We’ve all had those moments when you look in the refrigerator and say, “how did I end up with so much ______?” With me it was ginger. I had what seemed like tons of the stuff. So what to do with it? I decided to prepare a ginger-flavored rice to go with a few of the Asian dishes I had planned for the week. We eat a lot of Asian food, probably because it can be prepared relatively quickly, aside from what my husband refers to as “choppy choppy.” Translated that means chopping vegetables and other ingredients for a recipe. The rice turned out great and really complemented the stir fry and the curry I prepared later.
For such a gnarly and, dare I say ugly, tuber, ginger packs a huge wallop of flavor. I fell in love with ginger in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of all places. I went to Café Pasqual’s for breakfast and had a glass for fresh pineapple juice flavored with ginger, and I’ve never forgotten it. Yes, I’m one of those people that remember aspects of a certain meal decades later. Hmmm.
Plain white rice certainly has its place in the food world. Many cultures have been eating it for centuries. However, when it starts to seem a little ho-hum, try flavoring it with some ginger to wake up those taste buds.
I recommend you grate the ginger with a Microplane-type grater. If you don’t have one, you might want to consider getting one – it’s one of the most useful kitchen tools there is. However, you can also chop the ginger very finely with a knife. Feel free to cook this with stock or even coconut milk instead of water for extra flavor. You could also use brown rice, but you will need to increase the water to 2 1/2 cups and the cooking time to 45 minutes. Some finely sliced scallions or some toasted sesame seeds (or both) would be a nice garnish.
2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel and grate the ginger. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat the grains with butter and ginger bits. Quickly add the water to avoid burning the ginger; then add the salt. Stir to blend.
Raise the heat to high and bring the rice mixture to a boil. Then lower so that the rice is barely simmering, cover and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.