This umami-rich bowl is a simple, delicious option for those days when you feel like something hearty and filling but perhaps your not in the mood for bread or pasta.. or you want a soup but something that is a bit more funny.

There are a few key elements to this tasty bowl of rice.. and they are as follows:

Miso

Miso is a fermented paste that usually consists of soybeans and rice. This time round I am using a chickpea miso that is made here in Cataluña by Kensho Mediterranean (picture below). This miso is fermented for a relatively short time so it is still pretty sweet, but still has the savouriness that I look for in miso. Its especially delicious in salad dressings and in rice dishes!

Check out http://www.kenshosake.com/en/ to see more of their amazing Japanese products.

Kombu dashi

Kombu is dried seaweed. Traditionally in Japan they make a stock with dried kombu and bonito fish flakes, this is referred to as a dashi and is the base of Japanese cuisine.

In this recipe I make a dashi with just the kombu, which brings the salty sea water flavour (in a good way!). I use this as the stock to create the sauce.

Tamari

Tamari is a type of soy sauce. It is used more in Japan than in other parts of asia and is slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce. Tamari has become increasingly popular in the west, primarily because as opposed to soy sauce tamari is made without wheat, making it gluten free.

Now lets get to how its done.

Kombu dashi

15g dried kombu seaweed
1L water

1. In a pot Soak the kombu for at least three hours, alternatively you can soak it overnight.
2. Bring the water and kombu up to boil, when it begins to boil take the pot off the heat and leave for cool. When the stock is cool strain the kombu and you have your dashi.

Rice porridge

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 medium onion (finely diced)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Korean chilli flakes (you can use any chilli flakes or leave them out)
400g cooked rice (white or brown)
400ml kombu dashi
70g white miso
20g tamari or soy sauce
1 spring onion (finely sliced)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp rice vinegar or mirin

1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat, add the onion, the garlic and the salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
2. Add the chilli flakes and cook for another minute.
3. Add the rice and the dashi to the pan and bring to the boil.
4. When it begins to boil remove the pan from the heat, in a bowl whisk the tamari, miso and rice vinegar together, add it to the pan, then stir well.
5. Mix in the cilantro and top with spring onions and sesame seeds.

Savoury miso rice porridge, a great breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Thanks and I hope you enjoy! Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Mike