I have a confession to make. I spend twice as much time and effort on Sam’s vegetarian meals than I do with our normal omnivorous meals. In fact, I’m almost obsessing. Why? It’s a bit complicated.
Sam has lost weight. Probably not surprising. No one can jump from a highly carnivorous diet to vegetarianism without visible and very obvious results. Weight loss was never a goal for her but that’s what happened. I know too that since she turned vegetarian, she had been having problems sourcing meals when she’s not at home. What can I say? Vegetarianism in the Philippines today is more an object of curiosity, something new to try, rather than a mainstream thing.
So, when Sam’s at home, I make every effort to prepare meals that she will like and eat with gusto. Sort of an attempt to offset (what I think must have been) a lot of hungry days she spent at the condo on schooldays.
This rice meal, for instance.
The rice was seasoned sushi-style, the eggplants were cooked teriyaki-style, I threw in a scrambled egg for protein and then I served everything as a terrine to allow the rice to absorb the flavors of the buttery eggs and the teriyaki sauce in which the eggplants had been cooked.
For additional color, texture, aroma and a little crunch, some scallions and black sesame seeds.
Sushi-style rice, eggs and teriyaki eggplants terrine
- 1 cup newly cooked rice (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- a few drops of sesame seed oil
- a pinch of sugar
- a generous pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small eggplant thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and an equal amount of mirin
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds toasted
- scallions snipped
- While the rice is hot, fluff with a fork. Stir in the rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, sugar and salt then lay out on a small tray or plate. Leave to cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan. Pour in the egg, season with a bit of salt and pepper (you may also optionally add some herbs), and lightly scramble (see how to cook scrambled eggs). Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in the pan. Add the eggplants in a single layer. Pour in the soy sauce and mirin. Cook the eggplants just until soft but not mushy.
- Stir the sesame seeds with the rice.
- Take a single-serve bowl and line the inside with a large sheet of cling film.
- Press a third of the rice at the bottom of the bowl. Top with the scrambled egg. Sprinkle with some snipped scallions.
- Press another third of the rice into the bowl on top of the egg.
- Arrange the eggplant slices on top of the rice.
- Press the remaining rice into the bowl on top of the eggplants.
- Gather the edges of the cling film and cover the rice. Press down lightly to make everything compact.
- Unwrap the contents of the bowl and invert on a plate. Peel off the cling film. Sprinkle with more scallions and serve.
I used half glutinous rice and half regular rice because we’re out of Japanese rice.