School has started. And so has mad routine. I wonder how many of you will have a daily routine as mad as mine. For a stranger, I can easily be labelled as the typical kiasu Singaporean mummy. If that’s the case, then so be it ba.
Anyway because K is also in morning session this year, I have 2-3 hrs of morning me-time when the kids are in school. Over the past few days, I have also dug out some awesome recipe from mum – those that I can manage and have tested and will slowly be documenting them on this blog. I have to slot in dinner at home on some days whenever I can.
Mum is a fabulous cook. It’s a pity that her children (yes, me) didn’t pick up her flamboyant style of cooking during her younger days when she had a shop house and a kitchen behind to cook all that she wanted. When we were young, mum single-handedly cooked wrapped prawn rolls, fried chicken, pork ribs, chilli crab, hakka yong tou fu, slow-boiled soup that is so full of smokey flavour, charcoal claypot rice, fried simple veg dishes with wok hei, bah chor mee, baked lots of chiffon cakes, sugar rolls, etc etc etc. Me and my siblings grew up in the shop house neighbourhood and stayed at the block of flats behind it. We were too active (playing Tua Beh Long and Hantam Bola with neighbour kids) to help her and too stupid not to watch her then. The shop house is now a piece of land full of flats. Ever since my parents shifted out of the shop house, we didn’t have all these fried fried stuff regularly because mum likes to keep the house clean (very clean) and tidy. All the cooking tires her out lately too and it’s a lot of work to clean up after each meal.
Anyway, here is one of my favorite recipe from her – Pumpkin Rice.
Ingredients (Serves 2A2C)
- Pumpkin cut into chunks
- Onion oil from fried shallots
- Dried Shrimps (Hay Bee) est 2 tbs
- Minced Pork
- Dark Soy Sauce (for colour & fragrance)
- Light Soya Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Chinese White Pepper
- Unwashed white rice 2 cups
- Marinate the minced pork with sesame oil, pepper, light soya sauce.
- Wash uncooked rice & leave to dry.
- Fry shallots (I used microwave to fry them on high power at 2 min, 1 min, 1 min until desired crisp and colour). Separate and keep the shallot in air-tight container for rice toppings.
4. Use 1 tsp of onion oil to fry the dried shrimp on low heat for a long, long time until it is dry, then continue frying until it gives out oil. This step takes quite a good few minutes.
5. Add in pumpkin and fry until it softens.
6. Push the pumpkin aside, add in minced pork and fry until half-cooked.
7. While still frying, mix everything that is still cooking in the wok until the meat has been fully cooked. Dish and set aside.
8. Heat up more onion oil, from Step 2 above, stir-fry the uncooked rice until it is dry. Make sure that there is enough oil to coat the rice evenly. I estimate about 1.5 tbsp of oil is required. When fragrant, add in the cooked pumpkin & pork from Step 7 above, and continue to fry, mixing everything together properly. Pumpkin will ‘melt’ and coat the rice as they’re cooked so if you want some chunky pumpkin, don’t over-stir the rice. Normally at this stage, I would switch to using a pair of chopsticks to mix just a little.
9. When fragrant (rice is not necessarily thoroughly cooked yet), take out everything from the wok. (either into rice cooker pot, or into a flat round pan for steaming over wok).
Slow Steam method
From Step 9 above, and everything in a flat round pan, add usual amount of water for the amount of rice but I do less out 2 tbs of water because steamed rice is more moist usually. Add dark & light soya sauce, pepper & sesame oil. Put pan over large wok of water & steam on mid-high fire until rice is ready. It takes about 60-80 minutes to thoroughly cook the rice and for the rice to absorb all the pumpkin flavour. Do check the water level in the wok occasionally. My fire is set to low after half time.
Quick Cook method
From Step 9 above, put everything in rice cooker to complete the job if there is not enough time to watch the fire. Add in usual amount of water according to your rice cooker type. Add Dark soya sauce, light soya sauce & sesame oil. It was my 1st time attempting the quick cook method then as I was in a real big rush to pick the kids. I had to keep adding a bit of water while it is still being cooked and I guess I have over done it in my panic. As the saying goes, a watched kettle never boils! The rice just can’t seem to cook or i was really impatient. I ended up with a little overly-wet rice that day. >.<
So there you go, a not-so-difficult one-pot meal that is healthy with veg and meat to go with flavourful rice. Must cook it again soon cos hubby loves simple meals. *yay* We hope you will love this dish.
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– SAys! Shirley