A Tastier-than-Takeout Asian Flavor Invasion

My parents live in Orlando, about 15 minutes away from Disney World (tough break, huh?), and I recently visited them over Memorial Day weekend. No, for real…seeing my parents¬†was the main motivator. Not my fault the Happiest Place on Earth shares their same zipcode!

Anyway, during that visit, we made reservations at Morimoto Asia‚ÄĒa new Eastern fusion restaurant in Downtown Disney (I’m a nonconformist Disnerd who refuses to call it¬†“Disney Springs,” by the way). I ordered their signature menu item¬†Korean Boribap, a traditional half-rice/half-barley¬†dish mixed with kimchi, bean sprouts, sushi grade fish and egg yolk.

And now…I want boribap for like every single meal. Damn you, Morimoto. Chinese takeout has lost its appeal for all eternity. So,¬†what’s a girl to do when these random boribap¬†cravings hit? Create my own riff on the original. Duh.

In this version, I swapped out the kimchi for kale, made it vegetarian by opting for mushrooms instead of meat, then tossed in radishes for some color and texture. Also, for the sake of convenience (read: laziness), I just used rice. Let’s call the finished product¬†Boribap 2.0‚ÄĒa healthy weeknight “quick fix” when you’re feeling Asian but can’t bear¬†the sight of¬†another¬†to-go carton loaded with MSG. Yep,¬†this recipe’s a game changer!

meatless marvels korean boribap

Ingredients:

2 cups Baby Kale

2 Eggs (cage-free)

1 cup Jasmine Rice

1/2 cup Mushrooms (sliced)

1/2 cup Radishes (sliced)

2 tbsp. Sesame Oil

2 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low sodium)

1 clove Garlic (minced)

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat a stockpot on the highest stovetop setting, pour in 1 1 /2 cups Water and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the Jasmine Rice, reduce the heat to low, cover the stockpot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the rice to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Pre-heat a skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil and stir in the Kale, Mushrooms and Radishes, then sauté the vegetables until they soften.
  4. Pre-heat another skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with cooking spray, crack the Eggs directly into the skillet and allow them to pan-fry until the yolk sets.
  5. Whisk together the Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Garlic and remaining tbsp. of Sesame Oil in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Pour this mixture on the rice, stir thoroughly to combine and portion out the rice into 2 serving bowls.
  7. Distribute the vegetables evenly over the rice, then top each bowl with a fried egg for some hearty protein.
Korean Boribap

that yolk though…mildly foodgasmic.

So, What’s the Deal With that “Buddha Bowl” Bandwagon?

Lately, my entire Pinterest feed has turned into one continuous love letter¬†to the gloriousness that is a¬†Buddha Bowl. I’ve been hearing this term used more and more in wellness circles, but it’s taken me awhile to join the “Buddha Bowl Bandwagon.” Well, until last weekend anyway.

On a random Saturday night, the fianc√© and I were embroiled in our usual debate: should we make dinner reservations, grab some take-out, or just raid the fridge?¬†Laziness won out (’cause my spirit animal is a 65-year-old in threadbare sweats who¬†calls “lights out” before 10pm), so we settled on Option #3. Then,¬†inspiration struck‚ÄĒHey…I’ll make one of those Buddha Bowl things!

So, through¬†trial-and-error, I debunked the basic formula and concocted my own variation. And now that I’ve graduated¬†from¬†Buddha Bowl virgin to Buddha Bowl addict, I’m passing this formula along to you.

(WARNING: contents might cause obsession!)

how to make a buddha bowl

1. ¬† Building Blocks‚ÄĒWhat Components Will You Need?

  • The¬†Base:¬†choose a whole grain like quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, wheatberry or farro.
  • The Greens:¬†choose leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, chard or watercress.
  • The Protein:¬†choose a plant-based protein like chickpeas, almonds, beans, tempeh¬†or tofu.
  • The Extras:¬†choose veggies like sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, carrots or avocado (okay…not a veggie, but still delish).
  • The Dressing:¬†choose a sauce¬†like the flavor bomb pictured above. Wanna make it? Then, stay tuned…

2. ¬† Assembly Required‚ÄĒHow Do You Put It All Together?

  • The First¬†Layer:¬†cook the whole grains according to their package instructions, then spread¬†onto¬†the bottom of your bowl.
  • The Second Layer:¬†arrange¬†a handful of leafy greens over the whole grain base.
  • The Third Layer:¬†oven roast the protein source (or, leave raw if desired and¬†safe to consume), then arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Fourth¬†Layer:¬†steam the veggies until tender, then¬†arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Top Layer:¬†drizzle the sauce to evenly coat the veggies. Oh, and here’s that recipe I hinted at earlier…blend together¬†1 red pepper, ¬† ¬† ¬† 1 garlic clove,¬†2 tbsp. lemon juice,¬†1 tbsp. olive oil,¬†1/2 tsp. paprika,¬†1/4 tsp. turmeric,¬†1/4 tsp. coriander¬†and¬†1/4 tsp. cumin.¬†Viola!
buddha bowl finished product

couldn’t resist posting ANOTHER shot of my finished product in all its glory

Alrighty. That’s the gameplan, people. So, welcome aboard that Buddha Bowl Bandwagon‚ÄĒwhere dinnertime dilemmas have met¬†their match!