I’m definitely a morning person, but I’m not particularly a breakfast person. I like to go about my morning leisurely – puzzles, a.m. skincare routine, morning cups (I bounce between tea, matcha, and decaf coffee), a brief yoga flow. By the time I do feel hungry, it’s usually around noon. So my first meal is more of a brunch. It also has to be something filling.
My go to brunch is typically a rice bowl. Some people say it’s weird to have rice for breakfast, but brunch is a whole other ballgame. Prepping a batch of rice at the start of the week makes it so easy for a meal to come together, morning, noon or night. Sometimes brunch is as simple as boiling an egg and sauteing some veggies while re-hydrating your rice.
This bowl is inspired by some tacos I had the first (and only) time I’ve eaten out since March. Back in late June, my mom, Tom, and I were in Dothan getting a few things for the new apartment and we decided to make a day of it and eat at a local Mexican restaurant. We sat out on the patio where only two other groups of people were (probably because it was so hot and humid) and ate lunch. It was a surreal experience – to be doing something so mundane that now has a whole new meaning, to have someone else cook for you and make you a drink and (my favorite part) do your dishes. It has always been a luxury, but one that I definitely had taken for granted.
I ordered steak tacos with fried bits of plantain. Now I grab a couple of plantains every time I go to the market. They are so flavorful, and when you pan-fry them, the texture is marvelous – crispy and slightly charred on the outside, soft and sweet once you take a bite. I also like them thinly sliced into coins and baked as a type of quick chip.
I thought the sweet and savory aspects of the plantain would play well with the sweet and tart aspects of a pineapple and boy was I right. I fried off some tofu with just a dash of fish sauce, too for protein. And voila! Brunch.
As with every time I cook, I don’t use measurements. The main reason I prefer cooking to baking is that you don’t need to measure everything precisely for it to turn out delicious. So although it’s unconventional, the measurements below are simply suggestions. Cooking is creative and flexible – run with it.
1 plantain, chopped into half-coins
1 pack extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
Dash fish sauce
1 cup chopped pineapple
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup chicken stock
1 scallion greens
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Cilantro leaves, scallion greens, and Sriracha for garnish
1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add you plantains. Season with salt and pepper. Flip once bottoms start to brown.
2. In a separate pan on medium low heat, add your rice, chicken stock, scallion greens, and cilantro. Stir until liquid is absorbed.
3. Remove plantains. Coat the pan with more olive oil. Add tofu and fish sauce. Season with pepper. Stir until coated. Flip once bottoms start to brown.
4. To assemble: Place rice in a bowl. Top with plantains, tofu, and pineapple. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and more scallion greens and a drizzle of Sriracha.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you end up making this tasty bowl. Also, tag me on Instagram if you take a photo!