Adapted from an Americas Test Kitchen recipe
I am incapable of following a recipe, even my own. I know that the chefs at ATK have spent days perfecting their recipe, but I have to make changes. I cannot help myself—I watch cooking shows more for tips and techniques, rather than instructions.
At random intervals, ATK sends me an email with a link to a video of their program. It will sit in my inbox until I have a spare half hour to give it my attention. A recent one was for a Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup that I thought had possibilities.
As usual, what I finally ended up with was more of a nodding acquaintance to the original, rather than an adaptation. Their soup was a European-influenced, East Coast dish. What I came up with is more of a West Coast Asian-Fusion dish. Just about the only thing I did not change was the wild rice.
Karl’s Asian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
1 inch ginger, sliced into coins
1 tsp. star anise
1 inch stick cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, cracked, plus 4 cloves, minced
1 tsp. Kosher salt, separate uses
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup wild rice
1 medium onion, chopped fine
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. tomato paste
½ cup shaoxing rice wine
32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth (use water or vegetable broth for Vegan)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, ground to a powder
1 Tbs. soy sauce
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup minced green onions, green parts only
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat the oven to 375º degrees.
2. In a Dutch oven, or oven-safe pot, bring four cups of water to boil over high heat.
3. Stir in the ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, three cloves of garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, baking soda, and the rice to the pot, cover, and transfer to oven.
4. Bake the rice until tender, 35-50 minutes.
5. Strain rice and reserve the liquid in a bowl. Discard ginger, star anise, and cinnamon stick.
6. Rinse the Dutch oven, set it over a over high heat, and add two tablespoons of peanut oil.
Tip: Do not add the oil until the pot is dry.
7. Add mushrooms to the pot and sauté until well browned. Remove them to a plate.
8. Add the remaining peanut oil, the onion, and the rest of the salt to the pot and sauté until the onions are starting to pick up some color.
9. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the minced garlic. Sauté one minute until fragrant.
10. Add the tomato paste and pepper to the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste is well darkened.
11. Return the mushrooms to the pot and stir in the rest of the vegetables.
12. Add the shaoxing, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any fond, and simmer until the wine is reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes.
13. Add the ground black mushrooms, the reserved rice cooking liquid, broth, and soy sauce.
Tip: Wipe four dried black mushroom with a paper towel and remove the stems. Break the caps up a bit and put them in a spice grinder. Process them to a powder.
14. Bring the pot to boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
15. Whisk the cornstarch and ¼ cup water in small bowl.
16. Stir the cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
16. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice and green onions.
17. Cover the pot and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Tip: Check the seasoning and add salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.
18. Serve with Chili oil (La Yu) or Siracha on the side to be added as desired.