Korean doenjang (fermented soybean paste) adds the most authentic flavor, but it can be hard to find; white or yellow miso works well in its place. There is a definite method to cooking Asian short-grain rice that mothers teach to their daughters. It involves rinsing several times and cooking in less water than traditional ratios.
1/2 cup uncooked whole-grain barley
2/3 cup short-grain white rice
5 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienne-cut
1 small zucchini, julienne-cut
2/3 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
2/3 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons shiro miso
1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chile sauce, such as Annie Chun's)
1 cup microgreens
1 tablespoon roasted ground sesame seeds
How to Make It
Cook barley in a large pot of boiling water for 35 minutes or until tender-chewy. Drain.
While barley cooks, place rice in a small saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above rice. Swirl rice with hand in pan to agitate; drain. Repeat procedure 2 more times. Add 2/3 cup water to drained rice in pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Combine rice and barley in a large bowl.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan. Add 1 teaspoon oil and zucchini to pan; sauté 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan. Add 1 teaspoon oil and mushrooms to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan. Add 1 teaspoon oil and bean sprouts to pan; sauté 1 minute or until bean sprouts wilt. Remove from pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and spinach to pan; sauté 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Arrange vegetables in separate piles over rice mixture. Dollop with miso and gochujang; top with microgreens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Mix together at the table.
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