Friday, August 17, 2007

Wholesome nutritious porridge with tuna, edamame, wolfberry

Some of you were asking the kind of rice I was using here, it's not wild rice. This post will tell you more.
Jihva for ingredients, for the month of September- RICE. For most Asians, rice is our dietary staple. Is rice part of your daily meals ?

All these years, we are used to eating Jasmine Rice - a long grain variety of rice, usually (not always) from Thailand. White rice, brown rice or red cargo rice, we prefer long grain of these rice in regular home-cooking since long grain separates after cooking (vs the short grain that tends to stick together). I seldom do sushi at home so the pantry does not stock short-grain rice. If I want sushi, I will eat out. :p
Is red cargo or brown rice for you? Well, some people don't like it just because many of them grow up eating white rice all their life and are not used to the funny texture of red cargo/brown rice (funny? texture sometimes described as crunchy bugs, what you say?). But do you know...

Red cargo/brown is more nutritious than white. It is a type of rice which has a bran covering the rice kernel, therefore retaining vitamins and minerals. The process that produces these rice removes only the outermost layer - the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. Yes, red cargo/brown takes a longer time to cook and more water is required in the process of cooking.

Personally, I think cooking rice requires experience, no recipe. There may be a few best-known-methods (BKM) around though. Different kinds of rice cooks differently. Some need more water, some need more time, some require pre-soaking etc. Experiments after experiments, that's what you need. It gets more complicated when you mix red cargo rice and white rice. That's how I eat red cargo rice, I would usually mix them with white rice - add more water(~40%more, just a gauge - you have to use the "eyeball" or agaration technique) than what I would do when I cook just plain white rice alone. I still want my white rice! To make life easier, you can use red cargo rice + white rice to cook porridge. Whenever you see the rice drying up, JUST ADD WATER!!!

This needs razor-sharp eye-sight. This is tuna edamame porridge. Spot the red cargo rice floating...

Tuna Edamame Porridge
-White rice and red cargo rice (~3:1 ratio)
-some canned tuna (quantity to your liking)
-some frozen edamame (quantity to your liking)
- some wolfberry
-Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: ...(Note: All this happens in the rice cooker)
1. Washed rice grains, add in 2x the amount of water you would usually use when you cook rice.
2. Turn on the rice cooker. The first 5-10 mins will be as "peaceful" as cooking rice.
3. When you hear the lid starting to "make noises" and see some over-bubbling of fluid at the lid when the rice mixture starts to boil, lift up the lid and tilt it slighltly, allowing a small vent for "pressure release" while the rice porridge mixture is boiling in the rice cooker
4. Continue cooking and adjust water amount accordingly, depending if you like soupy rice porridge or thick rice porridge.
5. The last step is to add the canned tuna, wolfberry and edamame, (salt and pepper-option, just for taste) into the rice porridge and mix well.
6. Done! Is that nutritious and simple?

How many of you have tried cooking porridge like that before? The next time you do, don't forget the red cargo rice! :D You can also use them in Tom Yum Fried Rice, Cabbage and Char Siew Fried Rice, or whenever you prepare a rice-plate or set with braised pork ribs .

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