Chicken Katsu Curry Rice

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice

Flavourful Japanese curry rice served with chicken katsu makes the ultimate comfort food.
 
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 2
Chicken Katsu Curry Rice
Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp
Onion, chopped
1
Garlic, peeled
5 cloves
Carrots, chopped
2
Plain flour
1 tbsp
Curry powder
1 tbsp
Chicken stock
600ml
Brown sugar
2 tbsp
Soy sauce
1 tbsp
Bay leaf
1
Garam masala
½ tsp
Small chicken breasts
4
Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
100g
Egg, beaten lightly
1
Panko breadcrumbs
250g
Oil
For frying
Japanese rice
1 serving
Pickles
To serve
Salad
To serve
Method
Chicken Katsu Curry Rice

Step 01

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic, and saute it for 2 minutes.
Step 02
Throw in carrots and cook it for 10 minutes with the lid on until carrots are soft.
Step 03
Stir in the flour and curry powder, and cook for a minute.
Step 04
Pour in the stock slowly until combined. Do this gradually to avoid getting lumps.
Step 05
Add the sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaf, and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Step 06
Add the garam masala, then pass the sauce through a sieve.
Step 07
Lay the seasoned flour, egg, and breadcrumbs on separate plates.
Step 08
Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.
Step 09
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
Step 10
Remove the chicken from the pan and blot it with a paper towel.
Step 11
Slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, rice, pickles, and salad.

For a healthier option, skip the deep frying and prepare the katsu in the oven instead.

Teochew Braised Duck

Teochew Braised Duck

Ring in the festival with a succulent, braised duck!
 
Total Time:
2 hours 20 mins
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 6
Teochew Braised Duck
Whole duck
1
Hot water
2 ½ litres
Dark soya sauce
300ml
Oil
2 tbsp
Caster sugar
2 tbsp
Rock sugar
1 tbsp
Sweet soya sauce
2 tbsp
Shallots
4
Garlic
12 cloves
Galangal, cut into thick slice
6
Ginger, cut into slices
6
Sichuan lovage herb (optional)
4
Cinnamon sticks
4
Cloves
10
Star anise
4
Cassia seeds
5
Spring onions
3
Salt and pepper
To taste
Method
Teochew Braised Duck

Step 01

Rinse the duck well and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Step 02
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, chuan xiong, and all the spices until fragrant.
Step 03
Mix in caster sugar and rock sugar until caramelised. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Step 04
Place hot water in a large wok over a medium heat. Submerge the duck in water until fully covered.
Step 05
Add salt, dark soya sauce, sweet soya sauce and spring onions, followed by the sautéed vegetables and spices.
Step 06
Once the broth comes to a boil, cover the wok and let it braise over low heat for about 1 ½ hours.
Step 07
Rotate the duck every 15-20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Step 08
Turn off the heat and let it rest in the sauce for another 15 minutes before draining it. Leave some to serve.
Step 09
Slice the braised duck into pieces and serve with a side of rice.

You may also include shiitake mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs and tau kwa (firm tofu).

Spicy Honey Crispy Chicken

Spicy Honey Crispy Chicken

Wow your guests with these delectable sweet and spicy chicken wings and drummets.
 
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 6
Spicy Honey Crispy Chicken
Chicken wings and drummets
1kg
Baking powder
2 tsp
Salt
¼ tsp
Soy sauce
2 tbsp
Water
1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp
Honey
1 ½ tbsp
Red chili paste
1 Tbsp
Sriracha chilli sauce
1 tsp
Ground ginger
¼ tsp
Sesame oil
½ tsp
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Sesame seeds
For garnish
Green onions
For garnish
Method
Spicy Honey Crispy Chicken
Step
01
Preheat oven to 135°C.
Step 02
Set a wire rack inside of a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 03
Pat wings and drummets with a paper towel to dry well.
Step 04
Add chicken, baking powder and salt to a large plastic bag. Seal it and shake to coat chicken.
Step 05
Add chicken to wire rack and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 06
Then, increase oven temperature to 220°C and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the chicken turns slightly golden brown.
Step 07
Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, honey, chili paste, sriracha, and ginger in a bowl.
Step 08
Add sesame oil to a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
Step 09
Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Step 10
Add in soy sauce mixture and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 11
Turn off heat but keep the sauce in the pan until the chicken is ready.
Step 12
Place the chickens in a medium bowl, and add in the sauce. Mix well to coat evenly.
Step 13
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Drizzle honey on the chicken if you have a sweet tooth.

Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss)

Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss)

Ring in the lunar New Year with this dish!
 
