Why dinner in a bowl?
The world seems to be obsessed with food in a bowl. I was a late adopter but I’m starting to get the appeal. Food in a bowl is food for people who don’t have time. It’s perfect for packing in a lunch, eating on the road. Everything is bite-sized, no cutting necessary, so you can eat it wherever and whenever. I don’t like being the kind of person who needs that convenience. But I am. That’s why I invented a bowl of my own, a chicken bowl with peanut sauce.
I’ve noticed a trend toward calling meals in a bowl Buddha Bowls. I really can’t understand why. According to Bon Appetit, it is simply a misappropriation of a spiritual term and has no historical or cultural meaning. And my bowl, like all other bowl recipes out there, does not belong to Buddha but to harried professionals looking to pack in some nutrition in a manner that strikes a balance between flavor and convenience.
In the name of convenience
Since my Shredded Veggie Chicken Bowl with Peanut Sauce is a meal of convenience, I thought the recipe should represent a similar level of convenience. Although I highly recommend making each component from scratch, you can easily assemble the bowl using store-bought rotisserie chicken and a prepackaged coleslaw mix. The flavor may not have the same impact as homemade but it beats most foods you can pick up on the run and it more than cuts your pep time in half.
- 1/4 c salted all-natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2-4 Tbsp water
- 1 c Jasmine Rice
- 6 c shredded vegetables including carrots, Napa cabbage or a mix of Green, Savoy and/or Red cabbage
- 2 c shredded roast chicken
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 3 scallions
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce and grater ginger.
- Add two tablespoons of water and whisk to make a creamy sauce consistency.
- If the mixture is too thick, add up to two additional tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is your desired thickness.
- Let the sauce rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. (Can be made a day in advance.)
- Whisk the sauce just before adding it to the bowl.
- Cook the rice according to package instructions.
- While the rice is cooking, halve the cucumbers lengthwise and slice into thin half moons.
- Slice the scallions into thin rounds.
- When the rice is cooked, divide between six large serving bowls.
- Top the rice with the cabbage.
- Sprinkle with the cucumber slices and scallions and top with the shredded chicken.
- Drizzle each bowl with a generous serving of the Peanut Sauce and serve.
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