Archive for the ‘Rice’ Category

It was my dear friend Amanda’s birthday a couple of weeks back and as I’m a bit useless and hadn’t got around to sending her a pressie, I was more than happy to rise to the challenge of providing her with inspiration for the stacks of brown rice she apparently has in the pantry instead.

So here you go Mands, a scrummy Japanese inspired dish which goes really well with the slightly nutty and crunchy attributes of brown rice. And don’t be put off by the long recipe this is really quick and super simple. Happy Birthday!

Japanese Chicken and Brown Rice Salad – serves 2

– 300-400g skinless, boneless chicken – breasts or thigh (about 2 standard sized breasts)
– 250g brown rice
– 3-4 spring onions
– half a cucumber
– 1 pepper – any colour
– half an avocado
– sunflower oil
– salt and pepper
– sprinkling of sesame seeds (optional)

for the marinade
– 3 tablespoons soy sauce
– 3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice vinegar)

for the dressing
– 4 tablespoons mirin
– 2 tablespoons caster sugar
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
– extra soy sauce and mirin to taste

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

2. Slice the chicken into strips about 1cm thickness and add to the marinade. Stir to ensure the chicken pieces are completely coated with the marinade and set aside while you prepare the rice.

3. Place the rice in a sieve and run under cold water for 30 seconds to rinse.

4. Place the rice in a saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rice is just tender but still has a nice bite to it. Drain and leave to cool in the sieve to dry it out.

5. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and with a teaspoon, scoop out all the seeds. Dice up the cucumber and add to a big serving bowl.

5. Chop up the spring onion, pepper and avocado and add to the cucumber. At this point you can add any other favourite salad vegetables you have on hand. I added fresh broad beans which I placed in rapidly boiling, salted water for 2 minutes, drained and ran under cold water to refresh. I also added some Hijiki which is a Japanese sea vegetable high in fibre. It’s dried to begin with and quick and easy to prepare by following the packet instructions. It added a nice textural contract to the crunchy vegetables and rice.

6. Now get a fry pan on medium heat, add a touch of sunflower oil to the pan and add the chicken pieces. You don’t want to crowd the chicken so fry in batches if necessary. This stops the meat from stewing. Once the chicken has been added to the pan, sprinkle some sesame seeds over the pieces and drizzle any remaining marinade over the meat as well. Don’t move the chicken around as it will naturally detach from the pan once it’s nicely caramelised and ready to be turned. It will only take a few minutes. Turn and sprinkle with more sesame seeds. Once it’s cooked through (another few minutes), check that the juices run clear and then remove from the pan and set aside to rest and cool slightly before adding to the other salad ingredients.

7. To make the dressing, add the mirin and sugar to a small pot and gently warm until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sunflower oil and taste. If it’s a bit too sweet for your liking, add a tablespoon of soy sauce. Taste and add more soya sauce or more mirin as necessary.

8. Once the dressing tastes just right, place the rice in a small bowl and pour the dressing over it. Stir and then add the rice to the main serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

9. Cut up the chicken and add to the serving bowl and toss. Or leave if you like chunkier pieces and place portions of the rice and salad mix in serving bowls and place the chicken on top.

You can substitute the chicken for pork or salmon and the brown rice for white long grain rice.


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