After a late night out the Friday before Halloween, a long run in the morning and the scent of pad thai on Newbury Street in the afternoon, I came home craving brown rice in peanut sauce. I stood in the doorway and thought about the biology of food cravings, but quickly snapped out of it to scrounge my cupboards for ingredients.
I aspire to cook without (printed) recipes like my mom does, so here was my attempt: one cup of rice to two cups of boiling water. For the sauce, I think back to the scent on the street and caramelize a small onion in a tablespoon of coconut oil, add a couple pinches of salt, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and one take-out packet of soy sauce—because that’s all I have.
I get too excited about adding the peanut butter and dollop a huge tablespoon on the onions before they have begun to turn brown. Shoot! I don’t want the peanut butter to burn, so I add a third of a cup of cold water, stir and reduce to medium heat. I keep stirring until the onion-oil-peanut butter mixture boils into a milky caramel color. By the time the sauce has boiled for a few minutes, the rice is ready to pour into the mixture. (I started the sauce after the rice had been cooking for about 20 minutes.) I stir and am surprised at the success of this perfect snack or small dinner for a chilly evening while cute but greedy trick-or-treaters knock at my door.
Easy Vegan Brown Rice in Peanut Sauce
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crunchy organic peanut butter
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small white onion
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 chopped tomato
2-3 stems of cilantro de-stemmed and cut
1. Bring water to boil in a quart-sized sauce pan. Add rice and salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
2. While the rice is cooking, chop onion, add to coconut oil in another sauce pan. Brown on high heat for two minutes.
3. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
3b. Optional: Add tomato and cilantro
4. Add peanut butter, stir, reduce to medium heat, add water, stir some more, and cook for five minutes.
5. Stir in rice and serve!