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Old Twists On American Classics

H&M Overalls, ’90s Timberland boots, early 2000s J.Crew sweater

The beauty of fashion is the ebb and flow of trends – the retreat and return of era-specific looks and styles. Just like Bohemian-chic attire and flannel, each time a trend returns, it takes an understated or aesthetic-specific place in our cultural hold.

My favorite looks are the ones that return from the way-back of my fashion memories. For example, the return of the mom jean is crucial to me thriving as a wide-hipped warrior. And, “Dad-style” baseball caps are back in. You know what else is back in? Overalls. And thank goodness! Whenever I pair my H&M overalls with a flannel and an Ohio U baseball cap, I truly look like the pictures of myself as a toddler in an OshKosh pair of overalls with a hat to protect me from the dangerous sun.

Only now, I look like a HOT and COOL American tourist adult.

Okay, so maybe I don’t look hot and cool. But other folks out there are rocking these old takes on Americana classics that look absolutely killer. I’m slayed at least once a day by these updated plays on farm-inspired and tourist attire.

In the spirit of reinventing an American classic, today we’ll be making BBQ Mian Jin with rice and shiitake mushrooms, because what’s more American than BBQ?

Grocery List:

Shiitake mushrooms

Mian jin (gluten balls from the last recipe!)

Rice (white or brown, your preference)

BBQ Sauce

Salt & Pepper

Vegetable Oil

How To: 

  1. Fill a medium sized bowl with water. Cut small slits into each gluten ball and drop them in. If you’re worried about them not soaking thoroughly, cover with a small plate to press them down.
    It’ll look like this as they soak.


  2. Set your timer for 30 minutes, as that’s how long those suckers need to soak. In the meantime, wash and cut your shiitake mushrooms into lil’ diced bits, about an inch long.
  3. I’m a piece of human garbage who uses minute rice, so I usually take this time to measure out the amount of rice I need and fill the pot with enough water too. It cooks fast, so no need to get it started until you start to fry the gluten balls.
  4. When your timer goes off for the gluten balls, grab a bowl or a plate to place your mian jin on. As you remove it from the water, wring out the water. For someone whose greatest sensory enjoyment arises from cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin, this is my favorite part of the process.
  5. Once they are all wrung out, you’ll put them on the stove in a pan that has been coated twice around in vegetable oil. Set your temperature to medium high.
  6. Get your rice goin’! (Follow box instructions.)

img_85287. Once mian jin starts to steam, add your BBQ sauce to taste. I myself used a Raspberry Chipotle sauce from a local vendor, but pick whatever floats your boat. Mian jin takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in, so sauce choice matters.

8. After about three minutes of cooking, add your mushrooms. I generally like to add a spoonful or two of the BBQ sauce after this just so that we know the mushrooms are as flavorful as possible.

9. Keep cooking until the mian jin has a dark, golden look to it. The consistency should be that of pulled pork.

10. Add your BBQ mixture on top of your rice. Mix it up if that floats your boat! Feel free to add onion, hot sauce, cilantro or any herb/sauce that feels right or necessary with your picnic dinner.

Enjoy! This one is really quick and easy, so it’s super convenient for busy days. The sweet, smoky taste of the BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with the tender pork feel of the mian jin. It’s almost like you’re eating a real pig roast at your family reunion, only you aren’t at all.



For more recipes, check out my blog, The Reckless Veg!

Posted in Blog, Food