Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Real Green Rice

My cooking activities for the last few weeks have been full of marrying Japanese and French cuisines together in a desperate struggle to arrive at more acceptable fusion dishes. While I slouch at the steel table holding my twelve- inch knife mirroring myself on the stainless thing (this is a personal habit, by the way, to check my lipstick on my knives), my thoughts wander from one thing Japanese to another thing French. Bouillabaisse laced with dashi stock? Salad Niçoise with…what? How do we Japanize crepes suzette?

So as I rest my head on my arm stretched out on the kitchen table, I started to think of food curiosities- why wasabi is that neon green, and why, the green tea tiramisu I tried from a hotel café a few weeks ago was… that neon green. I haven’t done my research yet, but are there still other things (food to be exact) in nature- besides leaves, honey dew melon and insect blood- that are really naturally stark green?

I confess that in the kitchen I am not a big fan of artificial food coloring, nor MSG nor pre- mixed sauces. Therefore, as I stumble upon this curious ‘green rice’ at an organic market… I had to look closely. There’s brown rice, red rice, black rice, immaculate white rice – but this green rice, sold by a lady from a faraway province, is something not usually encountered in the daily supermarkets.

Now, my food intuition dictates (not yet 100% sure) that this green rice happens to be a pre- harvested rice: before the rice grain ripens and turns gold, it is naturally green first. Then, that rice is hulled, and the emerging germ is not the white we know but green. It is then cooked giving off a very fragrant rice-y scent. Drizzle a little sugar, some toasted – or freshly- grated coconut and reach over that tempting brewed cup of coffee. When I indulge over mouthfuls of green rice, there hardly flashes a thought of creating a fusion dish or masking the food’s natural taste with foreign whatnots. Leave the green rice alone! (Chomp, chomp, chomp…)

By the way, ah… has Pablo Neruda ever written an Ode to Rice?


Manggy said...

Hmm... Isn't this the stage at which rice is turned into pinipig? It actually sounds like an intriguing ingredient to use :)

Chef Michel Richards has a miso-based "Tri-Continental Onion Soup" from his book "Happy in the Kitchen." Crepes suzette is such a famous dish that I don't really think any revision of it would survive to still be recognized as "crepes suzette," but there are still several ways to present crepes with orange-flavored elements. Maybe roll it up with an orange custard (or plain custard), slice the log so the spiral shows, like a fish sausage, and serve with an orange syrup? How about making sushi with crepes instead of nori?

elay said...

hey you forgot to mention the green honey that i got you from palawan!

i dont know how it turned green..i remember i asked around a little bit when i bought them, but now i forgot...

foodhuntress79 said...

Hello, Manggy! Yes, it is the same rice. The pinipig is somewhere in the picture- just didn't mention it. Thanks. Hey, you're a physician but you seem to know a lot about food!

Elay, yes- the green honey! haha. I was really curious about the bees that made it. Also green? :p