Monday, December 29, 2008

Thai Rice

This is a lovely, soft, fluffy rice dish, perfumed with fresh lemon grass and limes. Recipe serves 4.


2 limes
1 lemon grass stalk
Generous 1 cup brown long grain rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Spring onion green, toasted coconut strips and lime wedges, to serve


1. Pare the limes using a canelle knife or a fine grater, taking care to avoid cutting the bitter pith. Set aside the rind. Finely chop the lower portion of the lemon grass stalk and set aside.
2. Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water until the water runs clear. Tip into a sieve and drain thoroughly.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, ginger, spices, lemon grass and lemon rind and fry gently over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the drained rice and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 30 minutes, then check the rice. If it is still crunchy, cover the pan and leave for 3-5 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
5. Stir in the fresh coriander, fluff up the grains, cover and leave for about 10 minutes. Garnish with spring onion green and toasted coconut strips, and serve with lime wedges.

Malacca Fried Rice

There are many versions of this dish throughout Asia, all based upon leftover cooked rice. Ingredients vary according to what is available, but shrimp (prawns) are a popular addition. Recipe serves 4-6.


2 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh root ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 ounces (250 g) raw shrimp (prawns), peeled and vein removed
1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional)
3 spring onions, green part only, roughly chopped
2 cups frozen peas
8 ounces (250 g) thickly sliced roast pork, diced
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 cups cooked white long grain rice, cooled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a bowl, beat the eggs well with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, pour in the eggs and cook until set, without stirring. This will take less than a minute. Roll up the pancake, slide it on to a plate, cut into thin strips and set aside.
2. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a preheated wok, add the shallots or onion, ginger, garlic and prawns and cook for 1-2 minutes, taking care that the garlic does not burn.
3. Add the chili sauce, if using, the spring onions, peas, pork and soy sauce. Stir to heat through, then add the rice. Fry over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Spoon into a dish, decorate with the pancake strips and serve immediately.

Tip: You don't have to wait until the day after you have served a Sunday roast to try this. Most delicatessens sell sliced roast pork.

Traditional Asian Rice Recipes

Rice is by far the most important cereal of South-east Asia, yet each country has its own favorite style of cooking rice, and each its own distinguishing rice-based recipes. Fried Rice from China, Nasi Goreng from Indonesia or Sushi from Japan are just some of the traditional Asian rice dishes now enjoyed all over the world.

Chicken and Basil Coconut Rice
Chicken and Mushroom Donburi
Chinese Fried Rice
Chinese Jewelled Rice
Coconut Cream Dessert
Crackling Rice Paper Fish Rolls
Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Salad
Festive Rice
Indonesian Coconut Rice
Indonesian Pineapple Rice
Lemon Grass and Coconut Rice with Green Chicken Curry
Malacca Fried Rice
Nasi Goreng
Rice Noodles with Pork
Rice Omelet
Stir-Fried Rice and Vegetables
Thai Crispy Noodles with Beef
Thai Fried Rice
Thai Rice
Thai Rice Cake