Genmaicha Pilaf

February 18, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Genmaicha green tea contains crunchy nubs of toasted rice that deepen both the color of the tea and its light, grassy flavor. When steeped, it takes on something close to the color of yellow jade. It's one of my favorite afternoon teas, and practically cried out to be the basis for a rice pilaf. Its gentle flavor combines with ginger and garlic to perfume the two colorful rices, Bhutan red and jasmine, to create a dish that is at once delicate, earthy, and elemental.

I've served this both hot and cold; it makes a lovely, delicate chilled salad in summer. Know that when done, the Bhutan red rice will have more texture to it than the Jasmine. Each bite you take will begin with that toothiness, then move through the tender jasmine rice, and finish with the mushroomy morsels of shiitakes. Finally, the spritz of lemon re-awakens the original genmaicha flavor, bringing your senses full circle. —boulangere

Test Kitchen Notes

The genmaicha green tea broth brims with toasty, savory notes, naturally enhancing the umami of earthy shiitake mushrooms and adding delicate depth to this warming pilaf dish. Aromatic citrus (opt for meyer lemons for a sweet, floral zest) and spicy ginger add bright nuance. Be sure to brew the tea in 180 degree water for 2 minutes to achieve the perfect flavor, and treat yourself to an extra cup to sip as everything gently simmers in the pot. —teaspoons&petals

What You'll Need
  • 36 ounces boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons genmaicha tea
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1" piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup Bhutan red rice
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Wedges of lemon
  • Droplets of chili oil
  1. In a glass or pottery mixing bowl (they retain heat well), pour the boiling water over the loose tea -- I measured it with the palm of one hand. Cover with a plate and allow to steep for 5 to 7 minutes. When you taste the tea, it should have a bright, clean flavor and aroma. Set a strainer over another bowl, or your original liquid measuring cup, and pour the tea through it. Discard the tea leaves.
  2. Return the steeped tea to the bowl and add the dried shiitake mushrooms. Stir them around to immerse them, cover the bowl, and allow the mushrooms to steep for 15 minutes. Again pour the mixture through the strainer, reserving the mushrooms. NOW taste the tea! You'll of course recognize the flavor of the shiitakes, but that lingering tart flavor is the aromatic genmaicha. Its color is now closer to a glittering amber.
  3. While the mushrooms are steeping, peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Begin warming a saucepan over medium heat. Add enough sesame oil to cover the bottom, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. When it begins to form ribbons, it is hot enough to go ahead and add the ginger and garlic. Sauté them until nicely fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the rices and stir to coat each grain with oil. Let them toast for a couple of minutes, then add the genmaicha-shiitake tea and the reserved shiitakes. Let the pot come to a gentle boil, then cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 35 minutes, until the rices are tender, neither crunchy nor mushy.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and season the rice to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among plates or bowls. Serve with lemon wedges (use Meyer lemons if you have them) and chili oil so that guests may season as they wish.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • NakedBeet
  • lapadia
  • boulangere
  • em-i-lis
  • pierino

