If you've read this blog before (and I know I haven't posted anything in a year -- oops!), you know that if anything, I'm thrifty. With money, obviously, but also with time and effort. I like to make cool stuff, but not for a bunch of money or if it takes a long time or dirties every dish in the house (my husband would argue that everything I make dirties every dish in the house, but he is wrong).
But, you know, then other times you just fall in love with the sound of a recipe and throw caution to the wind. This was one of those times. I saw the words "edamame" and "sweet rice" and "salty seeds" and I was like, "YES. Put that in my face!"
And then I looked at the ingredients and went, "ugh, okay." And the resulting dish was delicious and everything, but you know when someone builds a Rube Goldberg device to remove the stuffing from an Oreo and you're like... cool, but I just scrape it off with the other half of the chocolate cookie? This recipe was like that.
First, let's look at the cost.
It happened that I already had almost half the ingredients, and I substituted some of the others (onion instead of shallot, an actual pickled plum instead of plum vinegar, brown sesame seeds for white), but I still had to purchase...
...cumin, fennel, coriander, chia, sticky rice, brown rice miso, pumpkin seeds, kosher salt (normally I would have this, but I was out), shelled edamame and ginger.
So I thought the smart choice was to go to the co-op, where many of those seeds are available in bulk bins, where they are a few cents each, rather than $4 per jar. Plus, I know they have miso and chia and some of that other hippie crap.
The seeds were mostly not that much money, but the chia seeds were only available in a big bag which was (drumroll please) $10! Holy ass! I asked an employee for help, because I was like, seriously, what?!
The sticky rice was $5 for a bag that would make one recipe.
The miso was about $7.
The salt was a couple bucks... no big.
I actually went to another store for the edamame and ginger.
In total, I spent over $30, and I started with a fairly well-stocked pantry. The thing is, the dish was delicious. I'd be happy to have it like twice a week. It's just that I'd be in the poorhouse before long if I did.
If I had it to do over again with what I had in my pantry, I'd use the white miso I tend to keep around.
The chia seeds were nice, but if you want a crunchy, nutty little seed, go for poppy. They can be had in bulk, too, and pretty much would not change the nature of the dish.
I'd use table salt instead of kosher.
If I didn't have miso at all, I'd buy a small amount of miso from a bulk bin.
And there's a $25 reduction.
Furthermore, I think this would be lovely with short-grain brown rice instead of the sweet rice. If you are really devoted to the sweet rice thing, go to the Asian food store nearest you.
Finally, I don't know why the hell you'd microwave the rice. I have a rice cooker. It works very well, and I don't have to tend it every two minutes. Also, rice can be cooked in a pan on the stove with little trouble. It can even be baked. Basically, find a method that does not involve you taking something out of the microwave and stirring it every two minutes.
Oh, and if you looked at the recipe and saw "salad" and then were confused about the eating it hot part, so was I. I think you could make this ahead and eat it cold, but we ate it hot and it was very tasty.
So if you want to make that stuff, print the original link and make these changes:
Cross out chia and write poppy
Cross out sticky rice and write short-grain brown rice
Cross out kosher salt and write table salt
Cross out umeboshi plum vinegar (unless you happen to have that)
Cross out brown rice miso and write miso.
Cross out "white" in front of sesame seeds.
Put an asterisk next to #3 in the instructions that means "optional."
For #5 and #6, cross the whole thing out and write "cook the rice." That way, you can do whatever the hell you want.
As Thoreau says, "simplify, simplify, simplify."
This was some bomb-ass rice, and I'm planning to make it again soon (I might as well; I have like 3 pounds of chia seeds left), but sometimes we just need to make our lives easier, you know?
Now go and cook and enjoy.