As a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Top Chef winner Hung Huynh learned to cook with the Chinese trinity—GGS, or ginger, garlic and scallions. He uses all three here to flavor his earthy, mushroom-and-bacon-studded clay pot rice.
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1 cup short-grain rice (7 ounces)
3 ounces mixed mushrooms such as oyster and stemmed shiitake, quartered if large (2 cups)
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thick slices of fatty bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup ginkgo nuts (optional; see Note)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
How to Make It
In a bowl, cover the rice with water and let soak until the grains turn white, about 1 hour. Drain the rice.
In another bowl, toss the mushrooms and scallions with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper; let marinate for 10 minutes.
In a small, enameled cast-iron casserole, clay pot or medium saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soaked rice and stir to coat with the fat. Add the ginkgo nuts, marinated mushrooms and scallions, the water and the remaining 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Drizzle the oil around the edge of the pot so it runs down the insides.
Cover the pot and cook the rice over low heat until tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 10 minutes. Raise the heat to high and cook the rice, covered, until sizzling and a crust forms on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Ginkgo nuts, which are slightly sweet and have a soft texture like soybeans, are available in Chinese markets.
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