All posts tagged: rice

“Shrimp grits” Congee

My family is Cantonese so I grew up with congee as a go-to comfort food. Congee or “JOOK” (rhymes with book) in Cantonese is long grain rice cooked in plenty of water until it resembles a thick porridge. Also known as rice porridge, it can be served plain or stirred through or loaded with various toppings. Being notoriously squishy and easy to digest, it’s also a common baby food, or food for the sick or elderly. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 100% comfort. I’m more than a little obsessed with American soul food. I don’t know why, but shrimp and grits is a fascination of mine even though I’ve never visited the US. Having eaten shrimp and grits in Wellington recently, I’ve had it in my mind to recreate something similar at home. Shrimp and grits was traditionally a breakfast dish but now eaten at other meal times as well. I present to you: the lovechild of congee and shrimp grits! “Shrimp grits” congee Serves 1 Ingredients 1/2 cup long grain rice, rinsed 4 …

Prawn sushi bowls

I eat in season because I cannot bring myself to pay $9 for an avocado. Avocados are back in season, baby. It’s time to GORGE. This recipe features my current favourite way to eat avocado: Cut in half, flesh scooped out. Topped with a dollop of mayo, a rosette of pickled ginger and a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds. Sushi bowls are great when you don’t want the effort of making sushi. There’s a bit of chopping and slicing involved but that fits in perfectly into the time it takes for your rice to cook. I’m no nutrition expert but eating the rainbow sure is pretty. Makes a great lunch or lighter dinner. Measurements below are rough. Tweak to your own taste, appetite and preferences. I’ve made a quick sushi vinegar rice but you can totally use plain rice, brown rice or black rice. Prawn sushi bowls Makes 2 bowls Ingredients 1 cup raw peeled prawns 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups cooked sushi rice 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar 1 perfectly …

Slow cooked whole chook and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Lift & Serve CHP450 (RRP $159.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Does a whole chicken in a crockpot seem weird to you? It’s not. I promise. Inspired by my new crockpot, I slow cooked a whole chook. The Crockpot Lift & Serve is the largest model in the Crockpot range. If you have a large household or like to meal prep, this one is for you. Its oval design happens to make perfect for cooking a large chicken.  Whole chickens are affordable and shredding means you don’t need carving or  or butcher skills. Just go at the tender cooked chicken with a fork. Easy. One thing I loved about this recipe is that slow cooked chicken is succulent all over. All over! Even the wings. If you’ve ever roasted a chicken, you’ll know the wings are done long before the rest, often resulting in sad, dry wings. Once you have cooked this chicken and you’re …

Jubilee Rice

First world problems: Too many cashew nuts. It all started off around National Nut Day when I had heaps of cashew nuts sent to me. I made a delicious Coriander and Cashew Pesto and Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts which were both winners, but I wanted to try something else.

Make Onigiri

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Louise from Crumbs and Corkscrews is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. Yesterday, I re-watched the movie Spirited Away at Silo Cinema. Silo Cinema is a free, weekly open-air-cinema in downtown Auckland at Silo Park. Right on the water’s edge looking across the harbour bridge, with the moon in view, movies are projected onto a big unused silo. Aucklanders bring blankets, snacks, tipple, friends or family for a cheap night out. Magic. I’m a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli (pronounced jee-blee or ji-bu-ri). His animations are rich in imagination, characters, colour and often sumptuous food scenes. Watching Spirited Away  reminded me once again why I put onigiri on my foodie bucket list. Onigiri or rice balls are portable, cheap, filling and can be thought of as Japanese soul food. Unlike sushi, which are made by highly trained sushi chefs, rice …

Stinky horizons

I’ve met a some friendly, slightly unhinged goats in my life. I have a fondness and respect for them. Pictured above is a friendly nannie goat and I at a friend’s family farm. Good times. But I have always been terrified of goats cheese. It is too pungent for my taste and if you are Chinese, you may know the word “Soh”. “Soh” refers to a despised goat/sheep smell, not exactly endearing. A couple of years ago, I realised that goats cheese was tolerable as an ingredient. Like any pungent food, like anchovies, fish sauce, even garlic, on their own, they can be overwhelming – but paired with other, gentler foods, they can be wonderful. I mean, I love using fish sauce but I wouldn’t knock back a shot of Golden Boy’s smelly brew. Always looking to expand my growing edge, to broaden my stinky horizons, I decided to take the beaded lady by the horns and cook something with goats cheese for the first time. No stock risotto I’ve opened Pandora’s box and it …

