Hed Chef: How to make good nasi lemak
This is great for house parties as you can serve it buffet-style.
I used brown rice for my version of nasi lemak and added pandan juice for flavour and a shade of emerald. You will view brown rice differently when you taste the results.
I used one cup of rice to two cups of liquid. This ratio may vary with the brand you use, and it also depends on how you like the texture of your rice. I like mine fluffy with a slightly chewy bite.
I usually fry up extra chilli paste as it can be used for other dishes.
Aside from fried fish, fried egg and roasted assam chicken, you can add fried ikan bilis and fried groundnuts to the nasi lemak.
Add dry raw groundnuts to hot oil and turn off the heat. Allow them to fry in the residual heat, and turn the flame back on when the heat has dissipated. Fry until golden brown and sprinkle with salt and sugar. (Above)
150g dried and deseeded chillil
6 red finger chillies
3 garlic cloves
10g fresh turmeric
10g fresh ginger
1 lemon grass stalk (use 5cm of only the white root)
2 tsp belacan powder (or 3cm piece of belacan)
1 tbsp tamarind juice
½ tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
4 tbsp cooking oil
1. Boil the dried chilli until softened. Rinse and drain dry.
2. Grind the dried chilli, red finger chillies, shallots, garlic cloves, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, lemon grass stalk and belacan powder into a smooth paste.
3. Heat the cooking oil and fry the paste for 10 minutes. Add the tamarind juice and continue frying until oil surfaces.
4. Add sugar and salt to taste.
5. Remove from wok and allow to cool.
6. The excess chilli paste can be stored in an air-tight jar and kept in the fridge.
3 rice cups of long-grained brown rice
2 rice cups of pandan juice (made from 8 pandan leaves and 1¾ rice cups of water)
1 rice cup of coconut cream
1 rice cup of water
4 pandan leaves, knotted
Pinch of salt
1. To make the pandan juice, blend 8 pandan leaves with 1¾ rice cups of water.
2. Place the brown rice, pandan juice, coconut cream, water, knotted pandan leaves and salt in a rice cooker. Stir well before cooking. (Above)
10 ikan kuning
2 tbsp ground tumeric
1/3 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour
Oil for deep-frying
1. Clean the fish and rub with salt.
2. Marinate with the ground turmeric and ground pepper.
3. Coat with cornflour.
4. Deep-fry until golden and crispy.
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp water
½ tsp cornflour
2 pinches of salt
3 tbsp cooking oil
1. Mix the cornflour with water and add to the beaten egg.
2. Add salt and beat.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry over medium-low heat. (Above)
Roasted assam chicken
4 chicken quarters, deboned and halved
1 tbsp assam jawa (tamarind pulp)
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1/3 tsp ground cumin
1/3 tsp ground coriander
1/3 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp sugar
1. Wash and dry the chicken pieces.
2. Place them in a deep dish and mix in all the other ingredients.
3. Marinate for 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
5. Place chicken on baking wire rack and baste with marinade.
6. Roast at 180 deg C for 10 minutes. Turn over, baste and roast for another 5 minutes.
Fried ikan bilis
120g ikan bilis
100ml cooking oil
1. Heat oil and fry the ikan bilis over low heat until crispy.
2. Place on kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.
3. Leftover ikan bilis can be stored in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
200g dry raw groundnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
Cooking oil to deep-fry the groundnuts
1. Heat the cooking oil over medium heat until hot.
2. Place groundnuts into the wok and turn off the heat.
3. Allow the groundnuts to fry from the residual heat. (B)
4. When you notice that the heat has dissipated, turn the heat on at a low setting.
5. Allow the groundnuts to continue to fry until golden brown.
6. Remove the groundnuts and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
7. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the nuts.
Catch Hed Chef in action next weekend at the Food & Coffee Expo, a three-day event starting on Sept 16.
Where: Singapore Expo Hall 6
What: Hed Chef live cooking demonstration
When: Sept 17 (Saturday) from 2pm to 3pm and Sept 18 (Sunday) from 5pm to 6pm
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