Yelly Writes

How to cook rice…perfectly

This was another post that was originally on our blog Pan-Asian Kitchen.  For anyone who fears cooking rice via the absorption method, I hope the the infographic helps you along! 

How to cook riceI thought an infographic would be useful.

Cooking rice has always been a daunting task to a lot of people.  But if you’re Asian, rice is a staple, so cooking rice is a skill that (should be) learned early.  There are various ways to cook boiled rice.  Some people boil rice and then drain the liquid.  My mom taught me early and most Filipinos will use what is known in the rice bowl circuits as the absorption method.  I love this method because, despite a lot of disbelief, the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (even if you don’t use a non-stick pan).

The steps are simple and I hope the infographic helps!  Any questions, please leave them in the comments section.  I’m definitely happy to help.

This infographic is also downloadable!  Click here.

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Yelly Eats

No to takeaway – yes to biryani

So for someone who works a 9-5 job (well, okay, it’s really 8:30AM to 5PM) with a 2-hour commute (return trip, of course), giving up ordering takeaway for Lent can be quite disastrous because there are days when you simply don’t want to cook and you’d rather have pizza or chicken or a Chinese or Indian.  But there you go.  I have given up takeaways for lent.

Alan, bless him, has found something interesting in the aisles of Asda though.  He found a biryani spice mix for under £1.  There were instructions on the box about how to prepare the biryani.  I was excited.  If I couldn’t order a biryani, I would make it myself.  Granted it wouldn’t be my spice mix…but how spicy could it be (surely not as spicy as that biryani I ate in New York – that was like a volcano exploding in my mouth).

So I followed the instructions on the box.  The cooking process was quite fun, actually.

Ginger and onionsOnce the biryani was cooked, I plated up.  I artfully topped the bowl with mint and coriander.  I was so excited!

Lamb biryani

Then it felt as if I had bitten into a birds eye pepper.  I tell you, I was thankful we had mango lassi with our biryani and leftover yogurt because I have never made raita that quickly!

The next chapter of this biryani story is me trying to make biryani completely from scratch.  I don’t want to not feel my tongue when I eat one of my favourite Indian meals.

Watch this space!  Recipe testing is on the horizon.

 

Yelly Eats

Kedgeree

A few weeks back I finally started making kedgeree.  I remember seeing cooking shows in Manila talking about kedgeree.  The idea of a curried rice dish appealed to my very Filipino palate.  We have rice with everything.  Plus, in the shows, it looked like a very easy dish to do.  I never got around to making it.

So when Alan announced we should try to make kedgeree, I was excited.  I’d seen the Hairy Bikers and the Spice Men (Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh) do their versions and I always end up wishing I could try it myself.  So I searched for a relatively easy looking recipe.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work but I was hoping it would.

And it did!  And it was good!

KedgereeSo after making it once, I made notes, tried to remember what my thoughts were on improving the taste (mostly add more salt!).  I’ve done it a few more times but this time, I think I’m brave enough to share my version of how to make a quick and easy version of kedgeree.

Ingredients:

  • 4 fillets of smoked haddock (can be just 2, I just like a lot of fish in my kedgeree)
  • 500ml water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I used medium)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground dried coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g basmati rice
  • 500ml water
  • 25g flat leave parsley, chopped finely
  • 25g coriander, chopped finely
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, quartered (optional)

Directions:

  • In a saucepan, heat up 500ml of water and add bay leaves.  When the water starts simmering, add smoked haddock fillets.  Allow the water to come to a boil and turn down the heat to medium and allow the haddock to poach until it turns a light colour.  Poach for 10 minutes.
  • Once the haddock has poached, drain water and allow the fish to cool.  Once cool to touch, peel off the skin and flake the fish into large flakes.
  • In a pan, heat up the vegetable oil and add the onions.  Allow onions to become translucent and slightly brown around the edges on medium heat.  Add curry powder, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and dried coriander and heat until spices become aromatic.  Add the lemon juice to form a paste.
  • Add rice and mix until the rice grains are coated with the spice-lemon paste.

Rice and spice!

  • Add salt to spice and rice mixture.  Mix until everything is well-incorporated.  Pour 500ml of water and mix slightly.  Cover pan and allow water to boil.  Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow rice to cook and absorb the water.  Cook covered for 10 minutes on low.
  • Once rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed, stir in flaked fish and chopped parsley and coriander.
  • Top with hard boiled eggs and serve.

