Miso Porridge with Charred Bok Choy

This is the time of year in California when it finally starts to get chilly. I've pulled out my sweaters and tall boots and I've been making more comfort foods like soups and stews. One of my very favorite warm-you-up comfort foods is Risotto, an Italian style porridge made with Arborio rice and stock.  It's actually very easy to make, and once you know the technique, you can experiment with your ingredients.  I sometimes make this Japanese version using a ginger-miso broth(found at Trader Joes) and shitake mushrooms. I thought I'd share this recipe today along with a simple technique for making charred bok choy, which I just add straight to the bowl. Stay warm and have fun tonight, Happy Halloween!

Miso Porridge

4 servings

5 cups ginger miso broth (or miso soup)

1 1/2 Cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup  dry white wine or sake

1 white onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

10-12 medium shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1/8 cup chives, minced, plus extra for garnish

Nori and truffle oil for garnish

Pour broth into a sauce pan, bring to a simmer, then reduce to low heat and keep warm. In a large, wide saute pan, heat 1 tbsp of the sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic, sauteing until onion is soft, but not browned. Add all but 2 of the shitake mushrooms, saute until softened. Add rice. Stir and coat in the oil until the rice begins to look translucent.  Add wine stirring constantly until the liquid is completely absorbed. In 1 cup batches stir in miso broth. You don't need to stir constantly, but do move the rice around a bit, and make sure that the liquid is absorbed completely between batches.  Once the porridge is finished cooking, portion into bowls and garnish with shitake mushroom fried in remaining sesame oil, some chopped nori, a drizzle of truffle oil, chives and Sriracha sauce.

Charred Bok Choy

6-8 baby bok choy 

1 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp Ponzu or soy sauce 

Fire up the broiler to high. Wash and thoroughly dry bok choy.  Use a basting brush to coat bok choy with sesame oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and place on a broiler tray. Broil for 7 minutes, flipping about half way through.  Drizzle with sauce and serve.