I own a little, saved-me-from-starving-many-times rice cooker. It is a 4-cup size, bought for $10 at Walgreens, with only two settings – on or warm. I also have a spare one in my basement that I got for a few bucks, obviously never used, at a thrift store. The rice cooker has a tendency to spit starchy water out through the vent hole in the lid, splattering my counter top and cupboards, if I make more than two servings (according to it’s measuring cup) of rice. So, if I need to make rice for my family I switch to a saucepan and boil the rice in lots of water, like pasta. My little rice cooker has its flaws and limitations, but you just can’t beat if for a one-serving lunch.

Last week I bought miso for the first time. In “Road to the Colony” I mention an Asian soup, so I want to develop a recipe for it to include in the book. I’ve had miso soups at restaurants before, but this is the first time I’ve tried cooking with it myself. My first attempt at soup was good, but the next day I decided a rice bowl sounded better.

I’m not sure if miso would traditionally be used like this, but I think the results of my lunch-time experiment was very tasty. The weather has still been chilly here in Michigan, so a warm, filling lunch is still very desirable. I served this in my favorite bowl, a deep, handcrafted one in brilliant shades of blue. Not only does the the color remind me of warmer weather,  the memory of buying the bowl at a summertime art fair is also pleasant and uplifting. One last thing, it’s a bit of a true confession thing. I’m not really sure if I used bok choy in my rice bowl. I wanted to get napa cabbage. At the grocery store I examined the heads of napa and they all looked a bit tired, but there were also several heads of a greener-leafed, more billowy vegetable in the same bin. I thought it was possibly a different variety of napa. The cashier thought it was called celery cabbage. After cooking with it, I think it might actually be bok choy (it looks like a cross between napa cabbage and bok choy to me), but I don’t cook with bok choy often so I don’t know for sure. So, add in whatever greens you like. Even the mystery ones work.

Rice and Veggie Bowl with Miso
Serves: 1 - generously
  • ¼ cup white rice
  • ½ cup broth - vegetable or chicken
  • ¼ cup carrot - finely diced
  • 6 white button or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bok choy - chopped
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • ½ cup firm tofu, cubed
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2-3 teaspoons white miso paste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Put rice in fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Put rice in bowl of rice cooker. Add broth, a drizzle of sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce. Layer carrots, mushroom and bok choy on top of the rice. Cover and turn rice cooker on. When it is done cooking, leave on the warm setting. Put tofu on top of cooked rice mixture, replace cover and let warm for 5 minutes. Dissolve the miso paste in the hot water and stir until smooth. Empty rice mixture into a deep bowl. Pour miso broth over top. Season with additional sesame oil or soy sauce. Sprinkled with red pepper flakes, if using.

This post is linked to Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Foodie Friday and Weekend Cooking


22 thoughts on “Rice and Vegetable Bowl with Miso

    1. Kale would be a great substitute. My grocery store has a lot of different greens that would be wonderful in a meal like this.

  1. Janel, I love my rice maker. It frees up my burners for other pots and pans…plus the texture is the sort I get with Chinese take away, I am very much looking forward to Road to the Colony. Such a cool idea to insert recipes in your novellas – love it!

  2. I need to get a bigger rice cooker to cook for my family of four. One of those super tech-y ones with all of the settings would be great. 🙂 I just made another recipe for “Road to the Colony” a few days ago!

  3. You’ve convinced me to get a rice cooker. (I’ve scorched many a pan and tried to mask the taste with butter.) Your recipe sounds–and looks–delicious and enticing. Thank you so much for including it at Foodie Friday!

    1. Someday…someday I would like to get one of the expensive, multi-function rice cookers. For now I’m happy making lunch in my little inexpensive one.

  4. I couldn’t live without my rice cooker! This dish looks easy and tasty. I’m sure any green would work well. Love the pottery bowl!

    1. I know! Rice cookers are wonderful. One of those appliances I wouldn’t want to be without anymore.

    1. I used white miso, which might be a good place to start. I’ve heard that the red miso is fermented longer and has a stronger taste.

  5. Janel, you have inspired me to look into miso. I’ve only ever seen it on hotel breakfast buffets. Hope you are having a good week.

    1. I really like it. A very tasty broth for light soups. In fact, I bet it would be good kind of “instant” soup snack.

  6. This does sound delicious for a one-serving warm lunch. I don’t have a rice cooker myself, but I’m considering getting one – the possibilities all sound wonderful.

    1. I use it for lunch often, however I made a big mistake when I tried a rice pudding recipe in it. The milk burnt on the bottom and no matter what I did I couldn’t get it off!

  7. I don’t have a rice cooker so had no idea you could do more than just cook rice. Daughter has told me she wants one for when she leaves home, but seeing this recipe, I just might have to buy it for her sooner. Thanks.

  8. FYI, if you put a cup or mug upside down over the hole in the top of the rice cooker it stops it spurting everywhere, a mug is much easier to clean than the whole kitchen bench 🙂

    1. That’s a good idea! I’ve tried paper towels, but they soak through and still end up dripping on the counter.

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