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 8
Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss)
Smoked salmon, sliced into strips
180g
Pomelo, cut into small wedges
½ pc
Sweet turnip / yam bean, shredded
½ pc
White radish / daikon, shredded
½ pc
Pickled red ginger, grated
40g
Mango, cut into small strips
1 pc
Green onions, chopped
2 pcs
Cucumber, shredded
1 pc
Carrot, shredded
1 pc
For garnish
Roasted peanuts, chopped
40g
Fried wonton skin, sliced into strips
50g
Toasted sesame seeds
25g
For dressing
Lime juice
1 pc
Plum sauce
1 tbsp
Sesame oil
1 tsp
Five-spice powder
A pinch
Salt
A pinch
Method
Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss)

Step 01

Season the smoked salmon with lime juice. Arrange the salad ingredients on a large platter.
Step 02
Pour all the garnish ingredients over the salad ingredients.
Step 03
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, and pour it over the salad before serving.
For garnish
For dressing

It is customary to have your guests simultaneously toss the salad high with chopsticks while sharing good wishes!

Smoked Salmon Porridge

Smoked Salmon Porridge

Comfort food perfect for the young and young-at-heart!
 
Total Time: 90 minutes
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 4
Smoked Salmon Porridge
Smoked salmon
200g
Young ginger
10g
Rice
1 cup
Soup stock
8 cups
Spring onions, finely chopped
2 sprigs
Salt
As needed
Pepper
As needed
Sesame oil
As needed
Method
Smoked Salmon Porridge

Step 01

Drizzle sesame oil on the smoked salmon. Arrange the salmon pieces on a plate, and top it with spring onions.
Step 02
Wash and slice ginger into thin strips. Set aside.
Step 03
Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
Step 04
Transfer the rice into a pot, pour in the soup stock and bring to boil.
Step 05
Lower the heat and simmer gently till cooked. Season with salt, pepper, and ginger.
Step 06
Place the smoked salmon on the side. Serve.

Add in shallots and poached eggs for extra flavour!

Longevity Noodles with Ginger and Chicken

Longevity Noodles with Ginger and Chicken

Careful not to bite them apart! The longer the noodle, the longer your life.
 
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 3
Longevity Noodles with Ginger and Chicken
Fresh lo mien
350 g
Toasted sesame seed oil
2 tsp
Chicken (cut into bite-size slices)
350 g
Ginger (finely shredded)
1 tbsp
Chinese rice wine
1 tsp
Cornstarch
1 tsp
Soy sauce
1 tsp
Salt
As needed
Peanut or vegetable oil
2 tbsp
Red pepper flakes
¼ tsp
White cabbage (thinly sliced)
3 cups
Shiitake mushrooms
2 cups
Green onion (finely shredded)
½ cup
Method
Longevity Noodles with Ginger and Chicken

Step 01

Boil noodles at medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, continuously stirring to prevent noodles from sticking. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool, then shake well to remove excess water.
Step 02
Place noodles into a hot pan, add sesame oil, and toss. In a shallow bowl, season the chicken with ginger, 1 tsp rice wine, cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper, and mix. Combine the remaining 1 tbsp rice wine and 1 tbsp soy sauce in a separate bowl.
Step 03
Set wok on high heat. Swirl in 1 tbsp of peanut oil, add red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 10 seconds using a metal spatula. Push pepper flakes aside and add chicken, let it cook undisturbed for approximately 1 minute.
Step 04
Stir-fry chicken and pepper flakes together, tossing in the wok, for a minute or 2 until cooked. Remove the contents of the wok into a bowl. Next, add cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute until just wilted but not overcooked. Empty into the bowl of chicken.
Step 05
Reheat wok, swirl in remaining 1 tbsp of peanut oil, and add noodles. Stir-fry 30 seconds, moving constantly to heat thoroughly. Swirl soy sauce-rice wine mixture and add to wok along with chicken-vegetable mixture and scallions. Sprinkle in 3/4 tsp of salt and stir-fry for a minute or 2 until chicken and vegetables are heated through.

Add fresh chilli padi for an extra kick!

Sambal U.S Potato Salad

Sambal U.S Potato Salad

A Malaysian twist on the classic BBQ favourite!
 
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 8
Sambal U.S Potato Salad
4 medium-sized U.S Russet potatoes
400g
U.S frozen potato wedges
400g
Pre-made ‘sambal tumis’ paste
3 tbsp
Santan / thick coconut milk
1/2 cup
Lime juice
2 tbsp
Small onion (finely chopped)
60 g
Celery leaves (finely chopped)
1/4 cup
Method
Sambal U.S Potato Salad

Step 01

Scrub U.S Russet potatoes thoroughly and boil for approximately 20 minutes, or till tender. After potatoes are drained and cooled, cut them into 2cm pieces.
Step 02
Place U.S frozen potato wedges into a preheated oven at 200 °C and bake for 20 minutes, or till golden brown and crisp. While still warm, cut into 2cm pieces.
Step 03
Combine sambal tumis paste and coconut milk in a small pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
Step 04
Take pan off heat, add lime juice and mix thoroughly. Gently pour the sambal onto your potatoes and top it off with onion and celery leaves. Serve.

Try serving it chilled, it adds more depth of flavour.

Homemade Kimchi

Homemade Kimchi

 

Recreate the authentic taste of Korea in the comfort of your home!
 
