Rice is one of the few things in the world that unites Asia. So it is tough to be away from home and not have your mother’s rice dishes. Never fear, though. Here are some favourites:
If you don’t bring a rice cooker when you leave home, it IS still possible to cook this basic!
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the rice and salt.
2 Put the lid on, and turn the heat to very low or completely off.
3 Set a timer for 20 minutes. Check only then, and not before. If you keep on lifting the lid, the rice won’t cook.
This is quick, easy and uses up the leftovers. Cook the rice the day before, cool it thoroughly and then place in the fridge to dry.
2 cups cooked rice
2/3 cup chopped carrots
½ cup frozen peas
2 tbsp vegetable oil
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil to taste
1 In a small saucepan, boil the carrots for two minutes, then add the peas and cook for a further two minutes. Drain and set aside.
2 Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan. Fry the peas and carrots for about 30 seconds, then add the eggs and break them up to scramble them.
3 Add the rice and stir well to heat through. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
Note: You can also add leftover cooked meat, tofu, or other vegetables such as broccoli, beans, sliced spring onion, mushrooms etc.
The key to a good pilaf is toasting the rice beforehand. To do this you need some oil – any sort will do, from olive oil, to sesame oil. You can even use butter.
1 tbsp oil or butter
1 small onion, diced
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cup chicken broth
1Rinse the rice under cold running water to remove any extra starch. Strain and set aside.
2 Heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the onion until it is soft and translucent. Add the rice to the oil and stir well to coat it with oil. Continue to cook until the rice smells toasted.
3 Add the broth and bring to the boil. Then, turn the heat to low, and put the lid on.
4 After 15 minutes, check to see if the rice is soft and the broth has been absorbed.
5 Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to sit untouched for around 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.
This chicken congee comes to us from the Philippines and is a great comfort food when the weather turns cold.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1kg chicken wings, tips of the wings cut off, and joints broken apart
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice
sliced lemon and sliced spring onions for serving
1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then stir in the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook gently.
2 After 5 minutes, add chicken, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
3 Add the fish sauce and cook for a further minute, before adding the chicken broth and rice and stir.
4 Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
5 Serve in your favourite bowl with a slice of lemon and spring onions on top.