Tag Archive for Rice

Brown Rice Bowl

Rice bowls are trendy. Or maybe something else is trendy now, I try to follow the new developments in foodie world, but every once in a while you miss something. It is really simple, you take a bowl of rice, arrange things you like on top, mix everything together and eat. The toppings can be anything, but are usually high on vegetables, since this is a healthy trend. And because of that health, I started with a bowl of brown rice. I topped it with edamame, pickled cucumber, bean sprouts sautéed with some sesame oil and soy sauce, strips of omelet, nori flakes and a sauce made from sambal badjak, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Other vegetables you see often are carrots, spring onions, sautéed spinach and sautéed paksoi. Some form of egg is classic as protein, it can also be fried or even raw (it cooks when it comes into contact with the hot bowl/hot other ingredients), but something like roast pork is also possible. And sesame seeds are often used together with the nori flakes. But I’ve seen non-Asian rice bowl variants as well, for example with beans, spicy minced meat, avocado and corn for a Mexican-style bowl. The possibilities are endless.

Brown Rice Bowl

Chicken Dhansak

I love curry, but unfortunately, most of them are quite elaborate to cook. This recipe is perfect for the days you fancy a curry, but don’t have the time to spend much time in the kitchen. It is a satisfying, flavoursome and healthy dish. If you like it more spicy, add more garam masala and chilli powder; if you are not into spicy food, omit the chilli powder.

Chicken Dhansak

Chicken dhansak (serves 4)
From BBC Food

1 tsp coconut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6-8 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
20 g ginger, finely grated
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
600 ml chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube
100 g dried red split lentils, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
200 g brown rice
Optional, to serve: cucumber, plain yoghurt and chopped coriander

Add the oil to saucepan or sauté pan and place over a medium heat. Add the onions, cook for five minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and very lightly browned.
Cut the chicken thighs in half and add to the pan. Cook for two minutes, turning occasionally. Stir in the garlic, ginger, garam masala and chilli powder and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, lentils and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then cover loosely with a lid and simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the lentils have completely broken down. Stir occasionally. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking time, stirring regularly so the lentils don’t stick, to thicken the sauce a bit.
About 45 minutes before the curry is ready, cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
Season the curry to taste. Serve with the rice, cucumber; top with yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander.

Tuktuk Salad

An Asian brown rice salad with loads of vegetables and a Thai inspired dressing.
The nuggets on the photo are vegetarian grilled bits from the supermarket, something I bought as an experiment, wanting to eat less meat. They tasted kind of like chicken nuggets, of which I am not a big fan. They were quite spongy, did not have much texture and were quite salty in flavour (probably to mask that the vega stuff they made the bits from does not have much taste). But I have to admit, they weren’t that bad either (especially for a meat substitute), so I might buy them again.

Tuktuk Salad

Tuktuk salad (serves 2)
Adapted from “Leon – Ingredients & Recipes”

75 g brown rice
1 vegetable stock cube
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup broad beans, double podded
100 g taugé (bean sprouts)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cashew nuts

1 tsp sambal oelek (or 1/2 a finely chopped chilli)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1.5 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp neutral tasting oil
1.5 tbsp soy sauce

Add rice, 150 ml water and the stock cube to a pan, and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the vegetables. Bring a big pan of water to the boil, place the one of the vegetables in a sieve (metal/heat proof) and dunk into the boiling water. When blanched (about 30 seconds for defrosted peas/broad beans, 1-2 minutes for the bean sprouts), take them out and leave them to drain. Repeat with the other vegetables. Chop the bean sprouts coarsely (I didn’t do that, and found it annoying when eating).
If you want, roast the cashew nuts. I like to roast them, because it makes them a bit more crunchy and intensify the flavour, but cashews do burn incredibly fast, so you really have to keep an eye on them.
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Leave to infuse for a while, then taste. It can be necessary to add a bit more of one (or more) of the ingredients to balance the flavour and adjust it to what you like.
When the rice is ready, add the vegetables and dressing, and mix carefully. Scoop onto plates, and scatter with the cashew nuts.

