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Category Archives: Rice & Noodle Recipes

海南雞飯 Easy Hainanese Style Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice is widely regarded as the iconic dish of Singaporean cuisine. It actually originated from Wenchang on Hainan island (therefore the name), but popularized both in Malaysia and Singapore. Making the dish using the traditional method takes a lot of work. You are required to use a whole chicken cooked under low heat in a pot of water. The chicken is also chilled afterwards so that the skin becomes more more firm, with a jelly like consistency. The rice has to be flavored perfectly with oily, flavorful chicken broth (made from the liquid used to cook the chicken). The chicken is chopped into pieces and typically garnished with cucumbers and peanuts. A dipping sauce also needs to be prepared. All this takes a huge amount of time that just isn’t practical at home.

If you love Hainanese style chicken but looking for a recipe that doesn’t require spending too much time in the kitchen, this recipe found on Sing Tao Daily may be what you are looking for.  It’s a simplified version of Hainanese Chicken Rice that can be made even on week night. The goal is to really cut down on the process, but still maintain the flavor profile of the dish. The major difference between the original Hainanese chicken is that instead of cooking a whole chicken in a water, we pan fry the chicken thigh for a crispy skin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine – Hua Diao 花雕酒
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cup of brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Sauce: (Combine all ingredients below to prepare the sauce)

  • 8 teaspoons red pepper sauce (or Tabasco)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

  1. Remove bone from chicken thigh, dry with a paper towel.
  2. Marinate the chicken with wine, salt and pepper for an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Place the chicken on the pan (skin side down), sear for couple minutes until the skin is browned.  Then flip to the other side and cook until no longer pink and juices run clear.  Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting into strips.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Stir in ginger, scallions and shallots, cook until fragrant.  Add brown rice and chicken broth.  Cook until the rice absorbs all the chicken soup.
  5. Serve chicken with the sauce over brown rice.  I also like to dip the chicken in sweet soy sauce.
 

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鲜蝦煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Garlic Shrimps

Vegetables, protein and starch – all goodness in one pot and everything is ready in 30 minutes. As summer is slipping away and the weather is getting cooler (it will hit below 50 degrees tonight!), claypot food will even be a better choice. This time i used head-on shrimps as the main ingredient to enhance the flavor of the rice.  The small shrimps weren’t quite enough to bring enough flavor to the rice, although the garlic, shallots, and scallions certainly helped. Next time, I will use bigger shrimps to make this dish even better.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 lb of small shrimps
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 stalk of scallion/green onion, finely chopped
Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice:
In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Directions:
  1. Marinate the the shrimp with garlic, shallot and sesame oil. Set aside
  2. Wash the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  3. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water and cover.
  4. Bring it to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8-9 minutes. (until all the water has evaporated)
  5. Add shrimps and cook for 5 minutes or until opaque.
  6. Add scallions and drizzle sweet soy sauce over rice to serve.
 

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上湯龍蝦伊麵 Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

We were watching Master Chef the other night, and the challenge was to cook a live lobster.  As I was watching, I thought about what I’d do if I were in the contest.  I watched each contestant carefully to see how they dealt with the necessary evil – killing the lobster.

When it comes to preparing a live lobster, there are a few different schools of thought.  The traditional Chinese way emphasizes the taste and cleanliness of the lobster, and calls for a process known as “releasing the ‘urine” by poking the chopstick or thin stick into the rear end of the lobster to release some murky liquid (there is usually a good amount). This is supposed to remove undesirable smell and taste. This method seems somewhat cruel, and the grounds for doing so is somewhat shaky given that most people in the world do not kill lobsters this way but that doesn’t seem to affect the taste for them.

