I’ve always loved this spicy Indonesian rice dish but until now I just couldn’t seem to infuse the flavours into the rice without using oil. Finally I seem to have found a solution! Hope you love this as much as my family did.
Mushroom Nasi Goreng
Recipe type: Main
- 4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
- - SAUCE:
- 3 cloves garlic, micro-planed / finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon and or lime juice
- 2cm piece ginger, finely chopped - a heaped tablespoon
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chopped chillies - from a jar (add more if you like it really spicy!)
- 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ green cabbage, cored and finely chopped
- 400g grams diced mushrooms - about 3-4 cups
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 1 cup frozen / canned sweetcorn
- To serve:
- Toasted peanuts
- Chopped fresh coriander
- Limes - quartered
- Put on your rice to cook if not already available. (This may delay your serving time).
- Finely chop, crush or microplane the garlic, place in a small bowl and pour over the lemon and or lime juice and stir. Soak the garlic in the lemon juice for 5 mins.
- Add all other sauce ingredients then mix well and allow to sit whilst you prep the vegetables.
- Sauté the onion, cabbage, mushrooms and carrots in a large deep frying pan with a lid. Once softened - about 5-7 mins - add the paste, stir thoroughly and keep stirring for a few minutes to , thoroughly distributing the sauce through the veg.
- Add the cooked rice and mix well, then add a cup of water and the sweetcorn. Stir well and allow to heat through.
- Put on the lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 5-7 mins until the carrots are tender and the sauce is absorbed into the rice.
- Turn off the heat and allow to sit whilst you get ready to serve.
- Serve each bowl with a quarter of lime, and scatter with coriander, peanuts and hot sauce.
I had a craving for this dish which I used to love as a child when we would very occasionally go to a Chinese restaurant. Of course it wasn’t tofu back then, was probably chicken or pork but it was the way that sweet tangy sauce soaked into the rice that I loved so this satisfies that completely! After trying a few recipes I found on the net, I combined the best of them plus a few variations to make this version. We usually enjoy it with some steamed bok choi or broccoli on the side. You can also add other vegetables such as snow peas or bamboo shoots / beansprouts at the end if you like.
Sweet & Sour Tofu
Recipe type: Dinner
- 1 300g pack of firm tofu (we like to use smoked but plain is fine)
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Juice from 1 400g can pineapple pieces
- ½ cup water
- Pineapple pieces from the can
- 2 tablespoons brown unrefined sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons corn flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced / microplaned
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large red capsicum cut into strips
- 1 large green or yellow capsicum, cut into strips
- 1 large red onion, sliced into strips
- 1 small can water chestnuts, drained - optional
- 4 tablespoons roasted cashews - optional
- Put your brown ride on to cook
- Mix together the pineapple juice, vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, whisk in the corn flour and water and mix thoroughly until smooth with no lumps. Put the tofu in to a shallow dish and pour the sauce over and leave to marinade.
- When then rice is almost ready heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat and saute the onion and peppers until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and stir around for 5 minutes, adding a tiny splash of water if any sticking is occurring. Put on the lid and allow to cook on a low heat for a further few minutes until peppers are tender.
- Add the tofu and sauce to the pan, along with the pineapple, water chestnuts and cashews. Stir consistently until the sauce thickens and becomes transparent. Add a splash more water as needed to create as much sauce as you'd like.
- Serve with the rice and accompanying vegetables as desired.
This was inspired by Fatfreevegan’s recipe for Dal Tadka, I wanted to include more veggies and tweaked the method and spices a little.
Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced, grated for finely chopped
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 3 cups water,
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (optional)
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 3 cups small cauliflower florets
- ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed & finely chopped
- 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp chilli powder / to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala / dhal spice mix / curry powder
- Put rice on to cook if you are serving with rice.
- Heat the pressure cooker on brown function, add one of the onions, all the ginger and garlic and stir around for a minute, add a splash of water or stock if starts to stick.
- Add the lentils, water, stock powder if using, tomato, cauliflower, kale, cumin seeds, turmeric & salt and stir thoroughly.
