Chinese Cuisine

An Easy Dinner in a Single Bowl

Bowl dinners are so easy. You layer everything you need for a complete meal in a bowl, in this case, a starch (rice), protein (shrimp) and veggies (baby bok choy plus mushrooms) combined with a sauce

You can cook the rice and keep it warm while stir-frying the veggies and shrimp. Put these on top of the rice, and you're done. So fast!

Baby bok choy is just the right size for this dish. Melissa's Produce distributes it widely, so you can find it in some supermarkets. I also get it from a nearby Korean market. 

For the rice, I cook either jasmine or basmati rice in lots of boiling water, then drain off the water and let the rice stand, covered, for 5 or 10 minutes. This way, you get perfect rice every time, don't have to measure the water, and the rice never sticks. An Indian chef taught me this method. 

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You can prepare the rice in advance and and assemble the other ingredients ahead of time so it takes only a few minutes to put the dish together.

For the shrimp, I use big EZ peel shrimp that I keep in a bag in the freezer. Thawing them enough to peel takes only seconds, if you rinse them with cold water.

So here's the recipe, designed for one serving on the days when you're alone and need something that's as delicious as it is quick to prepare. 


2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup jasmine or basmati rice
2 heads baby bok choy
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 (1/4-inch) slice ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Additional soy sauce, if needed

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in the water until very soft. Remove and slice or chop, discarding stems. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Place the cornstarch in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add 1/4 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid, the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil and stir until blended. Set aside until needed. Reserve the remaining soaking liquid.

Wash the rice well, then place in a saucepan and cover generously with water, which should come well above the rice. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes, uncovered. Drain, then let stand in the saucepan, covered, until needed. The rice may be prepared in advanced and reheated before using. 

Cut the bok choy crosswise in slices about 1-inch wide, or slightly wider. Discard the root end and any tough pieces at the bottom. 

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry a few seconds, but do not allow to burn. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, then the sauce mixture and cook and stir for 2 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. 

Place the hot rice in a heated large single serving bowl. Place the bok choy on top. 

Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid to the empty wok. Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes, turning once. 

Place the shrimp on top of the bok choy and serve at once, with additional soy sauce on the side to adjust seasoning if needed. 

Makes 1 serving.

February 12, 2017

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