Stuffed Vegetables

Rice with lots of different bits and pieces, savoury and sweet, loads of different flavours and textures, stuffed into delicious vegetables. You definitely don’t miss the meat in this dish! I like stuffed vegetables, it is a fun way of serving, a bit different than the average rice dish. But I always have one problem: the amount of filling never matches the volume I need to fill the vegetables that I want to fill. Usually I err on the side of caution and make more filling than I need, and serve the remainder on the side. Or store it for next days lunch.
I cooked a double batch of rice on a previous day, stored half and used it for this dish. Because brown rice takes 30-45 minutes, I wouldn’t cook it specially for this dish, so a bit of planning is advised. Alternatively you could use basmati, or another rice, that does cook quicker.

Stuffed Vegetables

Stuffed Vegetables (serves 2)
Slightly adapted from “Leon – Fast Vegetarian”

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sambal badjak
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tomato, cubed
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup brown rice, cooked in bouillon
1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
1/4 cup cooked spinach, chopped
1/4 cup cubed feta (or crumbled goats cheese)
salt and pepper
optional: 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, mint, dill and/or coriander)

vegetables of choice (aubergine, pumpkin/squash, courgette, onions, paprika, tomato)

Precook the vegetables in the oven at 175-200C (time/temperature will depend on the kind of vegetable you use), then scoop out the flesh if necessary.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and sauté until soft and golden. Add the garlic and sambal, and sauté for another few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and tomato, and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the other ingredients, mix and season well with salt and pepper.
Stuff the vegetables with the filling and cook in the oven at 160C for 20 minutes.

Note: Omit the feta to make this dish vegan friendly. Or use a vegan cheese instead.

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice

Very simple, but utterly delicious. What else would you expect when it is a recipe from Monica Galetti (sous chef at Le Gavroche, the 2-stars restaurant of Michel Roux Jr, and a judge in Masterchef: the Professionals)?

Soy and Honey Chicken

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice (serves 2)
Slightly adapted from Food&Drink

4 tsp clear honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sambal badjak
4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 300 gram)

75 g brown rice
1 stock cube (I used vegetable)
1/2 tsp coconut oil

drizzle of sesame oil
drizzle of rapeseed oil
2 heads of bok choi, halved

Mix together the honey, soy sauce and sambal badjak in a heavy based pan (cold!). Add the chicken thighs and mix until completely coated in the marinade. Place the pan onto a medium heat and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the honey and soy coating has thickened to a glossy glaze.
Meanwhile, add the rice, 150 ml water and the stock cube to a separate pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the rice, covered, until tender (about 30 minutes).
For the bok choi, heat a drizzle of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bok choi and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted. Drizzle with a little sesame oil.
When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, then stir through the coconut oil.

Dutch Food: rice porridge with brown sugar and butter

Rice porridge, or rice goo (rijstebrij) as it is sometimes called, is a traditional Dutch dessert. Rice slowly cooked in milk with some vanilla, sprinkled with brown sugar and topped with a pat of butter. Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a handful of raisins is added. Another possibility is to serve it with a berry (or other fruit) sauce. Creamy, warm and soothing, but definitely not light. That it was filling was perfect in the old days, when people did hard physical labour, and weren’t eating much fat and sugar in the rest of the day. Nowadays, it usually is a bit too heavy. Therefore I like to serve it after a light soup on cold days (together making a good-sized meal), or I make the amount below for double the amount of people, making the portion size smaller.
Swapping some milk for cream, and adding egg yolks at the end are generally not things done in the Netherlands as far as I know, but I have seen it in foreign recipes. It makes a richer pudding, but also makes it more heavy, so I would definitely downsize the portions.
I use special dessert rice for this dish, which cooks a lot faster than standard rice, but I know that this isn’t available abroad. Back in the old days, this special rice wasn’t available either, so you can make this dish perfectly fine with standard white rice. Alternatively you could use risotto rice or sushi rice, but I’m not quite sure what the right proportions are and how long to cook it. Even with the instructions below, it can happen that your rice stays quite wet even though it is already cooked, or gets quite dry but isn’t cooked yet, because every rice is different. Luckily, soupy rice porridge is still delicious, and when it gets dry, you can add a bit more milk.
As a variation, you can pour the rice porridge in ramekins or glasses, smooth the top and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to cool down and firm up. These rice puddings are delicious served with a fruit compote.

