Vegan/Vegetarian Pumpkin Rice (One-Pot)


When the pumpkin season hits, recipes of pumpkin main-course and dessert are flooded online. I also got hold of a big pumpkin from the market and used it for a few rounds of this Pumpkin Rice and puree the balance and freeze it for dessert recipes.
After cooking my One-Pot Yam Rice many times, I really enjoy cooking one-pot-rice especially on weekday evenings because there are lesser plates and cutleries to wash after a great nutritious fulfilling meal. This recipe is surely a keeper and useful for a quick meal.
I have tried this dish umpteen times to perfect it to reach the al-dente texture for the rice. Due to the fact that pumpkin releases a lot of moisture when cooked, the amount of water for cooking the rice has to be adjusted accordingly to get the right consistency for the rice i.e. not too wet and not soggy. Please refer below for the note on rice and water before trying this recipe. 

For aesthetic reason, I omitted few of my favourite condiments like dark soy sauce and vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce because it makes the rice colour very dark and not golden yellow colour like pumpkin.

Dietary: Vegetarian, Vegan.
Serve 2-3

 Non-GMO canola oil, for frying
 4 cloves garlic, chopped ^
 1/2 medium onion, chopped ^
 2 fresh shiitake/button mushrooms, chopped
 120g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded & 1cm cubed
 1 cup* or 135g brown long-grain rice, washed & drained
 175ml water* or vegetable broth, for cooking
Optional Veggies (small amount each)
 Carrot, chopped
 Firm tofu, cubed
 Cloud ear fungus, chopped
 Bamboo shoot, chopped
 Yellow bell pepper, chopped
 Vegan ham, chopped 
 2 tsp soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
 1/2 tsp sesame oil
 Pinch of sea salt
 Pinch of white pepper 

 Spring onions, chopped
 Coriander, chopped
 Fried shallots

 Vegetarian sambal shrimp bites

1. Heat up oil in a wok or large skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic until aromatic.

2. Add mushroom and optional veggies, and  add some soy sauce and sauté until light brown and almost cooked for about 2 minutes.
3. Pour in pumpkin and uncooked rice, mix gently and be careful not to mash the pumpkin. Add seasonings, sauté lightly for about 1 minute. 

4. Add water and stir mixture until well combined for 30 seconds. 

5. Transfer mixture into rice cooker pot, turn on the rice cooker. When the rice is cooked, use the rice scoop to stir the rice and loosen it up. If you do not have a rice cooker, place mixture in a steamer bowl and steam for 25-30 minutes until it reached your desired consistency.
6. If you find the rice too wet for your liking after stirring, press the mode for 'cook rice' again. The new cycle will continue to cook and dry up the mixture to the right consistency and automatically turn to 'keep warm' mode when ready. It works this way for most rice cookers, this is mine for reference. Loosen the rice and keep warm in the cooker for a few minutes.

7. Garnish and serve immediately.

Step 4: After Sautéing in the Pan  
Step 5: Ready to Start in Rice Cooker 

^ Buddhist vegetarians who do not take garlic and onion can omit these and replace with some ginger.
* The ratio for perfectly-cooked rice in most rice cookers (works for my Toshiba) is 1:1 rice and water, but it might vary with different rice cookers and the type of rice you are using.
* The measuring cup I used in this recipe comes along with the rice cooker and it looks like this below. 1 full cup of this rice measuring cup yield 135g of uncooked rice and 190ml water. I scooped off 4 teaspoon of water (20ml) to make it 170ml of water. If you do not have a measuring cup from the rice cooker, you might want to follow this recipe exactly to use 135g of uncooked rice with 170ml water (serve 2-3 pax). Do take note that result might vary with different rice cookers.
Measuring Cup from Rice Cooker

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