RICE is such a simple addition to any meal. But plain old boiled rice can get a little bit boring. MasterChef alumni and celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow has some tips on how to make the most of this pantry staple.
Winter is the perfect time to create wholesome meals in the kitchen with the family. While roast dinners and stews might be the obvious choice in the colder months, rice is a favourite of mine for creating oodles of heartiness in winter meals. I love it because of its versatility and the fact that it's a family crowd-pleaser.
Here are three ways you can use rice this winter:
Winter is a great time to experiment with spice because it not only adds flavour but provides warmth. Curries don't have to be complex affairs. You can start with very few ingredients - a chopped onion cooked in oil with curry leaves, a good pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of mustard seeds, then a splash of coconut milk, makes the most delicious, mild curry base for you to add chicken, pork, seafood, or lentils. Next, Try adding fuss free zing to your rice by mixing a SunRice Flavour Your Rice Paste in Indian Spice to your rice before cooking it by absorption or if you're short on time, fold it into SunRice's new Microwave Rice Pouches, which give you soft and fluffy rice in just 90 seconds. A quick and simple way to add flavour to any meal!
Soup, glorious soup
One of my favourite winter warmers is serving rice covered in Asian style broths. Start with a simple base of garlic, ginger, and spring onions sauteed in a vegetable-based oil, adding chicken broth and a chicken breast to poach and shred back into the soup, then at the last minute, cooked rice and Asian greens, so they Blanche for a moment and stay crunchy. Season with soy, fish or oyster sauce and chilli if you don't mind a bit of spice, then garnish with coriander and fried shallots. Experiment with ingredients you love. If you prefer a Mediterranean style soup, you can try a tomato base and use things like kale, bacon, and parsley to add more layers of depth - the possibilities are endless.
Remember, rice is a neutral ingredient that absorbs flavour, so throwing a handful into any brothy numbers is an effortless way of adding substance to soups.
Don't forget the sweet treats.
There's nothing quite like the old-fashioned familiarity of a rice pudding for taking the chill of winter away. One of my faves for ramping up a rice pudding are vanilla, strawberries, pistachios and rose water. You can try the recipe below or click here for more rice inspiration.
- 1 cup SunRice White Medium Grain Rice or SunRice Koshihikari Rice
- 1 punnet Strawberries, tops removed, quartered
- 1/4 tsp Rosewate
- r2 tsp Icing sugar
- 3-4 cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Caster sugar or honey
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp Toasted pistachios, chopped
Combine the strawberries, rose water and icing sugar in a bowl. Fold gently with a spoon, cover and refrigerate.
Combine the rice and 1 cup of milk in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a medium heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated but the rice is sticky and moist. Stir well and add another cup of milk. Repeat until the rice is tender. Add the sugar and vanilla.
Divide into bowls, top with strawberries and pistachios.