Rice. A lot of people ask me though how best to cook some of the basics. A bit like quizzes, they’re only easy if you know the answers. I’ve wanted to do a video of making the perfect mash for ages. My blog won’t let me upload videos though. Hence that post will just be done with step by step photos, similar to this. Skip the next paragraph if you’re not a fellow blogger!
I was discussing blogs with my good friend anoushkaloves.com My blog has certainly been neglected over the last 6/7 months, sadly work got in the way like it always does. I also don’t see my host very often and so have just left the blog as is. The lovely Anoushka managed to steer me in the direction of Jetpack. It’s been installed for ages, but I didn’t realise all the little quirks this has to help blog posts come alive. For people who are bloggers who read this, I’ve added the Like * button, related posts and increased the media sharing options. Hopefully this will all help to get my blog fighting fit again.
Rice is a very emotive subject. It should be so easy, but can quite easily go horribly wrong. I’ll go through my method step by step, then the recipe at the end is for the delicious chicken, cashew and Oyster sauce stir fry. This is basic boiled rice, but once perfected it can used to make pilau rice. Simply by frying a few spices in a pan and then continuing with the method below.
First rule of thumb is liquid. It works for every type of rice, except Sushi. (this needs less) Always use twice the volume of liquid to water.
One cup of rice, two cups of water. Doesn’t matter the size of cup. This incidentally is about 150g of rice.
Wash the rice. This is vital if you don’t want savoury rice pudding. Rice has a lot of excess starch on the outside, this is what creates the sauce in a risotto. If you want lovely individual grains, it needs to go. This is the first wash, it needs 3 or 4 washes.
After 4th wash. This is my one cup of rice to two of water. Now some very important steps. I always use Basmati rice to serve. It’s a beautiful grain and has great aromas. Yes it’s more expensive than long grain rice, but it’s so worth it. Trust me on this one. Now have you ever had rice at restaurant and seen the huge grains of rice and wondered how that is. Well, it;s all due to this vital step of soaking the rice. By soaking the rice in cold water for up to 2 hours, the rice actually grows. I don’t usually have two hours, so use 30mins. It really does work and elongate the grains.
Put the rice on a medium heat until it begins to boil.
Put a lid (glass is preferable but we broke ours!) on it, onto a very low heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the crater stage is reached.
Crater stage. Turn off the heat. This is now ready to eat, or you can put the lid back on and this will stay warm for 30-45mins while you cook your stir fry! Fluff it up with a fork before serving, otherwise a spoon just squishes it all together.
- 1 Breast/person Chicken
- 1 Tbsp Cornflour
- 200g, florets only, Broccoli
- 150g (see below and recipe) Oyster Sauce
- 75g, toasted Cashew Nuts
- 50ml Rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tsp dried Chillies
- 3 cloves, chopped Garlic
- 40ml from can of oysters Oyster juice
- 100ml Tamari Sauce
- 4 Tsps Sugar
- 1 Tsp Cornflour
- 75ml Oil
Homemade Oyster Sauce
- I've added the recipe for oyster sauce to make the recipe gluten free. If you're not averse to gluten just buy a bottle from the shop! To make it dissolve the cornflour with a little water. Combine all ingredients and heat in the microwave for 1-2 mins until boiling, stir until a thick consistency.
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Dredge in the cornflour. Fry for a couple of minutes to crisp up most of the outside of the chicken. This is called velveting. It gives the chicken a lovely bit and texture in the finished sauce, plus the cornflour helps thicken the sauce. Set aside.
- Blanch the broccoli in salted boiling water for 1 minute.
- To toast the cashews, heat in a dry frying pan. Don't take your eyes off them. After about 3 minutes they'll start browning. Move them around to brown all over.
- Add two tablespoons of oil to a wok/large frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli flakes. As soon as they begin to release their aromas add the chicken. Fry for one minute, now add the sauce and the rice vinegar. You may need to add a touch of water if it's too dry.
- Continue to cook for a few minutes so the chicken is cooked through. Add the broccoli and cashews. Continue to cook until the sauce becomes sticky again.