Make Risotto

I go weak in the knees for smoked salmon risotto. If it’s on the menu at a restaurant, it is what I’m going to order. Still, I always did feel a little naive paying $20 for a rice dish. After I ordered some Aoraki Hot Smoked Salmon from Naturally Organic, I figured it was finally time to attempt risotto. I used the stainless steel sauté pan that Mum gave me and it was perfect for the job. You need something with decent sides but also plenty room for the rice to absorb liquid in. While it might be possible to use a skillet, you would have to be extra careful while stirring. In hindsight, I could have added a little more stock at the end. While the rice was cooked, it absorbed even more liquid on standing. Some sources say to stop just before the rice is cooked. Once upon a time, you could only get cold smoked salmon but now you can find both in equal abundance. I prefer hot smoked salmon but I …

The Shanghai Chicken Project

The premise I’ve followed the blog Sybaritica for a while and I enjoy John’s experimental and honest love of Asian cuisine. It was there I found out about The Shanghai Chicken Project and his buddy Stefan’s Gourmet Blog. The Shanghai Chicken Project is based on a mysterious chili chicken dish of dubious origin with pine nuts and broccoli leaves. If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I love a good foodie challenge. I also happened to have some premium New Zealand pine nuts and a fermented chili paste I was hoping to play with so it like it was meant to be. The Shanghai Chicken Project rules: Prepare a dish inspired by Bamboo Restaurant’s Shanghai Chicken. It has to include chicken, chiles of some sort, vegetable greens, and nuts. It could be a known recipe or one of your own — traditional or newly invented. Blog about your dish or send Stefan photos and a description of what you did. Lee Kum Kee’s Chili bean sauce (Toban Djan) Toban Djan …

One pot wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice

This is a great one pot wonder. Warming, with a little kick and full of flavour. Fresh chorizo sausages are popping up everywhere. Unlike the traditional chorizo which is firm and cured, fresh chorizo look like regular snags, filled with soft sausage-meat and must be cooked thoroughly. Similar to paella rice or claypot chicken, the prize in this dish is the tasty hard cooked rice at the bottom of the pan. Still delicious even as leftovers the next day. I used a stainless steel pan for this job. Avoid using a non-stick pan so that you can scrape those tasty bits to your hearts content. I happened to have saffron needing to be used up but I’m sure you could make this dish without it. Saffron isn’t exactly an economical ingredient. One Pot Wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice  Serves 4 Ingredients 4 chorizo sausages (500grams/1lb) 250g peeled prawns (1/2lb) 1 tablespoon capers 2 cups rice, rinsed and drained (used a mixture of red rice and white rice) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, diced 3 cups …

Blessings Disguised As Rice

When I was *yea high*, my Daddy and my Uncle Hon owned one of the only Chinese takeaways in our little city. Some afternoons, my Uncle Charlie* would collect me from school and together, we would walk 15 minutes to the shop. * Uncle Charlie was not an uncle by blood but because in my culture, we call all our parents friends uncle and aunty out of respect. When I arrived at the shop, I would carry a stool up to the rice cooker for height, climb on top, fill a small bowl with the fresh batch of rice, drizzle soy sauce on top and tuck in. I loved rice then and I love it now. I’m going to be OK next week for poverty challenge. Keeping to a budget of just $2.25 a day, I’ve allocated 5 cups of rice among other things to get me by. I can’t help but think that I’m lucky that I choose to eat rice. Many are not so lucky and I think as foodies, we forget to …

Roast Chicken with lemon, garlic and herbs

The second kilo of Turks free range chicken thighs found a home with lemon slices and juice, herbs and garlic. I sprinkled a little raw sugar on these but you could use honey. Our honey was as hard as nails so sugar was the lazy option. The little lemon tree in our backyard is carrying mega lemons. There aren’t heaps of lemons, but the ones we have are big, thick skinned and look like they could win a bar fight. We haven’t gotten sick this winter (yet) and hopefully a bulb of garlic each will keep us going for a little while longer. I slice off the bottom, rub a bit of oil into it and season with salt, pepper and herbs. It’s good. I prefer rice with a roast dinner. To me, they go hand in hand. It probably seems weird to some, but I never had yorkshire pudding to soak up the juices, it was always rice. I guess it doesn’t really come as a surprise that we owned a roast dinner shop …

Chicken, then egg.

After the chicken comes the egg. If I’m not making gravy or sauce with the juices from a roast pan, I save that up for another use. Rice is perfect for soaking up the sauce from a honey soy roast chicken and a couple of eggs make this an quick meal. 2 hard boiled eggs sprinkled with truffle salt and black pepper. Served on top of rice and honey soy chicken sauce.

Creamy Tomatoey Chicken

My local Chinese supermarket now offers boneless thigh! I prefer the texture and flavour of thigh over breast meat. Boneless thigh is the same price as breast meat so I guess I’m not going to be buying breast ever again. I cooked up some the chicken for me and the boys*. Some cream, some tomato, some spices like garam masala and curry powder. Whip up some rice and some vege and you got yourself some tasty nutrition. The boys gobbled it all up. * By boys, I’m really referring to men. I don’t have any offspring.