Sunday, July 15, 2012

Baked veggie rice (variation on HK-style diner baked rice)

One thing I love about Toronto is that there are many Hong Kong style diners to pick and choose from. But they all come with a big disadvantage, that is, almost all their menu options rack up on points for the grease and heaviness factor.

So for this Sunday night dinner, we decided to make a variation of the Hong Kong style seafood casserole using lots of veggies and steamed brown and white rice (the seafood was omitted because I ran out, but this recipe is so forgiving and versatile that using seafood or just odds and ends from the fridge - which is what we did - would result in a great dish).

3 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs green onion, diced
1/2 classic aubergine, diced (about 2 cups)
3 stalks celery, diced ( about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 cup peas
2 tomatoes, diced

3 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk

2 1/2 cups steamed brown and white Japanese rice

Bechamel sauce:
3/4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup good quality mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet on medium heat, brown garlic and onion, then add aubergine and celery and cook until softened but still keeping their shape. Some bits get stuck to the pan, deglaze with Chardonnay. Once it comes to a simmer again, add peas and tomatoes. Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs with whole milk and scramble. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the bechamel sauce in a sauce pan by combining milk, butter and flour, salt and pepper over medium heat. Whisk for several minutes until it starts simmering and thickening, about 10 minutes. Once it is thickened (it doesn't slosh around anymore and coats the bottom of the pan with greater viscosity), take off heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F on Broil setting.

In a large baking dish, combine rice with eggplant mixture and scrambed eggs. Mix thoroughly. Pour bechamel sauce over rice mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Layer the top with cheese.

Bake under the Broil setting for about 10 - 15 minutes until cheese acquires bubbly brown hue. Serve with Chardonnay!


  1. wow this veggie rice is so different. I will definately try it.

  2. i've never seen veggie rice like this, it looks delish!