A photographic food adventure

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Hello, With a Side of Hainanese Chicken Rice!

HELLO! My name is Nurul. As you can probably tell, I am the other half of the epic duo that is The Young and Hungry. Ironically, Tory and I met in a Food Tech [or Home Economics for you Americans] class in our first year of high school, and bonded over our passion for writing as well as our love for food.

Fast forward eight years, I find myself studying Forensic Science and Maori Studies [strange combo, i know…] at The University of Otago and therefore spend most of my year in a completely different island to my compadre. We do, however, enjoy some fantastic Wellington coffee when I am holidaying in my hometown for summer…or whenever i find the money to fly home.

Speaking of money, if you are also a student, you will be pleased to find that most of my recipes are relatively low-budget, because I’d much rather spend my government allowance on clothing that I will only ever wear once, and makeup that I don’t need.

ALSO…DO NOT FEAR fellow meat eaters, I love me some meat and so I will be providing that aspect for you guys in my recipes… though vegetarian food is often DEEEELISH too! I also enjoy baking, but don’t have much of a sweet tooth [how lucky for my friends and flatmates!].

Right, enough with the ranting, lets get down to business [“to defeat the Huns”? any Mulan fans out there?]

This recipe was my favourite meal as a child… my mum made this every year on my birthday, and she is the best cook I know. She doesn’t go by recipes [mad skillz.] so i hunted for one that was similar. I got this from The Food Network site: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/hainanese-chicken-rice-recipe/index.html and just changed it up so it suited what I had in my pantry.
So here we go!!!!!

1 (2-pound) chicken [i used 5 chicken thigh pieces instead]
1 scallion, cut into 1-inch pieces [i used a regular onion instead]
4 slices fresh, peeled ginger [or a couple of teaspoons of bottled ginger paste, depending on what you like. Bottled paste is good for the student budget, and you could also get the combination ginger-garlic paste. YUM.]
3-5 cups of water
6 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
6 to 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped [i prefer to crush mine rather than chop them but whatever suits you]
4 cups long-grain uncooked rice [To be honest, I don’t think the type of rice matters.. I used Basmati]
1 teaspoon fine salt

Slice the onion into thin pieces, and crush the garlic. Remove the fat from the chicken if you need to, and set aside.
Chicken Rice (2)

In a medium sized pot, fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onions are slightly softened and everything is well mixed.
Chicken Rice (3)

Add the chicken pieces and cook for about five minutes [it doesn’t matter if the chicken is not cooked through completely because we will be boiling it anyway].
Chicken Rice (4) Chicken Rice (5)

Fill the pot with water, until the chicken is just covered. Make sure the contents are well mixed, cover, and boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add salt and pepper to taste [i forgot this the second time i made this and it ended up really bland], and continue to boil gently until the chicken is cooked. [the chicken is cooked when it is completely white on the inside – cut it open and check if you are not sure.]
Chicken Rice (6) Chicken Rice (8)

Take the chicken out of the pot and set aside. Wash the rice and transfer it in a rice cooker pot [or regular pot, depending on how you usually cook your rice]. Pour in the chicken stock mixture [as much as you need to cook the rice, in replacement of the water that you would usually use] Make sure you add all the onion, garlic and ginger bits as well.
Chicken Rice (9) Chicken Rice (10)

Cook the rice as your normally would, then replace the chicken so it reheats with the heat of the rice.
Chicken Rice (11)

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce. [as shown below, mine is a mixture of hot chilli sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a wee bit of the stock whisked into it] I also like to pour some of the stock soup that we made onto the rice when i’m ready to eat. This dish goes well with fresh cucumber and tomatoes sliced up on the side, but i didnt have any to take pictures of…oops.

Chicken Rice (12) Chicken Rice (13)

Hope you enjoy it!



Introduction and Mushroom Pot Pies

Welcome to The Young and Hungry.

Before I start with my first recipe, I’ll introduce myself to you: I’m Tory, I’m from Wellington and I’m a vegetarian with a passion for desserts, so now you know what to expect from my recipes. However, I do eat fish so there may be some fish recipes included every now and again.

As you may have already read in the “About” section, I’m not the only author of The Young and Hungry, you will hear from my friend Nurul later on as we’ll post twice a week each starting from next week.

My first recipe is Mushroom Pot Pies from “Vegetarian Cooking, a Commonsense Guide”, a recipe book I’ll use fairly frequently.

I will add my own commentary to the method in italics, as well as some notes at the start or end of each recipe that are helpful or interesting about my experience of the recipe.

Olive oil
A leek (white part only) (I used half an onion instead)
A couple of crushed garlic cloves
Large field mushrooms, peeled and diced
1 cup cream
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Note: Meat such as bacon can be added to this recipe if you feel it’s necessary to ruin a perfectly good pie with meat.


Preheat oven to 180 C . Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté the leek/onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the leek/onion is soft and translucent. Transfer onto a plate.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are soft and slightly coloured.

Add leek/onion and garlic mixture into frying pan with mushrooms. Add thyme and salt. (Fresh thyme can be used but I used dry thyme from a packet). Here I also added a sprinkle of ground chilli, something I do often in my cooking, as I love a bit of a kick, it is not on the recipe and is optional but I personally find it adds to the flavour.

Turn up the heat to high and add cream.

Stirring occasionally, cook for 7-8 minutes or until the cream has reduced to a thick sauce. Remember to taste as you go and add more salt and pepper if you feel it needs more, because I add chilli, I usually don’t use pepper.

Divide mushrooms into ramekins or ovenproof bowls, I had enough mushrooms for two pies but if you want to make a bigger batch, add more mushrooms.  Cut the pastry into rounds about the same size as each ramekin.

Brush the rim of each ramekin with some beaten egg yolk, place the pastry rounds on top and press down on the pastry to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining egg yolk.

Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot.

Finished product:

Note: This was my first time making these pies and I found, when I took the pies out of the oven and cracked open the pastry, the creamy mushroom mixture had separated slightly so some of the oil from the cream was visible and although not visually appealing, it didn’t seem to effect the flavour of the pies. I’m not sure if there is a way to prevent this separation, let me know if you know.