Rice is life, but for healthier alternatives, you might want to try bulgur or adlai.
Bulgur is parched cracked wheat that is a staple grain in Turkey. It is light and nutty and comes in a variety of grinds, from fine to extra coarse, which makes it popular for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. It is chewy when cooked, and can be used in Asian recipes that call for rice.
Duru Bulgur is made using a technique that involves mineral stones. Both the fine yellow bulgur and coarse bulgur can be used in soups, salads, pilafs and desserts.
Lugaw made of bulgur, instead of the traditional bigas and malagkit, is a flexible dish. You can make it as comforting as you want by adding your choice of meat and garnish. Chef RJ Ramos of Lampara restaurant shares recipes for bulgur lugaw and mango sticky “rice.”
Another rice alternative is adlai or Job’s tears such as the Oh Crop! brand locally grown in Bukidnon and Cotabato. Adlai is nutty and chewy, and has a texture similar to al dente pasta. Chef Kevin Villarica of Hapag MNL modern Filipino restaurant shares his recipe for Bibimbap Sushi Bake.
Duru Bulgur is distributed in the Philippines by Dygen Food Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Dyna Drug Corp., and is available at goodwill.market. Oh Crop! Adlai is available on BeautyMNL, Lazada and Shopee, which is also carrying Converge offers this July such as discounts on all Xpress Pass Vouchers and a free speed upgrade of up to 800Mbps for one month; shopee.ph/convergeictofficialstore.
Duru Bulgur Lugaw by chef RJ Ramos
- 1 c Duru Bulgur Coarse
- Chicken breast and thighs
- ¼ c onions
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 4 c chicken broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fish sauce, to taste
- Crispy garlic
- Spring onions
- Hard-boiled egg
Boil water, add ginger and chicken and cook for 25 minutes; rest and shred. In another pot, saute onions, garlic and ginger. Add 1 c bulgur and 4 c chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken and season with salt, pepper and fish sauce according to your taste. Mix thoroughly and let it boil for 15 minutes. Serve bulgur lugaw in a bowl. Garnish with shredded chicken, halved hard-boiled egg, fried tofu and spring onions.
Sticky Mango Coconut by chef RJ Ramos
- 1 c Duru Extra Coarse Bulgur
- 1½ c coconut milk
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- ½ c water
- Sesame seeds
- 1 c mango
For the coconut sauce, boil ½ c coconut milk, sugar and rice flour. Add ½ c coconut milk, simmer and set aside. For the sticky bulgur, combine 1 c extra coarse bulgur, water, sugar and the rest of the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Plate the sticky bulgur, drizzle with coconut sauce and top with mango slices.
Bibimbap Sushi Bake by chef Kevin Villarica
- 2½ c Oh Crop! Adlaim, cooked per package direction
- 4 Tbsp ssamjang (soybean paste)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 30 g carrots, julienned
- 120 g fish cake, julienned
- 120 g kani, julienned
- 200 g Japanese mayonnaise
- 60 g grated cheese
- 2 Tbsp furikake
- 60 g shitake mushroom, sliced
- 3 packs roasted seaweed sheets
- 120 g light soy sauce
- 60 g sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- In a bowl, combine adlai, ssamjang, vinegar, sugar. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, add fish cake, kani, carrots, mushroom, cheese and mayonnaise. Mix and set aside.
- Assemble in a small tray (8”x6”). Layer adlai, top with 1 Tbsp furikake and kani mixture.
- To make the soy glaze, combine soy sauce, sugar and garlic powder in a sauce pot. Simmer until thick and reduced. Set aside
- Set the oven to 190ºC, bake the sushi tray for 10-13 minutes.
- To finish, top sushi bake with 1 Tbsp furikake. Drizzle with mayonnaise and soy glaze. Serve with kimchi and roasted seaweed sheets.