33 Reviews

NakedBeet March 8, 2013
Oh geez, just used the last of my red rice, but now I have an excuse to get some more! This looks yummy. Congrats on the CP!
boulangere March 8, 2013
Thank you kindly. I love red rice, too.
lapadia March 7, 2013
Yay, congrats on your CP! I set out to make this recipe earlier this week but couldn't find Genmaicha tea, so I toasted some brown jasmine rice and did my best to make my own. Well...the recipe was tasty but I look forward to making it with the real tea, soon!
boulangere March 8, 2013
Well aren't you the smart one!
boulangere March 7, 2013
Profound thanks to @teaspoons&petals for a generous and nuanced review.
em-i-lis March 7, 2013
congrats on your CP, cyn!! lovely, lovely!
boulangere March 7, 2013
Thank you deeply, Em!
pierino February 28, 2013
Sorry I was too late to test. Genmaicha is my favorite tea. I always pick some up when I'm down in LA and can hit Marukai.
boulangere March 1, 2013
Mine too. It's just the thing at 3:00 in the afternoon when there is either a dinner banquet or a good book looming.
Kitchen B. February 21, 2013
I love the idea of using teas as 'stock', and combining this particular tea flavours, with rice. It looks gorgeous too!
boulangere February 21, 2013
Thank you, KB; the tea is one of my favorites, and it was fun to take it in a new direction.
LeBec F. February 21, 2013
Come to think of it, I buy green tea noodles when i make my udon soup, so why not cook pasta in tea?! "Recall!I have more recipes I want to add!"
boulangere February 21, 2013
I've cooked pasta in water in which I've soaked procinis, so indeed why not in tea!
LeBec F. February 20, 2013
p.s. b, maybe you already drink it but if not, you might enjoy trying mugicha -toasted barley tea that the japanese drink in the summer. I drink it year round and completely forgot about it for this contest. I think it might be good as the broth for a mushroom and/or winter squash soup,(not pureed), where its toasted grain flavor would shine.
boulangere February 20, 2013
I'll have to hunt some down. It sounds wonderful as a tea, either hot or cold, and as a basis for practically any grain, brilliant!
LeBec F. February 20, 2013
b, I have always thought that Catherine Zeta Jones' multiple talents were really unfair, and one-of-a-kind. I mean, not only could she act, in comedy or drama, but she could dance,AND she could sing....all this while being extraordinarily beautiful in face and figure. Whew. Well, I'm gonna write and tell her that she has some stiff competition out here now. Gee b, isn't it enough to be a talented creative chef? but with that recipe introduction, it's clear that you're quite the writer, AND to top it all off, that photo vignette is worthy of a whole other career, on top of all the others you have! I must say, I am wicked impressed. Move over, Catherine,you got company!
boulangere February 20, 2013
Catherine has no competition from me! I'm short, and if I had to sing for my supper, I'd not only starve, people would throw things at me. You are extremely kind, and I thank you deeply.
boulangere February 22, 2013
P.S. I loved her character in No Reservations. She reminded me sooooooo much of me, without the height, hair, or beauty. Drive, check; focus, double check. But the scene where she cinched herself into her apron made me howl. That's exactly what I do with my apron at the start of every single day!
gingerroot February 20, 2013
This is perfect, boulangere! I can almost taste this - YUM. I have everything on hand and I'm thinking this + an egg is supper tomorrow night.
boulangere February 20, 2013
I had leftovers the other night with a poached egg, and it was heavenly! I hope you enjoy it.
gingerroot February 22, 2013
What a delicious bowl of rice! Topped with a fried egg, it made for a satisfying and comforting supper. Thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe. We'll be sure to enjoy it again!
fiveandspice February 19, 2013
Wow. So fabulous.
boulangere February 19, 2013
Thank you so much.
susan G. February 19, 2013
From the blue chopsticks on, this pulled me right in! At every step you layer flavors that call me. I'm a long time fan of genmai cha, but this takes it over the top! Make soon!
boulangere February 19, 2013
Thank you so much, Susan! I hope you enjoy it.
Midge February 19, 2013
Love everything about this. Saved.
boulangere February 19, 2013
Thank you, Midge! I'm having leftovers tonight with a poached egg on top.
aargersi February 19, 2013
Yum! Love!
boulangere February 19, 2013
Thank you, ma'am!
inpatskitchen February 18, 2013
Lovely recipe! I've never seen this tea...any sources?
boulangere February 18, 2013
I found it at a local natural food store, Pat. The little rice crunchies are wonderful!
lapadia February 18, 2013
Ahhh, brown rice tea, reading your head note elicits a virtual, toasty & nutty aroma. This is a must make!
boulangere February 18, 2013
Each step smells wonderful! I hope you enjoy it.