Rice is one of my go-to foods whenever I need to prepare something relatively fast and easy. My late step-mom, Tippy, taught me a couple of super easy dishes that she learned as a young girl growing up in Thailand. They are simple to prepare and can be tweaked according to taste.
The first one is a fantastic one-dish meal that is very common in Thailand, fried rice. The recipe Tippy liked best is one that her cousin Waan used. It’s one I passed along in a previous bluejayblog post and have copied for you here:
Waan’s Super Spiffy Fried Rice
Ingredients for each serving:
a cup of cold, leftover rice
a tablespoon of seasoned Wok oil or regular cooking oil.
a cup of chopped vegetables, your choice
some teriyaki sauce or tamari, your choice
a dash of chili sauce (any variety)
a splash or three of sesame oil (optional)
some chopped peanuts and/or almonds (optional)
In a medium hot wok or large skillet, coat the surface with the oil. Add the rice and spread it out. Break the egg over the rice and mix it together and fry the combination until everything is hot and the egg is almost done.
Push the rice mixture to the side of the wok or remove it from the skillet. Then add a little more oil and your chopped vegetables. (If you use frozen, be sure to defrost them in the microwave oven, first.) Pour in the teriyaki sauce and a little chili sauce then stir-fry the veggies until they’re piping hot.
Add the sesame oil and stir again. (Don’t add the sesame oil too soon, because it is a fragile oil and should be treated as a condiment.) Bring the rice-egg portion from the side and blend everything together into one mixture. Stir fry for another minute or so. Scoop it onto a plate, sprinkle on the chopped nuts, then serve immediately.
This second recipe can be used as a side dish or as the base for a dessert. I wrote this down when she prepared it for desert one day. Tippy always used an automatic rice cooker for her coconut rice. If you don’t have one of those, alter the measurements and method when using a sauce pan.
Tippy’s Thai Coconut Rice
2 cups of jasmine white rice
2 cups of regular (not lite) coconut milk
1 and 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
4 tablespoons of shredded coconut (sweet or unsweetened)
dash of salt
Coat the bottom and sides of the rice cooker with the oil. Rinse the rice in a bowl or colander then put it in the cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir with the rice cooker paddle or a wooden spoon to avoid scratching the cooker surface.
Cover the cooker and begin the automatic cook cycle according to the instructions for your cooker. When the cycle is complete, keep the cooker in “warm” mode for about five minutes. Fluff with plastic or wooden utensil to re-blend the coconut with the rice. Then serve.
If you are using a sauce pan, follow these instructions. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. After the mixture begins a gentle boil, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit for another five or ten minutes. Then fluff and serve.
Tippy would serve the coconut rice as a side dish to compliment other foods. When used for desert, she garnished the coconut rice with berries or sliced mango. You can use your favorite fruit.
Enjoy these recipes soon.