with them in any way!
The majority of the ingredients here are store cupboard ingredients which you might well already have, and the core ingredients are cheap and cheerful, perfect for a meat-free-Monday supper – or any day! The taste packed into this healthy bowlful is just incredible, the marinated mushrooms in particular, which have a deep umami, ‘meaty’ flavour, with a wonderful balance of sweet and sour too. I can’t sing this recipe’s praises highly enough – definitely one to try on any vegetarian/vegan/raw food skeptic you might know!
Perhapps oddly, I served this with the rice at room temperature, rather than heated, which worked very well. A great way to make easy use of any left-over rice too.
This recipe serves 2 people
For the miso marinated mushrooms:
2 large portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar (or other vinegar if you have to hand)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon nam pla (fish sauce)
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 teaspoon brown rice miso paste
For the rice:
approximately 1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked wholegrain rice (or rice of your choosing)
2 stalks of celery
4 spring onions
½ small cucumber
For the sweet chilli pickled carrots:
2-3 medium organic carrots
½ cup vinegar (white wine or brown rice is best)
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
1 red chilli (or ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes)
First, cook the rice as per the packet’s instructions, then drain and allow the steam to billow off as much as possible. Allow to cool (although of course serve warm if you prefer!).
If you are garnishing with peanuts, toast these in a preheated oven (approximately 5 minutes at 180 degrees); or toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on a gentle heat for 3 minutes.
In a small saucepan gently warm all the ingredients for the carrot’s pickling liquor, just until the honey has dissolved and it gives off a little steam – there’s no need to bring it to simmer. Take off the heat and allow this to cool slightly (if you put the carrot in when the liquid is hot, it will soften a bit, and crunchy is best here!).
Peel the carrots, then, continuing with your peeler, make carrot ribbons; (lie the carrot flat on the chopping board and press the peeler harder than you normally would). Submerge the carrot ribbons in the pickling liquid. The pickled carrot will last for up to a week in the fridge.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the mushroom marinade; make sure that the miso paste is well mixed in particular. Don’t wash the mushrooms, but wipe with a dry square of kitchen paper. Slice them across their full width, approximately 1 cm thick. Submerge these in the marinade for at least twenty minutes; they can of course last in the marinade longer if you wish to prep ahead, but the longer they marinate the softer they become.
Finely slice the spring onions for the rice, and dice the cucumber and the celery into little cubes. These provide a cooling crunch in amongst all the hot, tangy, sweet & sour flavours. Mix these green veggies into the cooked rice. The rice is deliberately very plain, as it will soak up both the miso marinade and the sweet chilli dressing.
Simply spoon the rice into the bowls first, followed by the carrots ribbons and tablespoon of their pickling liquid, and then the mushrooms along with the miso marinade.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, peanuts and chopped fresh coriander as you like!