Kedgeree my wayMy recipe has a bit more spice, a bit more salt.  But that’s to my taste.  Feel free to customise to your taste.  If you try the recipe, I’d love to know how you get on!  I have fallen completely in love with this beautifully spiced rice comfort dish.

This recipe will serve a greedy 4 or 6 average eaters.

Yelly Eats

Finally Kedgeree!

I love curry and Alan has introduced me to the fragrantly delicious world of Indian food.  After trying lamb biryani for the very first time, I have never looked back.

Even when I was in the Philippines, I would hear about kedgeree.  How it was nice and comforting.  But I was never really brave enough to try to cook it.  In the Philippines, it was because I didn’t have smoked haddock readily available.  In England, it was because I thought kedgeree was difficult to make.

So a couple of weekends ago, I told myself it was time to bite the bullet and make kedgeree. I used a recipe that looked simple enough, from the BBC Good Food website.  I took a deep breath and added the ingredients to my shopping list and took the plunge!

And, oh boy, was it GOOOOOOOD!!!

I don’t know why I thought it was difficult.  It was so similar to cooking a paella which is something I can do with my eyes closed.

Kedgeree prepIt may have a few stages more than my favoured paella but it was similar and it was equally as comforting!

KedgereeIf you’d like to have a go, John Torode’s recipe is the best to start with!  Enjoy!

Yelly Eats

Arroz con Chorizo

Rice meals have always been comforting and very filling for me.  I love the paellas, congees and all sorts of rice-based meals.  My Tita Mila, one of my dad’s younger sisters, has been an inspiration for me to learn so many dishes.  I have fond memories of coming to their house for parties.  Her cooking was phenomenal!  I think it was at one of her parties that I first tasted paella.  And ever since then, I’ve tried to practice my way into duplicating what she did.  I’m not quite there yet as I’m not quite brave enough to cook with actual pieces of seafood (YET!), but I’m getting there.

About a decade ago, maybe even more, I joined the Del Monte Kitchenomics Club.  It was a recipe club established by Del Monte in the Philippines.  I think it was a good marketing coup since the recipes mostly contained Del Monte ingredients.  But I have them to thank for because it was through a recipe that I got in the post that I learned my shortcut paella recipe.  It was a chicken skillet paella recipe.  Over the years, I’ve improved on how short the shortcuts were and I’ve been working on improving the recipes.

I can’t quite call my rice dish a paella but I guess you could call it that because it has chorizo, chicken and seafood.  But I won’t call it a paella until I can cook with actual seafood pieces.  It’s really a rice with chorizo dish with seafood, so it’s really an Arroz Con Chorizo recipe.   But for anyone wanting to try the shortcut recipe, here it is:

300 grams chicken thighs cubed
125 grams chorizo sliced into rounds
250 grams arborio rice (you can always use ordinary rice, the shorter the grain the better)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion chopped
1 large green bellpepper chopped
200 grams frozen peas
1 tsp garlic granules (or 2 fresh large garlic cloves minced)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
800ml chicken stock (1 L water with 2 stock cubes boiled until it’s reduced to 800ml)
225 grams frozen seafood mix (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or shallow sauce pan.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and sautee until the onions are slightly transluscent.  Add the chorizo and sautee until the chorizo releases its oils.  The onion-chorizo mixture should turn slighlty orange (*NOTE: add the garlic at this point if you’re using fresh garlic, but only if you’re using fresh garlic).
  2. Add the chicken pieces and sautee until the chicken slices lose its pinkness.  Add all the spices: garlic, paprika, turmeric, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Mix until the spices are well-incorporated.  Lower the heat to medium and allow chicken to cook under a lid for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and replace the lid and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the arborio rice (I usually wash the rice once before I cook it, if I’m NOT using arborio).  Mix well until all the rice grains are covered with the juices.  Add half of the chicken stock and cover the lid.  Allow mixture to reach a slow boil, stirring occassionally.
  4. When most of the stock has been absorbed, add the remaining stock.  Add the frozen peas, green bellpepper and seafood pieces (the seafood pieces are optional).  Cook on low heat for a further 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  You may have to add a little more water if the rice requires more cooking (depends on how hot your stove gets).
  5. This will serve 4-6, depending on how generous your portions will be.