This one-pot mushrooms and rice is ultra-umami and flavorful thanks to the use of iru, a fermented locust bean popular in West African cuisine. You’ll love this one-pot rice recipe!
Don’t you just love an easy one-pot dinner recipe? This one-pot mushrooms and rice is easy, breezy, and so flavorful. The secret ingredient? Iru! If you’ve never cooked with Iru, you’ll want to keep reading and then grab a jar from the shop!
Popular in West Africa for centuries, iru is the fermented bean of the Nigerian locust tree. It has an extremely complex flavor profile–somewhere between chocolate, miso, and cheese–and will add a deep umami flavor to any dish you make with it.
Use it as you would dried mushrooms. Soak in warm water to soften the iru and then add to soups or stews. You can also add it straight to sizzling butter or oil to bloom it at the beginning of cooking and skip the soaking process.
In this one-pot rice recipe, iru is added along with the spices–black Urfa chili and chili powder–and we sizzle it in the pot for a minute or so. The result is a powerful, umami flavor that mellows as it cooks into the rice and mushrooms.
How to make this one-pot mushrooms and rice:
First, start by sautéing a diced onion and then add sliced mushrooms. I used a mix of cremini and shiitake, but try this with your favorite mushroom varieties!
Once the mushrooms are browned, add a little butter (vegan or dairy!) along with minced garlic and the iru, chili powder, and black Urfa chili flakes. Let it sizzle briefly and then add the rice and toss to coat with all the spices. From there, simply add water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20–25 minutes or until the rice is mostly tender. Finish it up by adding a pile of baby kale or spinach on top and covering the pot for an additional 5 minutes until the greens are wilted. After that, simply stir to combine everything and then serve. That’s it!
One-Pot Mushrooms and Rice
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 12 ounces mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, or a mix sliced
- 2 tablespoons vegan or dairy butter
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon iru
- 1 teaspoon black Urfa chili flakes optional, or use crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup long-grain rice rinsed
- 2 ¼ cups water or vegetable stock plus more if needed
- 4 ounces baby spinach or baby kale
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly minced parsley optional
Cook the mushrooms:
- In a wide pot, heat the neutral oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly, for 10–15 minutes. The mushrooms should release liquid and the liquid should be fully evaporated. Once the liquid evaporates, the mushrooms will develop a beautiful golden-brown crust. Don’t rush this part of the process! Once the mushrooms are golden brown, season with salt and pepper.
Sizzle the aromatics:
- Melt the butter into the mushrooms. Add the garlic, iru, black Urfa chili flakes, and chili powder and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Toast the rice:
- Add the rice to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the rice:
- Pour in the water or stock and bring to a boil. Cover and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20–25 minutes. Peek under the lid at 20 minutes. If the water has evaporated too quickly, add a splash more water. Add the baby kale or spinach and cover and let the residual steam wilt the greens. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Finish the rice:
- Remove the lid and toss to combine the rice and greens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the rice into bowls and garnish with minced parsley. Enjoy!