Rice Porridge with Brown Sugar and Butter

Rice porridge (serves 4)
1 litre milk
200 g dessert rice
2 tsp vanilla extract
brown sugar and butter to serve

Mix the milk, rice and vanilla in a pan with a thick bottom. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the rice is soft and most of the milk is absorbed. Stir regularly to prevent catching. Serve sprinkled with the sugar and a pat of butter on top.

To make this dish with “normal” white rice, use 150 g per 1 litre milk and cook for 1 hour on very low heat.

Pilau rice

This dish has a nice balance between sweet and savoury, spicy and creamy. It is a delicious accompaniment to spiced chicken. You could also add some orange or lemon peel to give it an even more Arabic vibe. Use dried apricots and almonds instead of sultanas and pine nuts as a variation.

Pilau rice (serves 4)
Adapted from The Conran Cookbook

50 g butter
2 onions, very thinly sliced
225 g basmati rice
4 cloves
8 cardamom pods, smashed
5 cm piece of cinnamon stick, broken in 2
2 bay leaves
1 chicken stock cube
50 g sultanas (light raisins)
150 ml milk
300 ml water
30 g pine nuts

Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, sauté on low heat until the onions are soft, golden and translucent. Add the rice, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice becomes translucent. Add the bay leaves, chicken stock cube (crumbled), sultanas, milk, water and stir to mix. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Add a little more water if necessary. Meanwhile, roast the pine nuts in a dry skillet. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the rice to serve.

Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana is a classic Spanish dish. In Valencia they have lots of rice dishes, but this is the most famous one. Most people think of seafood when they think about paella, but this is a so called land-paella, which contains chicken and rabbit as a protein source. In the Netherlands rabbit, especially tasty rabbit, is quite difficult to get hold of, therefore I used only chicken. Real paella rice is also difficult to get hold of in the Netherlands, so I used risotto rice (arborio), which works fine. Officially, the artichokes don’t belong in there, but the paella I ate in Spain had them, and I liked that a lot, so I added them in this recipe too. I used canned marinated artichoke hearts for ease (they are cooked already, so you drain them and add them to the dish), but you can also use frozen (not available around here) or not-marinated canned (the ones over here are very acidic and not properly cooked, that is why I use the marinated ones).
Paella is a dry dish made in a shallow, wide pan over wood fire. Ideally, after the rice is added, it shouldn’t be stirred any more. This results in quite a dry dish (not wet like risotto!), with a golden crust on the bottom. I don’t own a special paella pan, but using a large skillet instead works fine. Unfortunately, mastering the art of making paella without stirring is quite difficult, and tends to end up in having a black crust on the bottom, effectively ruining your paella. That is why I advice to stir regularly, especially at the end of cooking time, when the dish starts to be quite dry, making it prone to sticking. To make the dish real authentic, cook the rice al punto (like the Italian al dente). Enjoy!

