Onigiri for lunch and new chopsticks :)

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After weeks of sugary food and lots of stress I felt like treating myself with a “real” lunch today – normally I dislike cooking something more complex than only rice or only veggies just for myself (and most of the time I just use comfort food – pizza or something from a can). But after buying some new chopsticks yesterday I decided to make delicious onigiri with a mix of vegetables and chicken. Finally my onigiri start to look like onigiri! Still working on the size though. Note: forming hot rice with bare hands is slightly masochistic. Proceed at your own risk.

Step 1: make onigiri (you can add nori/seaweed, but I prefer to omit that)

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Step 2: fry vegetables and chicken (I used a box of frozen, chopped vegetables with seasoned butter as well as pre-fried stripes of chicken breast), take blurry picture …

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Step 3: put everything in a bowl and add chopsticks.

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Enjoy your lunch :)

simple meal: mushy turmeric rice and peanut sauce

Again a “I’ll tell you what I made for lunch” post instead of posting a picture of it, I hope you don’t mind. This meal was mushy, sticky, and awesomely delicious. And it contained lots of dead cow. Moooooo.

Just for your information: I don’t own any American measuring cups so when I talk about spoons I mean the ones you use for eating! As a matter of fact I don’t even measure the water in any real way – I just use my gut and rely on experience with different substance:water ratios.

Still want to cook with me? Here we go.

You’ll need:

  • two cooking pots (at least one of them with a lid), spoons; recommended: second lid or something like a flat sieve (I think it’s called a “splatter guard”) to protect your kitchen from splashes.
  • water
  • 500g sieved tomatoes
  • 500g minced meat
  • rice
  • peanut paste (preferably unsweetened)
  • 1tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2-1 1/2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2-1carrot
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder; onion salt, pepper, other spices to your liking

Chop garlic and carrot into very fine pieces. Put the meat and a little coconut oil into one of the pots; rice with salt and a little more water than you usually use into the other one (I normally use a rice:water ratio of 1:2.5, so today it was at least 1:3 and I added even more water later). Turn on the heat as far as possible, don’t forget to put a lid on the rice! Stir the meat and oil a little so it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Set kitchen timer to 15 minutes (first round of checking the rice).

When the water of the rice begins to boil turn the heat for this pot down a little.

When the meat is starting to brown, add garlic, stir. Wait until all of the meat is at least somewhat brown, then add the sieved tomatoes and some water (tomatoes:water should be about 2:1). Add your chopped carrot, stir, and hurry to cover the pot  – you’ll want this to boil until at least 1/3 of the liquid is gone, which works best at full heat, which sadly makes hot red sticky stuff splash out of the pot, so a splatter guard is your best friend here.

After 15 minutes, check your rice. If close to all the water is gone but the rice is not the slightest bit mushy, add a little more. You can also add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to each of the pots now.

Let everything cook, check the rice every 5 minutes or so and add water until it has the desired consistency (for me this was “mushy sticky mess” today). Occasionally stir the sauce, and be careful with that splattering stuff.

I didn’t check the time, but I think I let the rice cook for 25 minutes and the sauce for 30 minutes. When both parts of your meal are ready, put them together in the bigger one of your two pots.

Add peanut paste to your liking. I had put aside about half of the food for freezing and used about two generous tablespoons for the remaining half, so 3-4 tablespoons for the whole amount would be good, I guess. If you don’t like peanuts just add a little or use your favourite non-peanutty spices instead (and why are you reading this recipe in the first place when there’s “peanut” in the title?) to turn the food into a weird version of pilau or something-masala.

Turn down the heat and stir that mush for just a few minutes. Enjoy!