If you are squeamish about the whole thing, there are more humane methods that may be considered, such as quickly cutting the lobster in the head right behind the eyes, or simply dropping the whole lobster, head first, into a pot of boiling water. The second approach though, really limits the way that you are cooking your lobster as you are forced to cook the lobster by boiling. For example, it will not really work with the recipe that is shown here as we would like to use high heat to cook the lobster quickly with a bit of oil as the first step. The other issue is that you do not really have an opportunity to thoroughly clean the lobster before cooking.

Ultimately, I chose to use the traditional Chinese approach when making this dish, with a small modification. I heard that low temperatures can help desensitize the lobster significantly or maybe even knocking it out. So, what I did was to put the lobster in the freezer for a while (about 20 minutes), before proceeding with the preparation.

Ingredient:

  • 1 lobster (about 1.5 lb)
  • 1 brick of Yi Mein/Longevity noodles/or Sau mein
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 slices ginger
  • 2 stalk scallions/green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Cut off tail and claws. Crack claws using the back of the large knife (to help seasonings enter the meat).  Cut tail into bite-sized chunks. Thoroughly clean all pieces using a small brush and water. Sometimes, you see dark green/black intestines that run through the length lobster. Make sure you discard that and rinse thoroughly. Finally, use paper towels to dry the lobster pieces and dust them with corn starch.
  2. Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add ginger and part of the scallions, stir fry until fragant.  Add lobster pieces (except head) to wok and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until the shell starts to turn orange.  The lobster should only be lightly cooked at this point. Remove lobsters from skillet.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add noodles and chicken broth.  Bring to to boil, add lobster head.  When it boils again, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to high, add lobster pieces to cook together with broth and noodles.  Cover, cook for 3 minutes or until everything is cooked through.  Add remaining scallions, white pepper and cooking wine and drizzle sesame oil. Mix everything well and cook for another short while (10-20 seconds) and it’s ready!
 

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蒜香排骨煲仔飯 Garlic Spare Ribs on Claypot Rice

This is the third clay pot rice we had in one month.  We love it so much for weeknights because it is so quick and easy to make.  Simply marinate the pork ribs and cook the rice.  Once you learn to cook it, you’ll find the rice taste so much better in the clay pot and do not want to go back to electric rice cooker.

And note the only difference with this dish compared to the other two clay pot recipes is the addition of corn starch to the spare ribs after marinating for 30 minutes.  This allows the ribs to absorb the flavors and keep the juices inside, so that meat is more tender after cooked.

The baking soda is used as a tenderizer for the ribs.  However, some people do not like its taste, so you may want adjust as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 lb of spare ribs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooked garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 scallion/green onion, chopped
  • 1 red birdeye chili
Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice: In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Garlic Spare Ribs on Claypot Rice:
  1. Wash and drain spare ribs pieces
  2. In a small bowl, combine ribs with cooked and raw minced garlic, baking soda, sesame oil and sugar.  Marinate for 30 minute.  Add corn starch and mix well.
  3. Rinse the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  4. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water and cover.  Bring it to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to high; add spare ribs.  Cook over low heat for 10-13 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cover for another 5-8 minutes or until the ribs are cooked.  Add scallions, red chili and drizzle sweet soy sauce mixture over the rice to serve.

More Claypot Recipe:

鲜蝦煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Garlic Shrimps

田雞煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Frog Meat and Shiitake Mushroom

北菇滑雞煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Chicken and Shitake Mushrooms

粉絲蟹煲 Crab with Vermicelli in Claypot

 

 

 

 
 

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北菇滑雞煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Chicken and Shitake Mushrooms

Claypot rice may be a winter indulgence, yet good food is enjoyable throughout the year.

Claypot rice, or “rice in a little pot” translated literally from Cantonese Chinese, is a simple one pot dish that can be done in less than an hour.  First, start cooking rice in a claypot. While it is cooking, toss in the marinated chicken and mushrooms on top, allowing them to cook and releasing the savory juices to the rice below. Allow the rice to absorb the flavors, and cook a bit longer until the the bottom turns slightly crispy. Lastly, top with fresh herbs – scallions, ginger, cilantro, and sweet soy sauce. Enjoy while it is still steaming hot – this is so good that it is worth turning on the A/C for.

Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice:

In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Ingredients:

  • Rice 250 ml
  • Water 250 ml (includes the water used to soak mushrooms)
  • 1/2 lb chicken thigh, cut into bite size
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ginger cut into thin strips
  • 2 scallion/green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Soak the mushrooms in about a cup of warm water for 20 minutes, or until they are softened.  Drain and reserve the water.  Cut 4 of the mushrooms into strips.  Set aside.
  2. Marinate the chicken pieces with egg white and corn starch for 20 minutes in the fridge.  The add soy sauce, 1/2 of the ginger strips, salt, sugar, wine, garlic, sesame oil and the mushrooms. Marinate for another 30 minutes or so.
  3. Wash the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  4. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water (including the water reserved from soaking the mushroom), and cover.
  5. Bring it to boil then add chicken, mushrooms and ginger strips.  Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cover for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Add scallions, cilantro, remaining ginger strips and drizzle sweet soy sauce mixture over the rice to serve.

More Claypot Recipe:

鲜蝦煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Garlic Shrimps

田雞煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Frog Meat and Shiitake Mushroom

蒜香排骨煲仔飯 Garlic Spare Ribs on Claypot Rice

粉絲蟹煲 Crab with Cellophane Noodles in Claypot

窩蛋牛肉煲仔飯-claypot-rice-with-beef-and-egg

 
 

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素炸酱面 Zha Jiang Mien – Noodles with Vegetarian Meat Sauce

Zha Jiang Mian is a popular dish from northern China that uses white noodles topped with a mixture of soybean paste and grounded pork.  In this version of Zha Jiang Mien, I am using vegetarian chicken to replace the pork.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pack vegetarian chicken, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup cucumbers, cut in strips
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 12 oz flat white noodles or shanghai noodles
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped

Sauce:

  • 2.5 tablespoons Bean paste (豆瓣酱)
  • 5 tablespoons Sweet bean paste (甜面酱)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for few minutes.  Add vegetarian chicken and all the sauce ingredients.  Cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Cook according to package directions, drain and place in a bowl.
  3. Pour the sauce over the noodles.  Placed cucumbers on the side.  Sprinkle green onions and sesame oil.
 

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Omurice

As you may guess from the name, “omurice” comes from the combination of the words omelet and rice. A Japanese’s Western-style (yoshoku) rice dish, Omurice is chicken fried rice with tomato sauce, wrapped in an omelet with sauce on the top.

Ingredients: (make 4-5 Omurice)

  • 3/4 lb boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2” piece
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons corn kernels
  • 2-3 tablespoons peas and carrots
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1.5 cup steamed rice
  • 5 oz of crushed tomato (about 2/3 of a small can)
  • 2 tablespoon Ketchup + 1 tablespoon on top of each omurice
  • 2 eggs for each omurice
  • 1 teaspoon dairy creme (or milk) for each omelet
  • Kewpie mayonnaise, optional
Directions:

  1. Marinate chicken pieces with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch.  Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Stir in garlic, cook until fragrant.  Add onion, cook for 2 minutes then add mushrooms, corns, peas, carrots and bay leave.  Stir-fry for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat oil over high heat.  Add chicken pieces and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add sake and cook for another 2 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.  Set aside.
  4. In the skillet, combine the chicken pieces with vegetables. Remove the bay leaf.  Add rice, crushed tomato, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup.  Optionally, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk two eggs with 1 teaspoon of creme and a pinch of salt.
  6. In a skillet, heat oil or butter over medium heat.  Pour the egg mixture on the skillet.
    Quickly spread the egg and make a round omelet.  When the omelette is nearly done, place some rice mixture in the middle of the omelet and fold top and bottom sides of omelet over the rice.  Place a plate over the pan and flip.  Use a paper towel to help shape the omelet.
 

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