Family Meal: Rice Bowls




Chicken with teriyaki sauce

Jasmine sticky rice

Something green from the garden (steamed)

Lately, when I cook for my family it leaves a lot to be desired. The picky kid, my five-year-old, can be difficult to cook for, and it makes me somewhat depressed that I can’t whip out a beautiful meal and have everyone happy and nourished.

To keep mommy sane and dinnertimes happy, I have a few go-to family meals in my arsenal that everyone loves and this rice bowl is one of them. It fits all the family dinner requirements—fast, healthy, easy and tasty. Of course, Miss Picky often removes the something green from the garden. But as long as it’s there on the plate, I feel like I’m doing my job. Also, if your last name is Rice, you better know a couple of ways to make this staple shine.

Note: once your chicken is marinated it will take only 8-10 minutes to cook the meat, so make sure your rice is done before you put the chicken in the broiler and your water is boiling for the steamed vegetables.

Family Meal: Rice Bowls

Rice Bowls


Broiled Chicken with Teriyaki Marinade

I have lemongrass growing in my garden so I always add it to this marinade. If you don’t have it, just omit. The wand grater is your friend and I grate everything with it over a cutting board. I don’t bother removing the skin from the ginger or the lemongrass.




1/2 cup light soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons mirin or white wine

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon grated garlic

1 teaspoon grated lemongrass (optional)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon sriracha sauce

3 chicken breasts, deboned and skinned

Sesame seeds (toasted in a dry pan), for garnish after cooking




Mix the ingredients in a measuring cup and pour half of the marinade over the chicken in a bowl. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer it sits, the more flavor gets absorbed into the chicken—also, it seems to make it more moist after cooking. If the little tenders are still attached to the breast, then remove them and cook them separately, off of the breast. I use those pieces for lunch boxes the next day.


When ready to cook the chicken: Turn your broiler on high. When I first read that I could broil chicken I was a bit of a skeptic, but this is such an easy and tasty way to do it. I found it also works well with lamb.


Arrange the marinated chicken breasts and tenders on a cookie sheet on the second rack from the top of your oven so that the breast are in the middle and the tenders on the outside. Cook for 4 minutes. Then, using tongs, flip the chicken and add a bit more marinade with a brush or a spoon. Cook an additional 4 minutes. The tenders will be done, so pull them off now. Brush more sauce on the breasts and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes, until breast meat is cooked through.




Sticky Rice

1 cup jasmine rice (brown or white)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp white wine vinegar


Cook the rice per package instruction, brown rice will take a bit longer and might need a bit more water. After the rice cooks add a splash of white wine vinegar (this is what makes it sticky) to the pan and mix it up with a spoon, then cover and put aside until you are ready to assemble your bowls.


Steamed Vegetables

I usually do sugar snap peas or broccoli, sometimes both. I simply steam them in a pot of salty water (about 2″ of water) fitted with a steamer basket. Wait to cook your veggies until the chicken is in the oven. If you cook them too far in advance they will become mushy and dark in color. Steam for no more than 5 minutes and they will be crunchy and delicious. Sprinkle with sea salt.


To plate your meal: Slice the chicken on the bias. Pack rice into a small bowl to create a round mold and then plop that into your dinner bowl. Arrange the sliced chicken and veggies around the rice mound and top with toasted sesame seeds.