Gg’s Bacon Fried Rice

Fried rice is something the Mumsy cooks when she is tired, has leftover cooked rice and wants to make a meal fast. You can add almost any ingredient to create a fried rice that is as simple or fancy as you like. Just make sure they complement each other. There aren’t any concrete rules to making fried rice. You add as much of anything as you like. I prefer more ingredients, less rice.

It is important to use rice that is drier when cooking fried rice so you do not end up with mushy fried rice. This also allows you to use a wider variety of seasonings.

Bacon fried rice is probably the simplest to make yet does not compromise on flavour. I mean, bacon anything is good right? No additional oil is added as the bacon renders off enough fat to fry the rice and vegetables. You may pour away the fat if you’re squeamish about bacon fat. I don’t. It’s what makes bacon fried rice so tasty. I used Maple bacon as that was what I had in the fridge but ordinary streaky bacon will do too. I buy the leanest streaky bacon I can find. If you prefer back bacon, you may use that. I am not a back bacon sort of girl. If you have prawns, you may add some to your bacon fried rice. Peel, de-vein and add them after the garlic, just before the cabbage.

My DCM and I really like cabbage and bean sprouts in fried rice. I didn’t add bean sprouts in bacon fried rice as I don’t think the flavour of bean sprouts suits this particular fried rice. Corn and asparagus would be great additions to bacon fried rice. It’s really up to your own personal preference.

Gg’s Bacon Fried Rice Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 3 eggs (beaten)
  3. 6 rashers Maple bacon (or more if you like)
  4. 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  5. ½ head of small cabbage (roughly shredded)
  6. 2 servings cooked rice (fluffed with a fork)
  7. few sprigs spring onions (chopped)

Seasoning

  1. 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  2. Salt and white pepper powder (to taste)

Directions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium fire.
  2. Add eggs to pan.
  3. Let eggs set into an omelette.

  1. Use a fork to break up the omelette into small pieces.

  1. Leaving the fire on, dish egg and set aside.
  2. Add bacon to pan and mix around.

  1. Let bacon crisp and render some of its fat.
  1. Once bacon is crisp, add garlic and fry till fragrant.

  1. Add cabbage and rice. Mix well.

  1. Turn fire to high.
  2. Add cooked eggs.
  3. Season and fry till cabbage is cooked.
  4. Dish and garnish with spring onions.

Gg’s Chinky Salmon with Chinky Stir-fried Vegetables & Rice

Marinated salmon, grilled in the oven is served with steamed rice and some very simply fried vegetables. The vegetables are quickly stir-fried while the salmon grills making this fuss-free meal that will still impress. I cooked the salmon all the way through this time as we were having it with rice.

Gg’s Chinky Salmon Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 thick salmon fillets

  Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • few sprigs of cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • few sprigs of spring onions (roughly chopped)
  • 4 – 5 slices of sliced old ginger
  • 1 medium fresh red chilli (sliced) or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Directions

  Marinating:

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag or container. Mix well.
  2. Add salmon to marinade. Coat well.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

  Cooking:

  1. Pre-heat oven on the conventional cooking setting () at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Lay a piece of baking paper on a metal rack placed on a baking tray.
  3. Take salmon out of the fridge, remove from marinade and pat dry.
  4. Arrange on baking paper and place in the oven on the second rack from the top. Switch the oven to the fan assisted grilling setting ().
  5. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and how well done you like it.

 

Gg’s Chinky Stir-fried Vegetables Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 big broccoli (divided into bite-sized florets)
  • 6 fresh shitake mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • 12 small prawns (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 garlic cloves (roughly minced)
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil

  Seasoning:

Directions

  1. Combine chicken stock, soya sauce, mirin and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over a medium fire.
  3. Add shitakes to oil and fry for 2 minutes till cooked through.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and garlic. Fry till garlic is light golden and fragrant.
  5. Add the remainder of the oil and broccoli. Toss to coat broccoli in oil. About 1 minute.
  6. Add  cherry tomatoes, prawns and seasoning. Turn the fire up to high.
  7. Toss well. Add a splash of cooking wine once prawns are cooked.
  8. Give it a final toss and serve.

Rice Rice Rice

Cutting stalks at noontime.  Perspiration drips to the earth.  Know you that your bowl of rice each grain from hardship comes? ” ~ Chang Chan-Pao

I am Chinese so I must be able to cook rice.

Growing up, the Mumsy always cooked rice. Now that I don’t live with the Parentals anymore, I have to cook rice when I want to eat it. You may think that it’s a really simple thing to do and it actually is but for someone who’s never done it, it can be rather daunting. Especially when the Mumsy always churned out perfectly cooked rice. I have become extremely fussy about rice.

Perfectly cooked rice is when each rice grain still holds its shape after being cooked all the way through. This means it’s not mushy and clumpy. Mushy, clumpy rice is disgusting. If that happens to your rice, add a lot more water to it and let it boil slowly on the stove, stirring constantly till you get porridge.

After consulting the Mumsy and doing a little research, I’ve come up with what I deem is the best way of cooking rice so it’s perfect everytime. So easy too! You do it in the microwave! We never had a rice cooker and I do not understand the concept of boiling rice on the stove. The Mumsy always cooked rice in the microwave.

Why bother with another space-wasting appliance in the kitchen? Everyone these days has a microwave right? I use a cheap little claypot I found at some random ghetto shop. It costs me $4. So any microwave safe container with a lid that allows some steam to escape will do.

Gg's cheap little claypot

The key to getting fluffy, grainy cooked rice is the water to rice ratio. 1.5:1. The Mumsy says 1:1 but then she cooks the rice with the lid off and adds water after 10 minutes of cooking if she feels the rice is too dry; then cooks it for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Some sites I read say 2:1 but that produced mushy rice. So, I tried 1.5:1 and I got perfect rice.

If you’re apprehensive cooking rice for the first time, I think it is better to start with lesser water. This means that if the rice turns out too dry, you can do what the Mumsy does and just add a bit more water before microwaving for another 5 minutes. I also like soaking my rice first to get rid of some of the starch.

Soaking the rice

Leftover rice, kept in the fridge up to a week in an airtight container is great for fried rice. This is what I do when I randomly want to cook fried rice but have no leftover rice sitting in the fridge. I cook rice the usual way (see recipe below) but for 15 instead of 12.5 minutes, chuck the cooled rice into the fridge, uncovered; for as long as possible before frying it.You want a dryer rice when cooking fried rice so it absorbs seasonings better and you do not end up with wet, mushy fried rice.

Should you think plain white rice is boring, substitute some water for a stock of your choice, add some butter, soy sauce or spices into the water or even raisins, cranberries, cooked ginkgo nuts, wolfberries, etc.

Soya sauce-flavoured rice cooked for fried rice

FYI, save the water from soaking and washing the rice to water your plants if you have any. A tip I learnt from the Mumsy and my grandma. The starch and trace amount of minerals (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) in the water are beneficial to plants.

Gg’s Perfect Steamed Rice Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Soak rice in tap water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain and wash (use your hand to gently swish the rice around in the water). Repeat process until the water is clear.
  3. Drain as much water as possible during the final draining.
  4. Add reserved tap water. Make sure all the rice is covered by water.
  5. Cover with lid and microwave for 12.5 minutes.
  6. Leave rice in the microwave to sit and rest UNDISTURBED for another 5 to 10 minutes.