- 1 1/2 cups raw jasmine rice, rinsed
- 1 fresh stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
- 1/2 fresh chile, seeded and minced
- 1 tsp. canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 3/4 cup low-fat or regular coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup low-fat or regular coconut milk
- 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, preferably Thai basil
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh coriander or mint, optional
- 1 medium-sized red or orange bell pepper
- 8 oz. asparagus
- 12 oz. Mushrooms, such as oyster, cremini, shiitake, moonlight or a combination
- 2 tsp. minced or pressed garlic
- 2 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lime peel
- 1/2 fresh chile, minced and seeded
- 2 tsp. canola or other vegetable oil
- Pinch salt
- Chopped fresh basil for garnish
- Roasted peanuts or cashews, optional
1. To prepare rice: In small, heavy pot with tight-fitting lid, sauté rice, lemongrass and chile in oil for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add boiling water, coconut milk and salt, and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to very low, cover and cook until all liquid absorbed, about 15 minutes.
2. To prepare Dressing: Whisk together dressing ingredients in bowl, and set aside.
3. To prepare Vegetables: Seed pepper, and cut it into thin strips about 11/2 inches long. Blanch strips in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender, and set aside in serving bowl. Rinse asparagus, snap off and discard tough stem ends and cut spears on diagonal into 11/2-inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes, and add to serving bowl.
4. Remove lemongrass pieces when rice is tender, fluff with fork and set aside to cool. 5. Remove and discard any tough stems from Mushrooms; rinse and slice caps into bite-sized pieces. In skillet, combine garlic, ginger, lime peel, chile and oil, and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add Mushrooms and salt, and toss well. Cover, reduce heat and cook until Mushrooms are softened and begin to release their juices, 3 to 5 minutes.