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Dec 8, 2021
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WINE WITH…Spicy Rice Bowl with Black Beans and Egg

Is there any food more comforting than a rice bowl?  Probably not, and few dishes are as simple to pull together as this Asian-inspired treat that is centered on rice.  It seems that every Asian culture has its own variation on the rice bowl theme including Japanese Donbury, and Bibimbap—Korea’s take on the rice bowl.  Asian rice bowls generally include vegetables and some kind of protein such as fish, chicken, tofu, or an egg or two.  Moreover, the Asian world of food is filled with spicy sauces such as Gochujang, a funky fermented condiment that adds zing to a rice bowl.

In many Asian countries rice bowls are commonly eaten for breakfast, which is something I’ve often enjoyed myself on a weekend morning accompanied by a cup of coffee and the Sunday paper.  This time, however, my goal was to make a rice bowl designed for a simple supper, and a dish that might be especially tasty and versatile enough to go well with a variety of different wines.  To ramp up the basic tastes and textures of the dish, I decided to use a mixture of white and brown rice, and to add black beans as well.  I settled on an egg for the protein in the dish for its succulent texture as well as its easygoing and versatile flavor.

For Each Serving:

1 cup cooked white rice
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ cup cooked black beans*

Optional: 1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) Gochujang or other hot sauce  
1 or 2 poached or lightly fried eggs

Topping: Minced scallions, cilantro and/or fresh parsley, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil

Mix the warm white and brown rice together with the black beans. Stir in the Gochujang or whichever hot sauce you are using, and spoon the mixture into a bowl.  Top with an egg or two and distribute the herb mixture over the top.  Squeeze in a little lime juice and add a modest drizzle of olive oil.
* Canned black beans are perfectly fine to use, as long as they have been thoroughly rinsed under cold water

The Wines:

Mionetto, Prosecco DOC (Veneto, Italy) NV:  With its easygoing hints of crisp apple flavors, its cheerful bubbles and its modest alcohol content (11%), this is a fun and affordable wine to enjoy with informal fare such as this rice bowl.  $16

Santi, Bardolino, (Veneto, Italy) Chiaretto Rosé “Infinito” 2019:   The delicate fruit flavors of this pale pink wine are well suited to the subtleties of the dish and stand up surprisingly well to the spice.  $15

Avalon, Lodi, California (USA) Cabernet Sauvignon 2019:  One might think that a California Cabernet would overpower for a dish such as this, but folks who prefer red wine in general will find that the wine’s essential fruitiness and balance connect it tastily to the rice bowl’s ensemble of flavors and textures.  $17          

More recipes and wine pairings:    Wine With...  
Connect  on Twitter:   @M_L_Thomas  and  @Wine_With_