I don’t make rice all that often – for the most part, I only eat it with Chinese food takeout or in sushi rolls. But the other night, I decided that I wanted to make rice with dinner, but I didn’t want it to be plain. Or slathered in soy sauce. Or cheesy. Not that rice in those forms isn’t delicious, but I was looking for something … lighter. Fresher. Do I sound like a fabric softener commercial?
…or maybe an Outkast song?
I had a nice-sized hunk of ginger root in the fridge, as well as some stalks of lemongrass that I bought when I decided I wanted to make this (after last night’s dream that I owned a baby goat, however, I don’t see it happening anytime soon), and decided to give my rice a gingery-lemony kick. Also, a slightly garlicky one. ‘Cause I loooove me some garlic.
Ginger and lemongrass both pack a lot of flavor, so you don’t need to use a whole lot of it. The flavors also complement one another nicely. The bright zing of the lemongrass pairs nicely with the slightly spicy zest of the ginger, and takes plain ol’ white rice to a whole ‘nother level. Ginger and lemongrass also have some health benefits that are nothing to sneeze at. And, as if that wasn’t enough to make you dash to the fridge to see if you have any half-finished takeout boxes of white rice, this recipe is crazy stupid easy. And crazy stupid fast. Even if you need to make a batch of rice because you don’t have any leftovers, it still comes together pretty quickly.
Side note: You have to basically pulverize the lemongrass if you want it to be edible, so a food processor will come in handy.
Ginger-lemongrass rice (serves 2-3 as a side)
1 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
2 inch piece lemongrass
1 garlic clove
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp sesame oil
Blend your ginger, lemongrass and garlic clove in a food processor. Heat your sesame oil in a pan and, once hot, add the ginger-lemongrass-garlic mix. Saute until golden brown and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. If the pan gets too hot, just lower the heat – burned garlic will ruin your whole life.
Add a little vegetable oil to the pan and add your rice. Toss to combine and cook until the rice is warm and the ginger-lemongrass mixture is spread throughout the rice. Serve.