vegan rice bowl

Rice bowls never get old. Loaded with veggies and carby goodness, they’re just as healthy as they are satisfying—something you can’t say about every bowl recipe. (Looking at you, salads.) If you’ve been wanting to switch up your usual combo, there’s a new mix to try that checks off all the boxes. I mean, how can it not when it comes from a pro chef?

Basic Kitchen, a breezy cafe in Charleston, SC, is known for its seasonal, veggie-forward dishes—including a mouth-watering vegan Caesar, cauliflower wings, and a loaded veggie burger. But one thing that really stands out is the selection of creative bowls. That’s why when the restaurant’s executive chef, Robin Hollis, decided to dream up a new recipe for Herbivore Times, it was a no-brainer what it would be: the BK Rice Bowl.

“At Basic, we make a lot of bowls. They’re fun to make, easy to eat, and change with the seasons,” she says. “I love this bowl because it’s the perfect balance of crunch, healthy fat, and umami. It’s also a great way to showcase a unique locally-grown rice.”

The BK Rice Bowl has a lot going on, and that means it will keep your taste buds interested until your very last bite. There’s fluffy, long-grain Carolina Gold rice, seaweed, roasted carrots, cucumber, avocado, house-pickled ginger, and a creamy miso sauce. And you don’t even have to fly down South to get it. Here’s exactly how to make it at home.

BK Rice Bowl

By: Chef Robin Hollis

Serves: 4

Seaweed Salad:

2 ounces dried wakame
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp tamari
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 lime zested and juiced

Instructions: Soak the seaweed in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. Drain off excess water. Combine all other ingredients and toss with seaweed. Adjust salt if necessary.

Rice:

1.5 cups Carolina Gold rice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions: Rinse the rice well in a colander, stirring with your hands under the water constantly.  This will give it the desired sticky texture once cooked, but prevent it from becoming too sticky. Combine rinsed rice, water, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil.

Roasted Carrots:

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ rounds
1 Tbsp oil (I prefer coconut oil, melted)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Instructions: Peel and cut carrots. Toss in a bowl with oil, salt, pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking tray. Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Texture should be soft but toothsome.

Miso Sauce:

3/4 cup miso paste
2 oranges, zested and juiced
2.5 Tbsp orange blossom water
½ cup mirin
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil

Instructions: Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender. With blender running, slowly add in oil and emulsify. This will make more dressing than you will need—you can store the rest in a container in your refrigerator. It makes an excellent sauce for veggies.

Garnish:

1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 scallions, sliced thin

Instructions: Combine everything in a small bowl.

To Assemble Rice Bowls:

1 English cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
2 avocados, cubed
½ cup pickled ginger (store bought is fine!)

Instructions: Evenly divide rice, carrots, and seaweed between four bowls. Add ½ of an avocado to each bowl, and ¼ of a cucumber to each bowl. In the center of each bowl, add pickled ginger. Drizzle miso sauce over the bowl and garnish with your mixture of sesame seeds, chili flakes, and scallions.

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