Rice and noodles occupy a place similar to that of bread or potatoes in most European diets. Being the staple food and thus the basis of every meal, its cooking has been developed to a fine art; whether it is plain, boiled or prepared as part of an elaborate dish, it must always be cooked to perfection.

Nasi Goreng dengan Ayam (Fried Rice with Chicken)
There are many variations for this dish. You can fry the rice with vegetables only or added with beef or seafood (prawns or crab). Here is a basic recipe you can improvise on.

2 cups long-grain rice, cooked
1 pc chicken breast, boneless and skinless, sliced thinly
1/4 cup celery, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1 carrot, parboiled and diced (or you can buy pre-frozen)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sachet chicken stock
green onions, chopped for garnishing
1 tsp ground chilli (sambal oelek) - omit this if you do not want it spicy
soy sauce and pepper to taste
oil for frying

In a wok, heat oil. Saute garlic and onions until slightly brown. Add ground chilli and fry for 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add chicken stock and all the vegetables, and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and mix thoroughly. Add soy sauce and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Garnish with green onions. Serve hot. Serves 2. You can also garnish with a basic omelette, sliced thinly.

Nasi Kunyit (Festive Yellow Rice)
It is called 'festive yellow rice' because it is traditionally served during a festival. Keeping with tradition, the Chinese would serve nasi kunyit to mark the birth of their newborn, or as an offering to the Gods. To the Muslims, it has ritual significance and they would serve it during weddings or other grand festive celebrations. This rice is delicious when eaten with
Rendang or Chicken Curry.

3 cups glutinous rice
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups coconut milk
1 cm ginger root (smashed)

Rinse rice and cover with water. Add turmeric powder and soak for 3 hours. Drain rice. Place in a large pot and cook over moderate heat in coconut milk, seasoned with salt ginger root. Serves 4.
You can cook this the same way you would boil rice in a rice cooker.

Aromatic Chicken Rice
The famous Hainanese chicken rice has become one of Malaysian's favourite rice dish.

For rice and chicken:
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
chicken pieces (you can use your favourite parts)
1 cm ginger, shredded finely
1 cm garlic, minced
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 screwpine leaves
salt to taste

Cook chicken in water with screwpine leaves and salt for 20 to 30 minutes (do not overcook). Remove chicken, reserving stock for rice.
In a saucepan, fry garlic and ginger in hot oil until golden and fragrant. Add rice, cloves and cinnamon stick and fry for 2 minutes. Add screwpine leaves, pour in enough chicken stock to cook rice.

For chilli sauce:
5 fresh red chillies
1 cm ginger
1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 tsp vinegar
soya sauce or salt

Put ginger, red chillies and garlic in a food processor and grind. Add vinegar, soya sauce/salt and sugar according to taste. Squeeze a little lime before serving. You should have a hot, sweet and sour sauce.

Serve the rice with the chicken pieces garnished with sliced cucumber and chillie sauce. Serves 2.

Claypot Rice

2 cups rice, pre-cooked
Chicken pieces
Chinese sausages (you can buy them at from the Chinese market), steamed and sliced
1 cm ginger, shredded
dark soya sauce
light soya sauce
sesame oil
green onions, chopped

Brown shredded ginger in oil, add chicken, dark and light soya sauce and cook until chicken is done. Splash a little sesame oil and set aside. Make sure there is enough of sauce for the amount of rice cooked. Put rice, chicken and sauce, sausages in an oiled claypot and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the bottom of rice is dry. If you do not have a claypot, you can use any ordinary pot but over very low heat making sure you do not burn the rice. Garnish with green onions.

Nasi Lemak (Rice with Coconut Milk)
A very popular breakfast or lunch dish, this rice has a nice creamy taste and a fragrant aroma. It is best served the traditional way with Ikan Billis Sambal Tumis or Assam Prawns or Chicken Curry and sliced cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs. My favourite. Yummy!!

4 cups rice
1/4 teaspoons salt
5 cups coconut milk
2 screw pine leaves, tied into a knot
1 cm ginger root, smahed

Rinse rice, soak in water for 1 hour. Drain. In a pot, add rice, coconut milk, salt, ginger root and screwpine leaves. Boil on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Fluff up with a fork. Serves 4.

In rice cooker, mix all the ingredients and cook the same way you would boil rice in a rice cooker.

Nasi Minyak (Savoury Rice)

1 cup rice
2 cups water
3 tbsp ghee (can substitute with butter)
5 cm piece ginger
2 cm cinnamon stick
5 shallots, or 1 onion
1 clove garlic
3 cloves
Salt to taste

Wash rice and drain well. Slice garlic, shallots and ginger finely. Heat ghee and fry the sliced ingredient until fragrant. Add in the cloves. Add in the rice. Add in water and salt, cover the pot and bring to boil. Stir slowly and lower the flame to cook the rice thoroughly until the rice is cooked.
Serve hot with
Chicken curry.

Nasi Briyani (Briyani Rice)

1 chicken buillion
1 clove garlic
5 cm piece ginger
1 tbsp poppy seed
10 cashew nuts
10 almonds
4 tbsp butter
5 cloves
5 cm cinnamon stick
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 tsp curry poeder
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 can of coconut milk
2 cup rice

Mix chicken buillion with 2 tbsp of warm water. Grind together garlic, ginger, poppy seed, cachew nuts, and almonds. Heat butter and fry cloves, and cinnamon until fragrance. Then add in the grinded ingredients, curry powder, tumeric powder and chopped onions. Mix the ingredient well, and then stir in the chicken buillion and salt to taste. Stir to mix and cook covered at mediem heat for 10 minutes. Add in coconut milk. Mix until mixture is well blended. Add in the washed rice and cook it. Make sure that the rice fully absorbs the gravy, and cook rice at low heat.
Serve hot with
Chicken curry.

Mee Goreng (Fried Noodles)
Here is a basic recipe. You can improvise by adding different ingredients of your liking.

2 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs ground chilli/sambal oelek (omit this if you do not want it hot)
3 tbs curry powder (omit this if you do not want it spicy)
150g fresh prawns, cleaned and shelled
Noodles (you can used the instant noodles)
1 cup chicken stock
100g beansprouts
1/2 red pepper, sliced for garnishing
1/2 cup oil

Heat oil in wok and fry onions, garlic, oyster sauce, ground chilli and curry powder until fragrant. Add prawns and chicken stock. Bring to boil and add noodles and bean sprouts. Fry until dry and remove from heat. Garnish with red pepper and serve at once.

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