Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nasi Goreng

For the past half year, we had been cooking with Nigel Slater in I Heart Cooking Clubs. Although I didn't join my fellow peeps there, I had a great time cooking with Nigel Slater and I'm sure many of them would agree with me too.

To recap, the following dishes below were from Nigel Slater:



Of all the dishes above, I really love the sticky toffee pudding and the chicken with leeks and lemon the most. However, this doesn't mean I will stop cooking with Nigel Slater. I will definitely continue to cook or bake with him if I find a recipe of his that I love :)

Having said that, we at I Heart Cooking Clubs will be cooking with someone new - Diana Henry. Diana Henry is from Northern Ireland and is a cook and food writer with The Sunday Telegraph. Since the birth of her first kid, she began writing about food and has published 4 cookbooks todate. All of her cookbooks were great successes.
Diana Henry

In particular, this cookbook did impressed me - Cook Simple. This book tells us alot about the food that Diana cooks at home on a daily basis. In it, she also shows us that food cooked without much effort need not be lacklustre but instead it can be as yummy too, if not nutritious as well.

To welcome Diana Henry, I'm cooking her nasi goreng recipe which is from Food From Plenty: Good food made from the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftoverMaybe you also have your own nasi goreng recipe that you often cooked at home. But for those of you who don't, this is another versatile one-dish meal that you can eat on lazy sundays ;) You get the hint right? See my modifications in blue.


2.5 tbsp groundnut oil olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, finely halved and sliced
200g tenderstem broccoli or broccolini, halved horizontally (You can also use cabbage, chinese bokchoy or chinese cabbage)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 or 2 red chillies, halved deseeded and sliced I used 2-3 heaped tbsp sambal belachan
350g cooked chicken sliced pork marinated with Korean bulgogi sauce
550g cooked rice, kept in the fridge overnight
4 spring onions, cut on the diagonal
4 eggs, beaten
100g cooked, shelled prawns
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp soft light brown sugar
1 pinch salt and pepper
3 lime wedges to serve
1 4-inch piece of cucumber, halved, seeds removed and cut into little cubes
1 juiced lime
2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 handful coriander, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the groundnut oil in a large frying pan, sauté pan or wok. Add the onions and cook over a medium-high heat until the onions have softened (though still have bite) and are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and make an omelette in the oiled frying pan. Remove it from the frying pan and cut into strips when cooled.
  3. Add another tbsp of the oil, heat and stir fry the red pepper for 2 minutes. Now add the broccoli and stir fry for another minute. Add the garlic, chilli sambal belachan and chicken marinated pork and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.
  4. Toss in the rice and spring onions and mix everything together lightly - it's important not to press the rice or it will become stodgy - and cook till the rice is heated through, stirring occassionally.
  5. While you are frying the rice, quickly heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the egg. Cook this as if you are making an omelette, rather than scrambled eggs. Don't stir the egg but drag the bits which are set round the side into the centre then tip the pan to allow runny egg to set around the outside - keep doing this until it is all cooked.
  6. With a sharp knife cut the egg into thin ribbons. Add to the rice along with the prawns, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper and onions. Toss and heat through.
  7. Squeeze lime over the top, scatter on the cucumber, peanuts and coriander and serve with lime wedges.

I feel this dish from Diana Henry made it super easy and versatile where you can simply just add or deduct ingredients that you have in your pantry. That is good isn't it? Especially for lazy days when you don't feel like going out of the house for food. Mr G prefers even more sambal belachan as he likes his food really spicy. But overall, it has plenty of flavours - sweet, salty, spicy and it has vegetables, proteins and carbs. Perfect for a meal :)
I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs as our introduction to Diana Henry for this week.
grab button for I Heart Cooking Clubs
I'm also submitting this post to Cook-Your-Books#17 organized by Joyce of kitchenflavours.
 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg 
Link up your recipe of the week

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin pork rice

It's October and at this time of the year, in many parts of the world, it's Fall already and on my side of the world, there isn't any seasons apart from rain and sun. If you consider haze to be a 'season' then yes that is also a season. Yeah at this time of the year, we do have hazy situations here. Ok, let's not go there now.

Lately, I've been seeing so many recipes with pumpkin, literally anything savoury or sweet with pumpkin often appears in my facebook feed.

I decided to make a simple one-dish meal with pumpkin which is made with just pumpkin, chicken (or pork) and mushrooms. This is a foolproof meal if you follow the steps correctly.

This would make for 4 pax but please adjust accordingly if you prefer more rice or more protein.


2 chicken thighs (I used 500g pork belly, sliced)
500g pumpkin, skinned and cut into cubes
200g mushrooms (I used bunashimeji Jap mushrooms)
300g white rice, uncooked
a handful of chopped parsley

Marinade for the chicken:
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar I omitted this
1 tsp cornflour
  1. You can choose to debone the chicken or use chicken parts or pork belly like I did. Marinate the marinade ingredients with the meat used for at least half hour or more.
  2. Wash the rice and note that as the pumpkin and mushrooms have high water content, add lesser water to your rice than normal. This would mean adding about 2/3 water that you usually use. For me, I used about 2.5 cups of rice so I added water to about the level for 2 cups of rice. Then you can turn the electric rice cooker to allow the rice to cook.
  3. After you removed the skin of the pumpkin and the seeds (you may bake this to make it a snack), cut the pumpkin into cubes.
  4. Cut off the ends of the mushroom roots and wash it to clean it from any dirt that might have been left. Alternatively, you may also use shitake mushrooms if you prefer them.
  5. Heat a wok over medium hot fire. Once the wok is heated, you may add about 1-2 tbsp oil and the meat.
  6. Stir the chicken/pork for about 1 minute till it's fragrant and add the mushrooms. After 1-2 minutes, scoop the meat/mushroom mixture and add it to the rice in the rice cooker and allow the rice to continue to cook.
  7. In the same wok, add the pumpkin and 2-3 tbsp water and stir fry the pumpkin with high heat. To this, I also added about 1 tbsp chopped garlic for more fragrance. Add this pumpkin/garlic mixture to the rice cooker and allow the rice to continue to cook.
  8. When the rice is finally cooked, you can fluff the rice up with a chopstick so that the ingredients are well mixed. You may taste to see if it's salty enough. If it's not, you may wish to add some dark soya sauce to make the rice look brownish and add taste. Otherwise, you may just add sambal chilli as a condiment to the pumpkin pork rice and it would taste just as good.

This dish is definitely a good one-pot meal and fuss-free too. It would go perfect with a piping hot bowl of soup or without as well.
I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Doreen of my little favourite DIY and Eileen from Eileen's Diary.
Link up your recipe of the week

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Prawn Rolls / Cake

Whenever you go to a Thai restaurant locally or in Thailand itself, you will notice a popular side dish that is often on the menu and ordered by people who dine at the place itself. If you are guessing som tham, hahaha not quite close yet. This side dish can be considered as a snack as well. Beware as you may just down many of this prawn cake without realising it.
I remember I once saw a prawn cake recipe, after seeing the recipe, I just skipped it and go to the next recipe. Haha!! Yes you are right about it. The list of ingredients in that recipe was just simply daunting and I was almost yawning already. But then again, at the same time, it also reminded me that this simple but yet complex snack is often made daily in restaurants or eateries. It's really not easy to use so many ingredients just to make one thing. 

When I saw Nigel's recipe, it struck me that it might not be so complex afterall.


prawns, defrosted – 250g
garlic – 2 cloves, 
peeledspring onions – 4, chopped
lemon grass or lime leaves – 2 stalks, outer leaves removed and shredded, or 4 leaves, rolled and shredded
coriander leaves – a fistful
small hot red chillies – 2 small, seeded
flour – 1 heaped tbs
groundnut oil for frying

for the sauce:
rice vinegar – 6 tbs
sugar – 4 tbs
dark soy sauce – 1 tbs
small, hot red chillies – 2, seeded and very finely chopped
coriander leaves – 1 tbs, very finely chopped 
juice of a lime
  1. To make the sauce, heat the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is becoming syrupy. Stir in the soy sauce and leave to cool. Add the chillies, the coriander leaves and the lime juice. Then leave to cool and thicken.
  2. Put the prawns, garlic, spring onion, shredded lemon grass or lime leaves, coriander leaves and chillies, flour and a little salt into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a rough paste. Set aside for half an hour in the fridge for the flavours to marry.
  3. Press spoonfuls of the prawn paste into small patties or flat cakes. You should get about eight from the mixture. I used my trustworthy ice-cream scoop to scoop it onto the hot pan and then press it down with my spatula, yes that works as well.
  4. Heat enough groundnut oil in a shallow pan to cover the bottom then lay the prawn patties in, letting them colour before gently turning with a palette knife. When they are crisp and golden on the outside, yet still moist in the middle, lift the patties out and lay them into the lettuce leaves, spooning over some of the sauce and scattering mint and coriander leaves over the top.

Honestly this prawn cake is really one of the easy peasy ones I've tried to make and it tastes not too bad. However, my suggestion is to shallow fry this on low heat so that the prawn cake will be well cooked. It's really easy to burn this prawn cake if you put on medium heat and let it cook fast.

The best condiment for this prawn cake would definitely be a dip in thai chilli sauce. Or the sauce that Nigel has made to go along with this prawn cake. For me, sometimes I do forget about the sauce as the prawn cake is pretty addictive. Whichever that is up your road, do it.

On a separate note, Nigel calls these prawn rolls but I still call them prawn cake as I affectionately known them for a long time.

With this prawn rolls/cake, I am bidding Nigel Slater farewell. Throughout these weeks of learning how to cook with Nigel Slater, I hope that this wouldn't be the last of me using or referring to Nigel's recipes but instead, every now and then I would look to him for inspiration. I have learnt quite a lot from Nigel - yummyness need not be compromised by flavours and time taken to prepare a dish.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Club as a cheerio to Nigel Slater.

Link up your recipe of the week