Total Time: 2.5 hour
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 5
Homemade Kimchi
White cabbage
1kg
Sea salt
1/4 Cup
Garlic (minced)
5 Cloves
Daikon radish (trimmed into matchsticks)
2 Units
Scallions (cut into 1-inch sections)
1 Bundle
Ginger (grated)
1 Tbsp
Red pepper (crushed)
4 Tbsp
White sugar
1 Tsp
Nori (torn into small pieces)
1 sheet
Method
Homemade Kimchi
Step
01
Rinse and slice the cabbage into 2-inch widestrips. Place in a mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of sea salt, gently massage into leaves. Pour filtered water into bowl until cabbage is just covered, for approximately 10 minutes. Place a weight on top of cabbage (eg. plate, bowl) and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Step 02
Pour cabbage onto a strainer and rinse under cool running water. Allow the cabbage to drain on its own for at least 20 minutes. Rinse the mixing bowl used for salting and set it aside for later steps.
Step 03
Combine, sugar, red pepper and nori in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp filtered water and stir contents until a thick paste forms. In a separate bowl, create a brine solution by combining 2 cups of water with 1 tbsp of salt - stir continuously and set aside.
Step 04
After prepping the daikon, ginger, scallions and garlic, combine them with the cabbage in mixing bowl. Add paste and fold until the cabbage is evenly coated with paste - remember to put on gloves!
Step 05
Pack the kimchi into a mason jar, pressing down on it until brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal and place jar on a shelf out direct sunlight for 24 hours. After 24 hours, open jar to release gases, it should be stinky. Then reseal and store kimchi in fridge for up to 1 month.

You can add fish sauce instead of Nori, it adds a savory dimension to the kimchi - known as umami.

Healthy 3- Step Nasi Lemak

Healthy 3-Step Nasi Lemak 

Take the lemak out of your Nasi Lemak!
 
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep: –
Cook: –
Ingredients Serves 8
Healthy 3-Steps Nasi Lemak
Rice
2 Cups
Ginger (sliced)
2-inch
Salt
1 Tsp
Virgin coconut oil
1 Tsp
Pandan leaves (tied in a knot)
3-4 Pcs
Cucumber
As needed
Eggs
As needed
Sambal Sauce
As needed
Method
AHealthy 3-Steps Nasi Lemak
Step
01
Rinse rice in pot till the water is clear. Toss in whole milk, ginger, salt and pandan leaves and let your rice cooker handle the rest.
Step 02
After the rice is done cooking, and is piping hot, spoon in 4-6 tbsps of virgin coconut oil.
Step 03
Serve with sambal, egg and cucumber slices.

The Most Asian Dish

The Most Asian Dish

Asia, the largest continent in the world – with a total of 48 countries – is a melting pot of race and culture. That being said, there is a common dish found across its cuisine: Rice. Grown in every continent on earth, with the exception of Antarctica, it is the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize. So what makes it the ultimate Asian dish?

 

Asia alone both produces and consumes 90% of the world’s rice

 

In 2016, the top 10 rice producing countries were Pakistan at 2.85 million hectares (approximately 2.85 million rugby fields combined), Cambodia (2.90), Philippines (4.50), Burma (6.80), Vietnam (7.66), Thailand (9.65), Bangladesh (12.00), Indonesia (12.16), China (30.35), and finally India at 43.20 million hectares. 

 

Link to ancient Asian folklore

In India, rice is associated to the Hindu God of Wealth, Lakshmi a.k.a Annapurna (provider of a bounty of rice). In Bali, Hindus believe that it was the power of Vishnu that created rice from nothing, while Indra (God of Bad Weather), taught the people to cultivate their own rice; hence, the use of waterlogged soil. In Japan, rice is associated with the sun goddess Amaterasu, who ruled both the sun and heavenly fields of rice. In Thailand, Mae Phosop is considered to be the ‘mother of rice’ deity. She is commonly depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a red dress with extravagant jewellery, holding a sheaf of harvested rice on her right shoulder.

 

Not all rice is made equal

Being the oldest known food still consumed today, years of cross-pollination and genetic modification has resulted in over 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice. The varieties can be narrowed down into three types of rice grain: short, medium and long. Long-grains are dry, firm, and stay fluffy after being separated after cooking (eg: Basmati and Jasmine). Medium-grains produce the most moisture, making them tender and slightly chewy, which is why they’re commonly used in risottos and paellas (eg: Arborio and Valencia). Short-grain rice is only a tiny bit longer than its width. Known for sticking and clumping together, it is commonly used to make sushi.  

 

A celebration of rice

In Asia, inhabitants generously commemorate various ancient festivals dedicated to the agricultural cycle of growing and harvesting food, most notably rice. Here are a few examples:

  1. In Malaysia and Brunei, a World Harvest Festival takes place, featuring members of the Dayak community together with neighbours from Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

  2. In Thailand, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient royal rite held in Cambodia and Thailand to mark the beginning of the rice-growing season.   

  3. In Japan, a grand ceremony is held in the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine for the annual Otaue Rice Planting Festival. The festival has become a popular tourist attraction, thanks to the spectacular dance performances, which are believed to enhance the vitality of the grains.  ​

 

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