Simple and Delicious - weekday inspirations
Get ready for your week with this simple and delicious dish. My version of Singapore Style Noodles should hit the spot! I've also included a beautiful recipe for a 'clean-eating' dish that is just perfect for this time of year when a few over indulgences start to occur.
Santa is on his way and I have to say, I'm going back to my staple weeknight dinner ideas as there is way too much happening at this time of year to get stuck into anything too complex. Except for some planned Christmas baking of course, I love it!
This one pan (plus resting bowl if using prawns) dinner is great on the clean up too, just prep everything and then you will have a lovely dish in minutes! You'll be fed, washed up and seated in front of your favourite TV binge in no time.
Relish Singapore Style Noodles
canola spray oil
500g pork mince
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp curry powder (see tip)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp turmeric
12 green prawns, shelled, deveined with tails left on (see tip)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne cut)
1/4 chinese cabbage, finely shredded
440g thin Singapore style noodles, prepared as per packet instructions (see tip)
4 green shallots, cut into 4cm lengths
handful bean sprouts
2 tbsp lime juice, plus 1 fresh lime to serve
crispy fried shallots to serve (optional)
Spray a non stick wok or large fry pan with oil and add pork, cooking over high heat and breaking up lumps for 5-6 mins or until browned. Add garlic, curry powder, soy sauce and turmeric and cook stirring for 2 mins or until fragrant and meat is evenly coated in mixture. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside (if not using prawns leave in meat in pan and skip to step 3).
In same pan, add prawns and cook for 3-4 mins or until they start to change colour and curl.
Add meat back to the pan and add noodles, carrot and cabbage and toss over high heat for 3-4 mins. Add bean sprouts and shallots and cook for a further 2 mins.
Remove from heat and stir through the lime juice. Divide between 4 bowls and top with fried shallots if using. Serve with a wedge of lime.
This noodle dish is meant to be quite dry as opposed to some other 'slippery/saucy' noodle dishes.
I like this a bit spicy hot so the full tablespoon of curry powder (sometimes more) works well for me. If you prefer it less spicy or maybe if you are making it for the kids, add 1/2 the amount first and have a taste and then add more to your liking.
If you can't be bothered with the prawns, leave the pork in the pan, skip step 2 and go straight to step 3.
I love the fresh thin egg noodles you can find in Asian grocers, however for ease I often use those 'shelf fresh/long life' noodles which you can find in the isles of your regular supermarket. Many of the long life ones just go straight into your pan without any pre cooking - easy peasy!
You can really add any veg you like to this dish, just cut it all to similar thickness so it all cooks at the same time. Try adding capsicum, zucchini, broccoli and even some fresh coriander right before serving works well too.
You can swap out the pork mince for chicken mince if you prefer.
Hainanese Chicken Rice - certainly not as quick but it's easy and delicious!
I did say simple and delicious for this time of year and it is, but it does take longer than our noodles above. I had to share this one as it's so superb and so much easier than I initially thought. It's one of the dishes I was telling you about in my last Singapore post and is probably one of the most famous of Singapore dishes. I found a great recipe by nonyacooking.com and decided to give it a go. Never have I cooked such a moist chicken! You'll probably concur, it's possibly one of the ugliest looking dishes on the planet (hahah), but I'm sure you will agree this takes simple pleasures to a whole new level!
Give it a whirl and be rewarded with a refreshingly yummy, 'clean-eating' dish that just feels great to eat... chicken, rice, cucumber - simple!
Hainanese Chicken Rice
(adapted from Grace Teo's recipe on nonyacooking.com)
1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
3 tbsp light soy sauce
6cm ginger, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 green shallots, chopped into 4cm lengths
1/2 chinese radish (the large long white ones)
water and ice cubes
3 tbsp seseme oil
1 1/2 tbsp salt
pinch white pepper
2 lebanese cucumbers, sliced to serve
1 tbsp chicken fat (see tip)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cm ginger, finely grated
1 green shallot, sliced lengthways and chopped into 4cm lengths
1 pandan leave (see tip)
3 cups Jasmin rice
1 tbsp shoaling wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chicken stock (use reserved liquid from when chicken was cooked)
For the chicken
Pour soy sauce into the chicken cavity and spread it around evenly. Stuff cavity with ginger, 1 shallot and 1/2 the radish and tie the legs together with cooking twine.
Place chicken into a large pot and add enough water to completely cover the chicken. Add remaining shallot and radish to the pot and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, turn the chicken over and turn the heat down and let it simmer for 20 mins with the lid on.
While chicken is cooking, combine sesame oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside.
Once chicken is cooked carefully remove from pot (try not to damage the skin), reserving the chicken liquid/stock and dunk him into a large bowl of iced water for 10 seconds. Remove and rub sesame oil mixture all over chicken. Set aside to rest.
Continue to simmer the stock for a further 30 mins, season to taste.
For the rice
Render your chicken fat (see tips) over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and shallot and cook for 2-3 mins or until fragrant. Add pandan leaf and rice and stir well to coat rice.
Add 6 1/2 cups of stock (reserved from your chicken cooking earlier - if there isn't enough, top it up with water). Bring it to the boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 mins or until holes appear in rice. Remove from heat and rest covered, for 5 mins before serving.
For the sauce
Combine all ingredients and add 2 tbsp of your reserved chicken stock.
Slice chicken into pieces serve with rice, cucumber and sauce on the side. Serves 4
The timing on the chicken is the most important part to a tender juicy chicken.
For the chicken fat, I cut off the fatty bits around the cavity opening and any other bits which were just hanging around. Place these in the pot you are using to cook your rice and let it cook down over medium heat. The fat will render down (liquify) and you will be left with a great flavour filled fat to use. If you don't have a table spoon full you could add a dash of canola oil. The remaining chicken skin in the pan will need to be removed before eating the rice.
Pandan leaves are available from asian grocers. If you can't get any just leave it out. If you find some, they freeze quite well so store leftovers in a zip lock bag in your freezer for next time.
This dish is normally served with a second fresh chilli sauce too but I think a nice Sirracha sauce or Sambal would go well too.
I know it looks a lot of work but have a read through, as it really isn't too tricky, I just wanted to explain it well so you nail it! Even if you forget the rice and just try making the chicken to start off, that's a great idea. I can't go past the sauce too as it really shines in this dish, so if you possibly can try to get that one in as well when making your chicken.
Happy cooking and good luck with your lead up to Christmas.
LOVE YOUR FOOD MOMENTS... ENYOY!