- Lock down the lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the dhal is cooking, heat a large frying pan and dry fry the onion with remaining spices for 5-10 minutes, over a medium heat. Use a lid to catch the steam and prevent them from sticking.
- Once the dhal is finished, release the steam and add the cooked onions and spices; stir well and serve.
- Great with mango chutney, freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.
All the taste of a nori roll without the rolling! Crunchy veg, marinated tofu, edamame beans and avocado, mixed with strips of nori, sesame seeds, dressed with a sushi seasoning and soy sauce. If you love sushi you’ll love this.
Sushi Brown Rice Salad
Recipe type: Salad
- 250 grams brown rice
- 2 sticks celery, finely diced
- 1 large cucumber, deseeded, finely diced
- 1 red capsicum, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 1 cup blanched, podded edamame beans
- 200g marinated Japanese flavour tofu, cut into small dice
- nori seaweed sheets, cut into small squares or strips
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
- sushi seasoning - vinegar, sugar, mirin blend (I use Obento brand, from the supermarket, or Asian supermarkets would stock a range)
- soy sauce or tamari
- radish - optional, finely diced
- pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce - to serve as required
- Whilst your rice is cooking, finely dice all the crunchy vegetables (and add whatever others you like) and put set aside. Blanch and pod your edamame beans, and dice the avocado. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry non stick pan, until golden brown.
- Once your rice is cooked, tip in to a large bowl and sprinkle generously with the sushi seasoning mix, stirring well to thoroughly incorporate. Taste and add more as required. I used about 8 tablespoons. Add tamari or soy sauce to taste. Once the rice is at room temperature, stir in as much of the vegetable mix as you like, portion out into your serving bowls and decorate the tops with the nori, avocado, edamame beans and sesame. Allow it to cool slightly
- Serve alongside pickled ginger, wasabi and extra tamari / soy sauce as desired.
I don’t know why but for years we called this plain old “Savoury Rice”. No idea where we got that from but it’s not very descriptive so I’ve added “Chinese” so you get the idea. This is a forgiving recipe in that it can be adapted to whatever veggies you have in the fridge so it’s always a bit different every time you make it. It’s quite incredible how many veggies you can pack into this. It used to be a great way of getting them into my kids when they were small and suspicious of new ones as they’re all chopped up quite fine so you don’t really know what they are. 🙂
Do add some toasted nuts if you have them, they add a lovely crunch. Other additions which work are some cubed tofu – marinated preferably; or some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Tip: To cut down on the chopping time, if you’re planning on making this during week, dice some of the required vegetable every time you use it, and pop it in to a box in the fridge. By the end of the week all your veggies will be ready.
Chinese Savoury Rice
Recipe type: Main
- 800g cooked brown rice. It works much better if you cook rice much earlier or even the day before and refrigerate so it's cold and dry before you begin.
- Vegetables you use are completely up to you, you need about 1kg - 1.2kg prepared weight (i.e. diced small) for 4 people. It's really a good idea to include the onions, of any variety. Last time we used:
- Broccolini - 100g
- Carrot - 100g
- Green beans - 100g
- Cauliflower - 100g
- Red capsicum - 150g
- Zucchini - 150g
- Celery - 100g
- Mushrooms - 100g
- Spring onions - 100g
- Sweetcorn - 100g
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated / chopped fresh garlic
- 40g toasted nuts - cashews / peanuts etc - optional
- Peas - 100g
- Sauce - mix together in a small jug:
- 40 ml reduced salt soy sauce
- 40 ml sweet chilli sauce
- 10 ml chopped chillies
- 20 ml unhulled (the dark one) tahini - has a roasted sesame flavour
- 60 ml hot water
- It's best to cook in 2 batches to not overcrowd the wok. That works out well also if you want to add more chilli or garlic etc for the adult portions.
- Heat a large wok, spray very lightly with oil or a dash of stock.
- When it's hot add your vegetables (half of them if you're doing this quantity)
- Stir around, place on the lid if you have one and steam the veg.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir well and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Once your harder vegetables like carrots are tender add your rice, mix thoroughly, pour over half of the sauce / extra chilli etc if required. Heat through thoroughly then serve, garnished with coriander if liked and your toasted nuts if using.
