The humbling truth about feeding my young children as a trained chef is that they don’t care that I’m a trained chef. It’s a harrowing task: preparing a healthy meal that the entire family, including my persnickety kids, will eat with gusto. This nutrient-rich, decidedly grown-up rice bowl is just that. Plus, it comes together in under 30 minutes. For our family of five, I double the recipe. Leftovers are my answer to a fast-casual lunch bowl the next day.
The multigrain rice is a lazy take on japgokbap, Korean multigrain rice from which, in the interest of time and effort, I excluded the grains and beans that require a soak. Millet adds a mild, sweet, corn-like flavor, and quinoa continues to be a fluffy (and a little crunchy) staple in our house. Brown rice would work fine instead of white rice. Just increase the water amount (to 3 1/4 cups total) and cook time (to 30 minutes total).
White miso is perfect here because it’s sweet and mellow, yet earthy and funky. Any other miso is saltier and robuster, but still an umami powerhouse. If that’s what you have, simply taste first, then add the soy sauce a teaspoon at a time. It may also need a longer drizzle of agave (or whatever sweetener you’re using) to balance out the flavors.
Despite the short braise, the savory, creamy miso sauce softens both the tough texture and bitter flavor of kale. When I told my children, “It’s like magic!” they didn’t bat an eye. Just a few eye rolls. —Myo Quinn
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 4
- Multigrain rice
medium-grain white rice
- Braised kale
neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
garlic cloves, minced
scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
kale, tough stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups
low-sodium chicken stock or water
agave syrup (or whatever sweetener you prefer)
unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- Cook the multigrain rice: Rinse and drain the white rice, millet, sweet rice, and quinoa. Place in a medium pot with 2 cups of water. Cook over high heat, uncovered, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Do not uncover! That would release all the steam you need to make the rice fluffy.
- Meanwhile, cook the kale: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, garlic, and scallion. Cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale in batches, stirring with each addition (the kale will slowly wilt, creating space for more kale). Stir in the stock, miso, agave, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Right before serving, drizzle with the vinegar and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or agave syrup if needed.
- To serve, divide the multigrain rice among 4 bowls and top each with the braised kale.