Making do

I’m a great believer in making do — that is, don’t fuss if you don’t have all the ingredients you need for a particular recipe. A philosophy I eat and live by: hence when life hands me a lemon, I make lemonade; if it’s an orange, I make orange juice and if it’s grape, I make wine or vinegar. The choice is MINE.

This reminds me of a highly successful rice dish I made one day. I wanted to make salt fish rice. Mother said there’s no salt fish in the flat. But there is chicken breast. OK, I said, let’s make chicken breast rice then. She demurred. I suggested she checked with the kedai lady downstairs. She doesn’t sell salt fish, my mother declared. Have you ever asked her? No? Well, ask her, OK. Mum did and found that the kedai woman did sell salt fish, but not of the kind needed to cook salt fish rice.

I persuaded her it didn’t matter. Salt fish is salt fish. OK. So since, we had the chicken breast as well, I decided we might as well make chicken breast salt fish rice.

for two. For more, increase, proportionally.
Uncooked rice, washed and allow to dry.
40gm of salt fish, any kind will do. Wash and dry well. Slice thinly, if possible.
Half a chicken breast (more if you’re feeling greedy), slice thinly as well, if possible.
A knob of ginger, doesn’t matter if old or young. Cut into strips.
Sesame oil.

Heat a pan or pot. Some people would insist on a kwali or a frying pan, but I use whatever comes in handy, which is usually a Corningware dish. Put in sesame oil and ginger. Fry till ginger is giving out ginger fragrance. Add salt fish and chicken. Continue stirring and then add rice. This process should take no more than 10 minutes.
Transfer everything to the electric rice cooker. (That’s what I do, but you have the option of keeping everything in the pan, pot or whatever you’re using to do the stir frying in). Add some water or better still some stock or some left over white wine that’s no longer good for drinking. Cook till rice is soft and all the ingredients are well blended. Serve!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: