Beef Chicken Rice Bowl... super quick and versatile.
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It's been a very long time since I've bought ground meat. A VERY long time. Ever since I acquired my meat grinder, years ago, I have been grinding my own meat. For some reason, I find home ground meat superior to the store-bought... it's nice because I can choose the type of meat I grind and don't have to worry about additives and other things related to the store-bought version.
As a child I remember my mom using the hand cranked grinder to do most of her grinding. Sometimes she bought quite a bit of meat to grind... and that always required a bit of muscle strength. My mom would end up doing most of the grinding, but sometimes she'd have us kids do the job. While it was fun grinding, we'd most definitely feel the sore muscles the following day:).
When I first bought my Kitchen-Aid mixer, I knew I wanted to buy the grinder attachment as well. It would make it super simple for me to grind all sorts of meats. And no hand cranking involved:). In any case, grinding my own meat has been something I do... without really thinking about it as being a chore. I love to portion out the ground meat and label it... and freeze. It becomes really easy then to defrost whatever amount I need... and use it in a quick meal.
So the other day, I had defrosted some ground chicken and was scrambling about to fix dinner. I needed something that would come together quickly... plus I had these butter lettuce leaves from a previous dinner in my fridge that I wanted to use up. I instantly thought of making lettuce wraps. But I also knew the lettuce wraps weren't going to suffice as a complete meal. That's when I decided to cook some rice and make a Korean-style rice bowl. It would be quick and I would have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes... well, in under half hour.
I had all the ingredients I needed... even went out in my garden to fluff away the snow that had settled on the green onion and chives. They were frozen, but I knew it would work in the recipe:)... no need to go out and buy green onion. And while I made the recipe with ingredients I had in the house, I've added some notes to help with some substitutions that can also work.
I've slowly started going away from soy products and am LOVING the coconut aminos as an alternative... so, so good... and you'd hardly notice it isn't soy based. And if my husband loved it, it's always a plus:). However, feel free to use what works for you.... I personally notice I do better without the soy. And if using the coconut aminos, the dish becomes gluten-free as well. Hope you enjoy...
Note: While I used a soy-free version of "soy sauce", you can easily use regular soy sauce, but will need to adjust salt amount. You can totally skip the salt and add extra soy if you like. And if you don't have the Korean chile flakes, you can substitute it with regular chile flakes, although you will need to decrease amount to taste... and you may want to add some paprika to obtain the color of the Korean chile flakes.
If you have gochuchang on hand, the sweetened fermented Korean chile paste, you can use a tablespoon or so and skip the honey and/or gochugaru flakes. While I ended up using only 1 TBS of honey, the dish can easily take more, especially if you like the dish to take on a sweeter flavor.
Tip: The dish can be on the "dry" side , so feel free to top with extra sauce of choice and mix it in... even a fried egg on top would work rather well, leaving the yolk runny.
You will need:
1.5 lb ground chicken (can use beef, or turkey)
1/3 cup small diced onion (can use a large shallot)
2 TBS olive oil
4 1/2 TBS coconut aminos (soy-free alternative sauce)
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 1/2 TBS toasted sesame oil
1 TBS ginger juice(can use freshly grated)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 TBS Korean gochugaru chile flakes
1 TBS honey, or to taste
3/4- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onion(chives work), reserve some for topping
toasted sesame seeds, to taste
lime juice, or rice vinegar, as needed to balance out the dish
extra coconut aminos, as needed (or sauce of choice... soy, hoisin, plum, sweet sour, etc.)
cooked short grain rice (I like to use sushi rice)
cooked fried egg, to top rice bowl, optional
1. Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside... adjust salt to taste, use a bit less in the sauce, as you can always add more at the end of the dish. I found 1 tsp to be about right, when final dish is adjusted with a bit of acidity.
Note: If using soy sauce the salt amount will differ.... you can skip salt and add a bit more soy sauce to taste.
2. Dice onion (or large shallot, if using). Heat 2 TBS oil in a large skillet on med heat. Add diced onion and cook until slightly golden, stirring every so often... about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add ground chicken (or meat of choice), and cook until nicely caramelized, stirring and scrapping brown bits that may form on the bottom of the skillet. This should take about 5-8 minutes... the meat may release a bit of liquid, but I like to cook it down so that the meat browns bit. If you like your meat to have some extra liquid, you can cook the meat until no longer pink.
4. Add reserved sauce and cook until meat is thoroughly combined with the sauce and meat is flavored well.
5. Adjust seasoning, by adding extra salt, or coconut aminos(or soy sauce if using) and adjust the overall flavor with a bit of rice vinegar or even a squeeze of lime juice.The acidity balances out the flavor of the dish.
6. Stir in most of the chopped green onion (or chives).
7. Serve with hot steamed rice... and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Top with extra chopped green onion.
Note: I like to serve the dish with some sort of vegetables be it raw, lightly steamed or pickled. Kimchi would work really well, as would marinated cucumber salad or even raw grated carrots, lightly seasoned with sesame oil and vinegar.
If you would like to make lettuce wraps:
Spoon some meat filling in a butter lettuce leaf cup, add some chopped peanuts, or sesame seeds, chopped green onion, and a drizzle of sauce... be it coconut aminos, soy sauce, plum, hoisin, sweet and sour, etc. Sprinkle some grated carrots for extra color and crunch. You could even add a spoonful of rice on the bottom of the lettuce cup, if desired. Be creative with the additions, as you can add all sorts of other veggies... bean sprouts, shredded seasoned cabbage, water chestnuts, etc.
Note: If you have any leftover rice and seasoned meat (you'll have leftovers only if you are making this for a single/double serving) ... you can always turn the leftovers into fried rice and stretch the dish even further. You can use bits and pieces of vegetables you may have in the fridge by sauteing them quickly and adding the leftover meat and rice. Adjust seasoning with a bit of extra sesame oil, vinegar, coconut aminos (or soy sauce)... or sauce of choice. I just used some roasted vegetables(chopped fine), a carrot, half an onion, a handful of peas along with a chopped red chile.