Simple Fried Rice

I can remember when I was in primary school when we learned Indonesian we did a unit on food. The best part was the day the teacher made us nasi goreng which translates to fried rice.

It was delicious and has been a favourite to eat and make ever since that day.

Here is my simple fried rice recipe.

Prep time – 15 mins, Cooking time -20 mins, Serves 6

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Simple Fried Rice

2 cups rice

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 carrots – finely diced

1/4 cabbage – finely sliced

200g chopped mushrooms

200g finely chopped chicken

100g finely chopped bacon

2 eggs

1 tbs minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbs sugar

1tbs sesame oil

1tbs peanut oil

  1.  Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear. Boil rice and when cooked rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
  2. In a wok or large frying pan heat peanut oil over a high heat. When hot, fry up chicken, bacon and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add to the meat all vegies and stirfry until the carrot is soft and the peas are hot.
  4. Add rice, mixing through well.
  5. In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar. Add to the rice mixture and stir through well.
  6. Create a well in the centre of the rice mixture and crack both eggs into the centre. Stir eggs and when they are starting to solidify mix through the rice mixture.
  7. Rice is ready when the egg is cooked throughout the rice.
  8. Serve with crushed peanuts or chopped shallots or with nothing at all (the sooner it gets in your belly the better!)
  9. Enjoy 🙂

~A

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Sesame Ramen Noodles

Our time in Japan last year for our honeymoon saw us eating many questionable things, especially when we had a stay at a ryokan (traditional accommodation). I’m talking breakfasts with more eyes than I have fingers, and easily 7 different species of sea creature on each plate! While that was an experience, we tended to lean more to things that we could recognise when out and about. Noodles of every kind fast became a favourite!

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While we were in Hiroshima we found this great looking noodle store attached to the main train station. We thought great! Normal food! Well… kind of… We took our seats and were given a menu. The menu seemed to indicate a hotness scale to the food. 1 being so bland that no one would even think about being so boring and 100 being insanely hot, we are talking surface of the sun. Well let me tell you, I think we got played hard at this place! We, being simple Australians thought we better stick to the basic boring number 1 on the scale, but when ordering the lovely young Japanese man suggested (persuaded, shamed us into…) getting at least a number 2 on the scale. The starting level he said. So being the nice folk that we are, and not wanting to insult anyone, we agreed. Number 2.

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Have you ever eaten something so hot that your lips tingled for a hour afterwards? Well I hadn’t until that day. Middle of a Japanese summer and I am literally on fire. It was the strangest thing, the noodles were amazingly delicious but so damn hot! The more you ate the better you could deal with the heat and the more delicious the noodles became, but once you stopped it was like the surface of the sun was your new lip gloss.

The most strange thing for me is since I’ve had these noodles in Hiroshima I’ve wanted more! So here is my attempt at Sesame Ramen – way less like the surface of the sun but still just as yummy!

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Sesame Ramen Noodles

3tbs sesame oil

3tbs peanut oil

¼ cup soy sauce

2tbs rice wine vinegar

3tbs white sugar

4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

Ground cayenne pepper to taste

Chilli flakes to taste

180g packet of ramen noodles

1 small bunch of spring onion finely sliced to serve

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add ramen noodles and cook as per packet instructions.
  2. While the ramen is cooking in a small bowl mix oils, sugar, vinegar and garlic. Add spices now if you wish, and mix well.
  3. After draining the noodles simply stir through the sauce and serve hot.
  4. Top with finely sliced spring onion and extra chilli flakes.
  5. Enjoy!

Tip: I always make the bulk of the mixture with less heat (chilli) and add a little more later by mixing a small bowl of soy sauce and sesame oil with added cayenne pepper for those that love their noodles spicy!

~A

Squid and Cashew Stir-Fry

Crunchy and sweet this stir fry has quickly become a favourite. You can use your favourite veggies or just what’s left over in the fridge that needs to be used up. Either way teamed up with lightly battered squid, sweet sauce and cashews you cant go wrong!

Prep time 10 mins, Cooking time 15 mins, Serves 4

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Squid and Broccoli Stir-fry

2 heads broccolini – chopped into small heads

1 punet mushrooms – halved

3 carrots – julliened

1 clove of garlic – chopped finely

3 bunches pak choy –  chopped into thirds

2 tbs brown sugar

1tbs fish sauce

1tbs soy sauce

1tbs sweet chilli sauce

3 squid tubes – sliced into inch wide strips and scored in a cross hatched pattern

1 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp Tuscan seasoning

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup peanut oil – for stirfrying and shallow frying

1/3 cup cashews

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  1. Prepare the squid by slicing and scoring.
  2. Place flour, salt and Tuscan seasoning in a bowl and mix. Dust squid in flour.
  3. Shallow fry squid until just golden. Make sure oil is very hot. Set squid aside.
  4. In a small bowl mix sugar, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce.
  5. Heat a tbs oil in a wok and stir fry all veggies except the pak choy until just tender. Add pak choy and stir fry for a further minute. Remove from heat and drizzle with sauce. Mix though.
  6. Plate up stir-fried vegetables and top with squid and cashews.
  7. Enjoy!

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Chicken Yakisoba

One of my favourite Japanese dishes would have to be Yakisoba. To me it’s like a comfort food, but with veggies. Yaki, meaning grilled and soba meaning noodles, this meal of grilled noodles is easy to make in a fry-pan or wok.

It’s one of those meals you can get just about anywhere in Japan, but the best comes from street vendors or little hole in the wall restaurants.

In Australia finding the right ingredients to get the taste just right can be a bit of a challenge. If you’re lucky enough to live near an Asian grocery store you might be able to find pre-made Yakisoba sauce, if not, try this recipe it’s pretty good!

Prep time 10 mins, Cook time 20 mins, Total time 30 mins, Serves 4

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Chicken Yakisoba

3 Shitake mushrooms – sliced (can be replaced with regular mushrooms if unavailable)

1 Brown onion – sliced into thin wedges

1 Carrot – halved and sliced on an angle

1 Bunch of broccolini chopped roughly

4 Cabbage leaves – chopped

2 Small chicken breasts – diced (can be replaced with your choice of meat, beef, pork, prawns)

1-2 Tbsp peanut oil

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Yakisoba noodles (if unavailable, ramen or hokkien will also work)

Yakisoba Sauce

80ml Worcestershire sauce

60ml oyster sauce

40ml ketchup

30ml soy sauce

30ml sugar

  1. Slice the mushrooms, carrot and the onion. Chop the brocollini and the cabbage into smaller pieces. Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside from later.
  3. In a wok, heat the oil on medium to high heat. Cook the chicken through until there is no pink visible.
  4. Add the vegetables into the wok and stir fry until soft.
  5. Add the black pepper and ¼ of the Yakisoba sauce and stir, lower the heat to medium.
  6. Cook noodles of choice as per packet instructions. When soft gently pull apart and drain, then add to the wok. Stir noodles into the mixture being careful not to burn the noodles on the bottom of the wok
  7. Add remaining sauce (if you don’t like it super saucy don’t add all of it) and mix through.

Optional extras

  • Feel free to add in any extra vegies, things like zucchini and capsicum also taste great in this dish!
  • If you feel like being really fancy feel free to top the dish with some strips of dried seaweed and pickled red ginger, but if you’re like me you’ll just tuck in right away!

Itadakimasu!

~A