Paella Valenciana (serves 6)
Adapted from Koken met nrc.next

500 g chicken (preferably with bone, in 6 pieces)
500 g rabbit (preferably with bone, in 6 pieces)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp pimentón de la Vera dulce
200 g broad beans
400 g runner beans, in bits of 4 cm
200 g artichoke hearts
1,4 l hot chicken stock
1 pinch saffron (about 20 threads), soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
400 g paella rice
salt and pepper

Sprinkle chicken and rabbit with salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry the meat in about 7 minutes brown on all sides.
Turn the heat down and add the garlic, tomatoes and pimenton. Fry while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the broad beans, runner beans and artichoke hearts. Pour the stock into the pan, bring to the boil and leave to bubble for 10 minutes (without lid).
Add the saffron water. Sprinkle the rice into the pan and stir so that it is distributed evenly around the meat and vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil again and leave to cook for another 10 minutes (without lid). Turn the heat down and let cook for another 8 minutes. When it really gets too dry, add a splash of water. Take from the heat and cover with a clean tea towel, leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Stuffed paprika

Paprika’s are the perfect vehicle to fill. When you use courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines or onions (other vegetables that are commonly filled) you always end up with the flesh that you took out and either use in the stuffing (with less space remaining for the other stuffing ingredients) or find another dish to use it in. With paprika’s, you don’t have this problem, since they are already hollow. I like this dish a lot because the stuffed paprika’s look pretty, are a complete meal and are very juicy/self-saucing and flavoursome. They are also great to use up leftover rice and mince. It is also a great dish to make for a large amount of people and/or in advance. I like to use red paprika’s, but you can also use yellow or orange ones, or a mix to give the dish some more colour variation. I would not use green paprika’s, because they tend to get bitter after cooking them for a while.

Stuffed Paprika's with rice, mince and egg

Stuffed paprika’s (4 paprika’s)

4 paprika’s (red, yellow, orange or a mix)
2 cups cooked rice
100 gram mince (I like a mix of pork and beef)
4 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 beef stock cube
1 tsp worcestershiresauce

Get an oven dish large enough to fit in the paprika’s, but small enough to have the sides of the dish supporting the paprika’s. Preheat the oven at 180C.
Prepare the paprika’s. Slice of the top, remove the seeds and set aside (this will be the lid). Take out the seeds from the paprika. Check if the paprika will stand up, if not, slice a tiny bit of the bottom to even it out, but make sure you do not get a hole in the bottom, otherwise all the jummy juices will leak out. Do the same with the other 3 paprika’s. Place the paprika’s but not the lids in the oven dish and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. This will pre-cook the paprika and will make sure they are tender after the second time in the oven.
Prepare the filling. Heat a frying pan and add the mince (it will be fat enough on its own, so no oil needed). Fry until it starts to brown, then add the onion and garlic. Fry until the mince is brown and the onion and garlic soft. Crumble the stock cube over it, add the worcestershiresauce and season with pepper to taste. Fry a little longer, then add the rice and mix well.
Stuff the paprika’s with the rice-mince mixture, press it down well with a spoon and leave room on top for the egg. Break the egg, carefully let it slide in the paprika, then place the lid on top. Cook in the oven for 10 (runny egg) to 20 (quite firm egg) minutes.
You can do everything in advance, except adding the egg and cook the stuffed paprika’s. If you make them longer than an hour in advance, store in the fridge, and either let them come to room temperature before cooking, or add an extra few minutes to the cooking time.

Rice salad

An easy and light summer salad, with lots of possible variations. The actual making of the salad is very simple: cook the rice (I prefer to use the absorption method), cook the protein (if necessary), dice the vegetables and mix everything together.
I used cubes of grilled chicken breast as the protein for the rice salad, but it is also very tasty with smoked mackerel, or try feta/fresh goat cheese or a cooked/fried/poached egg for a vegetarian variant.
I like to use raw carrot, cucumber and spring onions as the vegetables, but you can also add cubes of courgette, paprika, radish or whatever vegetable you like.
By cooking the rice in bouillon the salad already has a lot of flavour and doesn’t need an additional dressing. I used basmati rice, but this would also work great with brown rice, or even couscous, quinoa or pearl barley.
A few roasted nuts (for example cashew or pine nuts), some dried fruit (for example raisins or cranberries) or some chopped up soft herbs (for example parsley or chives) would also be great additions.
You can find the recipe for the spinach salad with blue cheese dressing that is also on the plate in my previous blog post.

Rice salad