Heart Warming and Simple Rice Porridge Recipe

rice congee

The above-freezing temperature continues, snow piled up with no signs of abating soon, but there comes the snow again. Chill weather like this makes me crave for a bowl of warm porridge to keep my body and soul warm. 

My version of chicken porridge is packed with goodies - shredded chicken, seaweed, pickled vegies, scallions, sesame seeds and ginger strips. Seasoning is kept simple: a sprinkle of white pepper, a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce. I added no sugar to my porridge. The sweet flavor stems purely from the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes. 

Ingredients
150g of chicken breast
100g sweet potatoes (cut into cubes)
1 cup rice
8 cups water
1 chicken cube
salt to taste

Garnish or toppings
seaweed
scallions
pickled vegies
sesame seeds
ginger strips
white pepper
sesame oil
soy sauce

Directions
1. Wash and soak rice for over night.
2. Add rice, water and chicken cubes into the pot and bring to boil.
3. Once the rice is boiling, turn heat to medium low and add-in the chicken breast and sweet potatoes.
4. Once the chicken breast is cooked, scoop it up and set aside to room temperature.
5. Continue to boil the porridge until it becomes thick and creamy texture. Remember to stir it often.
6. Shred the chicken breast.
7. Add in the shredded chicken and salt into the porridge and mix well.
8. Serve the rice porridge with the desired garnishes and toppings.

Rice rolls with bacon and meat floss

rice roll


I crave for carbo, particularly rice. While I was thinking of making some kimbap to satisfy my cravings, I realized that I was running out of seaweed wrap or kim (seaweed in Korean). With outdoor temperature firmly below 0 degree, I was too lazy to step out from my cozy cave to 'hunt' for seaweeds from the nearby supermarket. I was totally fine to go without seaweed for my kimbap. So, instead of making kimbap, I created rice rolls.


Rice is plain in taste, so we usually wrap a layer of seaweed to further flavor the kimbap. Since I will go without the seaweed wrap for my rice rolls, I am selective with the filling. Tamago (egg roll) can be a little bit mild in taste, so, I opted for bacon strips as they paired perfectly with plain rice. I added other ingredients to my rice rolls too. Let's check out the recipe.


Ingredients

cooked plain rice
bacon strips
cucumber slices
sweet chili sauce
mayonnaise
sesame seeds
meat floss with seaweed flakes (optional)

Directions

1. Pan fried the bacon strips and set a side.
2. Spread a layer of cooked rice on a cling film, 15x15cm.
3. Place the filling (pan-fried bacon strips, chicken floss, cucumber slices) in the middle of the rice spread.
4. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the filling.
5. Top generous amount of sweet chili sauce and mayonnaise.
6. Roll the rice together with the fillings and sauce to form a rice roll.

For healthier version, you may oven baked the bacon strips. Meat floss is not a must for this recipe, but it does help to enhance the overall flavor of your rice roll as they match perfectly well with mayonnaise.





Baked Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks

Baked chicken drumsticks
I do run out of ideas sometimes on what to cook or there are times that I am too lazy too cook and I just want something quick and easy to prepare. The roasted gochujang chicken drumsticks have been a safe bet for days like these. They are so simple to prepare and they taste super good. If you like spicy and salty food, this will be the dish for you.

I have some potatoes cut into cubes to bake along with the chicken drumsticks, so they can suck-up the juices and marinates that released from the chicken drumsticks during the baking process. The potato cubes turned out to be flavorful, packed with the great spices and umami taste of gochujang. The chicken drumsticks paired very well with fluffy white rice too.

Let's check out the recipe. Do feel free to adjust the measurement according to your taste.


Ingredients
5 chicken drumsticks
1 tbsp of gochujang
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
pan spray or cooking oil

Optional
1 medium size potato (cut into cubes)

Directions
1. Marinate the chicken drumsticks with gochujang, soy sauce, sugar. Set aside for 1 hour.
2. Coat the baking pan with some cooking spray.
3. Arrange the chicken drumsticks in the middle of the baking pan and potato cubes at the side.
4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the potato cubes.
5. Bake at 185C for 30 min. Turn the drumsticks over and continue to bake with another 15min or until the drumsticks are cooked.


For better taste, you may marinate the chicken drumsticks overnight.
Gochujang chicken drumsticks

A Pot of Homemade Dal


It does not cross my mind to try cooking Indian cuisine regardless on how much I adore Indian food. I am in fact intimidated by the number of spices used in Indian cuisine. There is no surprise that a bowl of Indian curry comprises of more than 5 different types of spices.

Ms. M from Germany who loves Indian food convinced me that there are simple Indian dishes that do not required a lot of species and dal is one of it. So, I challenge myself to make my first pot of dal today.


The dal served in Indian restaurants are normally the channa dal. But in my recipe here, I am using the split mung beans from Asian supermarket. Split mung beans is also known as moong dal which is slightly smaller that chana dal, but with the same texture. 

Ingredients
200g dal (any type of dal)
2 medium size tomatoes (diced)
2 potatoes (cubed)
1 carrot (sliced - 1cm thick)
3-4 stalks dried chilies
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 shallots (diced)
2 pieces curry leaf
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
125ml of water
cooking oil
salt and sugar to taste
chopped coriander leave (optional)

Directions
1. Wash and soak the dal overnight to soften the dal.
2. Heat up generous amount of cooking oil in a pot.
3. Add in the minced garlic, diced shallots, dried chilies, and curry leaf and stir fry till they turn aroma.
4. Add in the tomatoes cubes, cover the lid and let the tomatoes to soften.
5. Once the tomatoes are soften, add in the rest of the ingredients (turmeric powder, dal, potatoes, carrot and water) and bring to boil.
6. Constantly stir the dal, so they will not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add in more water if required.
7. Once the dal turn soft and smushy, add in salt and sugar according to personal preference.
8. Garnish the dal with some chopped coriander.

This Dal dish is worth a try as it is simple to prepare with basic ingredients from the pantry. You can eat it on its own as soup or you can pair it with rice and poppadom.



Korean Potato Pancake, Gamjajeon

Gamjajeon

I am a big fan of pancakes, especially the savory version. I usually make kimchi pancakes at home as they are so simple to make. However for this time round, I am making the Korean potato pancake, also known as gamjajeon in Korean.

I have the wrong impression that I need to boil the potatoes first, mash it before I mix it with the flour. In fact, for this recipe, we not not need to boil the potatoes, instead we just need to blend them to puree form before mixing them with the flour.

If you like savory pancakes and have high tolerance to onions or shallots, these gamjajeon will be perfect for you. The shallot has indeed added extra umami to the pancakes. These pancakes can be pretty addictive ... so be prepared to make extra batches.

Korean Potato Pancake, Gamjajeon

Let's check out the recipe now.

Ingredients
5 medium size potatoes
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 stalks of green onion
1 shallot
a pinch of salt
sufficient cooking oil for pan frying

Korean Potato Pancake

Directions
1. Cut potatoes, green onion and shallot to blend-able size that fit into your blender
2. Blend potatoes, green onion and shallot into puree form.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and blended puree together to form pancake batter.
4. Heat up some cooking oil in a frying pan.
5. Scoop the batter and place in the pan and pan-fry under medium high heat.
6. Pan fry the pancake til both sides turned golden brown and dish out.

The potato pancake taste as good as it is. However if you want something extra, you can make your own dipping sauce to go with the pancake. You just need soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey and mix everything together in a bowl.

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