Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fried Rice, Kids Fried Rice and Stir-fried Bok Choy

"It's better than the fried rice in Beijing" said by the man who just spent three weeks in China.

I always cook too much rice so that we have left overs which make great fried rice, a popular dinner in our house. I cooked it up quickly tonight after we got home late, I served it with stir-fried bok choy. Great fried rice has to have a high ratio of yummy bits to rice. Use whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. Tonight I remembered to sprinkle those crunchy asian fried onions on top and they are great, adding a crunchy texture, even the kids liked them!

I often make a quick version of fried rice for the kids dinner, I have also given this recipe below. When cooking just for the kids I pour the beaten egg over the rice and it sort of scrambles and holds the rice together, making it easier for the kids to eat. My kids love hoisin sauce, or the spoon sauce as they call it because it comes in a jar and they serve it with a spoon, so we serve it with that.

Fried Rice
vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
4 rashers bacon, chopped
other meat - leftovers, chinese sausage...
1 tsp sugar
handful dried chinese mushrooms, soaked in boiling water then chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
1/2 C frozen peas
1/2 C corn kernals - fresh of frozen
other vegetables - anything else that needs using up in your fridge
2 tbsp shaosing wine (chinese cooking wine)
3 - 4 C cooked rice (or enough to feed your family)
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
To Serve
fried onions
coriander leaves

Heat a little bit of oil in a wok over medium to high heat. Pour in egg and mix around as it cooks. Remove from the wok, chop and set aside.

Heat a bit more oil in the wok. Add onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Add bacon and cook for another minute. Add sugar and stir around to caramelise. Add mushrooms, spring onions, peas, corn and cook until peas are defrosted. Pour in shaosing wine and let bubble. Add rice and break apart with a spoon. Keep stirring until rice is hot. Add soy and oyster sauces and cooked egg and stir through.

Serve sprinkled with fried onions and coriander.

Quick Kids Version
bacon, ham, cooked sausage or other leftover meat
frozen peas and corn (or whatever vegies your kids will eat)
egg, beaten
hoisin sauce or soy sauce
cooked rice

Heat a small frypan with a little oil. Fry up meat and vegies. Add rice and cook until hot. Pour over the egg and mix around until cooked. Add sauce and stir through.
Serve with more hoisin sauce, which my kids insisting on putting on themselves.

Stir-fried Bok Choy
vegetable oil
1 bunch bok choy, leaves off the base
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
pinch salt
1 tbsp shaosing wine
oyster sauce - optional, it depends what you are serving this with to if you want more flavour

Heat a bit of oil in the wok until very hot. Add bok choy, garlic and salt and keep stirring to stop the garlic from burning. Once starting to cook add shaosing and stir until cooked to your liking, I like the leaves wilted but the stems still crunchy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chinese Poached Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I spent all Saturday sewing tutus, as you do! So I wanted a quick dinner for when the rest of the family came back after leaving me alone for the afternoon. So the chook  in the freezer got turned in to chinese poached chicken from this Womens Day Slow Cooker Monday article and originally from the book "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipe Book". I followed the recipe but added more liquid as I have a large 6.5L slow cooker and was only cooking a small chicken. I put it on at lunch time on high to get it going then low, it was probably on for 3-4 hours. The recipe states it needs 7 hours on low - this is a long time and hers is falling apart after that long, so I would do less.

I served it on noodles - 2 minute noodles with frozen peas and corn for the kids and stir-fried egg noodles with vegetables for us. Ava asked for more and more chicken - I love an appreciative eater.

The flavour was delicious! The dark meat was juicy and succulent, and the breast only slightly dry which I would expect cooking it this way, but much improved with lots of the broth poured over. I strained the broth off and froze it to repeat or use in soup.

Two days later the leftovers got used up in rice paper rolls, my 4 year olds favourite.

Slow Cooker Chinese Poached Chicken

1 chicken, trimmed of extra fat
4 spring onions
handful coriander
2 smashed and peeled garlic cloves
5 peeled and smashed slices of ginger
3 whole star anise
Sauce (double for a large slow cooker)
1/4 C shaosing cooking wine
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C chicken stock or water

Put the flavourings in the bottom of the slow cooker and some inside the chicken. Place the chicken breast up in the slow cooker. Pour over the sauce ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until the breast is just cooked. If the breast isn't cooking quick enough turn the chicken over for half an hour of so.

Rice Paper Rolls
I haven't given proportions here as you can make it up as you go along. The ingredients below are what I put in it for the kids. For us I also add coriander, capsicum, spring onions and I add it in sticks rather than chopped up.

cooked chicken meat, finely chopped
cucumber, cut into small pieces
carrot, grated
rice vermicelli noodles, cooked
any other vegetables, herbs etc, depending
hoisin sauce
rice paper wrappers

Combine chicken, cucumber, carrot, noodles and hoisin sauce to taste.
Soak wrappers in warm but not boiling water. Wrap filling in wrapper. Only do this shortly before you want to eat them.
Cover with a wet paper towel until ready to eat. Do no refridgerate or they will go hard.