Sometimes you really fancy that creamy, fragrant, hot curry from the local take away. But then you think about all that coconut milk and oil and how it goes solid in the fridge overnight (only saturated fat does that..) and it makes you feel kind of queasy? Well now you can have your curry AND eat it! There’s a sneaky alternative to coconut milk (even the low fat varieties are actually high in fat) and you can’t tell the difference! This uses shop-bought curry paste (I used Ayam Thai Panang) so you can make it as hot as you like – or add a spoon or two of hot chilli sauce to just your portion if you’re catering for little ones too. Mine (11 and 16) handled the amount in this just fine – it’s warming and spicy but not hot.
Thai Vegetable Curry
Recipe type: Curry
- 1 large head broccoli
- Same amount of cauliflower
- 1 large red capsicum
- 2 carrots
- Handful green beans
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 packet baby corn
- 1 large zucchini
- 2 sticks celery
- 3 cups soy milk (we use Vitasoy Milky Lite)
- 2-3 teaspoons coconut essence (like you'd use for baking)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Thai curry paste (there are lots now without fish sauce or shrimp paste)
- 4 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 4 teaspoons tamari
- Juice of a large lime
- 4 kafir lime leaves, cut through from centre to edge to release extra flavour
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Cut the vegetables into smallish pieces so they will all cook evenly.
- Steam them in a large steamer, in batches if necessary. Once just tender, tip them into a large casserole dish.
- Meanwhile put your rice on to cook.
- In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients. Check your sauce for heat/ salt / sour / sweet balance and adjust to suit your tastebuds (or those of your guests) and pour over all the vegetables, bring to a heat gently until hot.
- Serve over rice with lime wedges and a sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander.
There are inverted commas around the title as I’m not saying this is especially authentic, but given that most Pad Thai dishes from a Thai restaurant are very oily then that’s not such a bad thing. This still has that sweet, sour and salty thing going on, and I’ve added more vegetables than you usually get in a Pad Thai (like none, usually!). OK I know it’s white rice noodles which aren’t the healthiest thing in the world, but we see this is a “treat meal” so it’s not on weekly rotation! This is a crafty way of getting cabbage into children as they disappear into the noodles once they’re cooked. I got most of the ingredient ideas from watching Marion Grasby cook it on her TV show, then I veganised it! I like the classic version without chilli, but you can add hot sauce on the top at the end. We like to garnish ours with fresh coriander leaves, toasted cashews rather than peanuts, and lime wedges.
Recipe type: Noodles
- 400g wide rice pad thai style noodles
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 12 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 pack marinated tofu cubes: sweet chili / thai / garlic flavour
- 2 pink shallots
- 1 small savoy cabbage
- 1 red capsicum
- 6 spring onions
- 1 bag beansprouts
- 2 limes
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Fresh coriander
- Raw cashew nuts
- Put the noodles in a large deep bowl and cover with very hot water (not boiling) and leave to stand.
- In a small bowl whisk together the water, tamarind paste, coconut sugar, tomato paste, lemon and lime juices and soy sauce. Taste it and adjust to your palate - it should be equally sour, salty and sweet.
- Finely slice the shallots, cabbage and capsicum, chop up the coriander and slice the limes into wedges. Toast the cashews.
- Put the tofu cubes into a sieve / colander and pour boiling water over to remove the excess oil from the marinade. Cut the pieces into 1cm cubes if too large.
- Heat your wok or very large frying pan and add the shallots, cabbage and capsicum. Once starting to wilt, drain the noodles and add to the wok and mix in well, immediately adding your sauce - you may not need all of it, keep some on reserve if you like to pour over once served up.
- Stir in the tofu, beansprouts and chopped spring onions.
- Once hot and thoroughly mixed (not too long as you need to preserve some crunch in the beansprouts), serve! Top with toasted nuts, freshly chopped coriander, and offer extra sauce / soy sauce / sweet chilli and a lime wedge on the side.