ASIAN AMERICAN FRIED RICE AND CIDER GRAVY
Cider gravy – who would think? Soy sauce with vegan cream cheese? You betcha. How could such unlikely ingredients show up in the same dish to make such a grand entrance while looking and tasting so good doing it? Because ‘you know who’ dared to try something new! Your ‘buds will not be disappointed!
Makes 12 cups rice and 4 cups gravy
3-1/2 c. water
5 T. white vinegar
2 t. pink Himalayan salt
3 c. Golden Canilla parboiled long grain white rice, rinsed well in wire mesh strainer
Gravy ingredients: makes 4 cups
3 c. apple cider
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. ginger powder
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 c. soy sauce – I used La Choy brand
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
1/4 t. red cayenne powder
fresh grind black pepper to taste
1 t. liquid smoke plus to taste
6.5 oz. (DR. WT. 4 oz.) can mushrooms stems and pieces plus liquid from can
8 oz. pkg. plain vegan cream cheese, at room temperature – stir in the container till smooth and fluffy – I used Tofutti brand
1/4 c. cornstarch mixed in small cup with 1/3 c. water till thoroughly dissolved
1 c. sliced celery – on the diagonal about 1/4 inch thick
1 sm. green pepper, cored and diced into 1/2 inch squares
2 c. diced red onion, 1/2 inch squares
1 t. pink Himalayan salt plus to taste to taste
liquid smoke to taste
1 lg. thumb-size fresh ginger segment, peeled, very thinly sliced, stacked and cut into very thin sticks
10 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/2 c. diced sweet red roasted pepper, 1/2 inch squares
1 med.-size fresh carrot, cut off ends, peel, then swipe with a potato peeler into short ribbons down to the nub – hold one end and swipe the lower half, then reverse and hold the opposite end and swipe the opposite half
12 oz. bag froz. peas, thawed in hot water on stove till plump, then immediately drained – don’t cook them; just heat till plump, then run under cold water and drain again
juice of 1 orange, strained
In large saucepan bring water, vinegar and salt to boil.
Add rice, stir, return to boil.
Stir again, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes.
Remove cover, fluff with utensil, set aside.
In separate large saucepan combine sauce ingredients beginning with cider up to and including cream cheese.
Stir after each addition, whisking cream cheese till completely dissolved. Cook at slow simmer-type boil on low heat for about 8 minutes, being watchful that it doesn’t foam up and boil over top of pan.
Pour liquid cornstarch into sauce, stirring till thickened. Continue to stir about 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook about 10 minutes longer, uncovered, stirring as needed. Again, be watchful.
In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt olive oil.
Add celery, green pepper, onion, salt, plus several shakes liquid smoke. Stir-fry till edges of veggies begin to soften.
Add ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add cooked rice all at once. Stir, lift, turn rice into veggies till all veggies are evenly distributed throughout rice. Cook till very hot.
Add peas, roasted peppers and juice of 1 orange. Stir again to evenly disperse. Continue to cook till again very hot and done to your liking.
Salt to taste.
Serve either family style passing the gravy bowl for guests to add their own, or mold into custard cups, invert onto individual serving plates and spoon gravy over top.
Notes: Most frozen peas when thawed aren’t plump; they’re shriveled up, probably from being refrozen during transport. Just heat in hot water to plump, then drain and rinse under cold water to keep them from continuing to cook. You want them to stay bright green.
This is a large dish. If you don’t have a fry pan large enough to handle 12 cups of product, then cut the recipe in half. I’d stick with the same amount of gravy though, since you can use it for other dishes during the week. Over scrambled tofu? Over veggie burgers? Over brussel sprouts? Pasta and mushrooms?Get creative with its uses.
You don’t really need the orange, but I like it.