Recipes: Beef Fried Rice

In my family, fried rice is traditionally a dish you prepare when you have lots of left-over bits that you don’t know what to do with. It’s a dish you prepare on the fly with minimal thought given to it. This particular fried rice dish, however, was entirely intentional right down to the rice prepared.

Beef fried rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 rice bowls of rice cooked in beef stock (Campbell’s Real Stock works just fine)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g of bean sprouts
  • 100g of baby spinach leaves
  • 100g of white mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g of beef, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground garlic
  • dash pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • dash of red wine

Method:

  • In a bowl, add cooked rice with pepper, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Mix well. Set aside.
  • Stir fry the beef and add red wine. Add bean sprouts, spinach and mushrooms. Drain the liquid.
  • Add a little more oil and add in the egg.
  • Once the egg is mostly cooked, stir in the rice. Cook a little longer until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

How did it turn out? Very well. Even DH couldn’t complain about this one…

Chicken Soup for the Cold

Me: Chicken soup is supposed to be good for a cold.
DH: You mean it’s good for the soul?
Me: Haven’t you heard? Chicken soup is touted as a home remedy for cold and flu.

I hadn’t really dug into the legitimacy of the chicken soup remedy but I figured it was time to dig a little deeper. As it turns out, there really are some good reasons why we should take chicken soup when we’ve got a cold.

Here’s what a bowl of chicken soup does for your cold:

  • Clears congested sinuses –
    • hot fluids dilate the blood vessels, increase blood flow, and allow the mucous to flush out and relieve the congestion.
    • improves the function of the cilia (tiny hairs in our noses) that trap and clear out contagions.
    • chicken contains carnosine which reduces inflammation in the upper respiratory tract by stopping the migration of white blood cells.
  • Helps fight the cold by providing hydration – chicken soup contain salt and water which are great for hydration.

Science has begun to support what mothers have understood for centuries. The heat, salt, and hydration provided by chicken soup may actually fight the cold virus (NIH, 2012). Laboratory studies have shown that ingredients of a chicken soup with vegetables could kill viral cells and prevent the growth of new ones (Rennard, et al., 2000). The soup may also provide an anti-inflammatory effect in the upper respiratory tract that helps soothe symptoms (Rennard, et al., 2000). Unfortunately, the benefits of chicken soup appear to be limited by how quickly the soup leaves the body (Babizhayev, et al., 2012). – Healthline

Sources:

What are the Key Ingredients that Provide its Wholesome Benefits?

According to BBC Good Food, you need to include these ingredients:

  • Onions, garlic and vegetables for phytonutrients
  • Chicken bones which contain gelatine, glucosamine and chondroitin in the joint tissues.

Chicken Soup Recipes

So what chicken soup for the cold recipes can you keep up your sleeves? The “ABC Soup”  recipe which contains chicken, onions, carrots, tomatoes and celery which sounds like it fits the bill pretty well. If you want to up the ante, you could add some ginger. Although there is currently insufficient evidence to support these claims, ginger has a long history of being associated as a natural remedy for coughs, sore throats, nasal congestion, tummy upset, and headaches (which are all symptoms you might experience with a cold).

There are also more chicken soup recipes that you can find from Home Remedies for Life. If you’re not up for making your own chicken soup, not to worry, Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, found that even canned chicken soups work, too.

Super Easy Thai Green Curry

I’m pretty fond of Thai Green Curry but not too fond of the spice so I was pretty pleased to discover that Dancing Chef makes a lovely Green Curry paste that isn’t too spicy for my tastebuds. I like Dancing Chef because they offer a range of products that are free from MSG, preservatives and artificial colouring. Best of all, it’s really, really quick and easy to prepare.

Thai Green Curry

Instead of the usual long beans and brinjal, I used green beans and ladies fingers:

  • 1 packet of Dancing Chef Green Curry Paste
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 50ml water
  • green beans
  • ladies fingers
  • 500g chicken fillet

Add curry paste, water and coconut milk into a pot and bring to the boil. Add chicken and vegetables and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Serve.

G1 and I have give it our hearty approval. Well, okay, I really like it, and G1 likes it enough to eat it again. G2 is still not really into curry. DH says it’s okay, but he prefers the regular curry. Sigh… You can’t please them all – they complain that you never make anything different, but when you do, they prefer the stuff you usually make anyway. Just. Can’t. Win.

Steamed Mushroom Chicken

This is another East-meets-West modification of a Chinese recipe… The original recipe uses Chinese mushrooms, I used brown mushrooms (which you cannot see in the picture below because they were buried under the chicken). I also used red wine instead of Chinese cooking wine. Lastly, I omitted the fujuk (bean curd puffs) because no one in the family will eat it but me.

Steamed mushroom chicken

Ingredients:

  • Main:
    • 5 pieces of chicken thighs
    • 100g brown mushrooms, sliced
    • spring onion
  • Marinade:
    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp red wine
    • 1 tsp cornflour
    • dash of pepper
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Seasoning:
    • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method:

  • Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken thighs for about 15 minutes.
  • Mix the seasoning on a plate and add the mushrooms. Place the chicken pieces on top of the mushrooms.
  • Steam over boiling water for 30 minutes or until cook through.
  • Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Stir Fry Beef with Red Wine

The last time I tried a stir fried beef with red wine, it failed miserably so it was with some trepidation that I experimented with this one. Clearly, I wasn’t particularly hopeful because I didn’t even bother to take a picture (not that there was much to look at). As it turned out, all three boys approved so we will add this to our cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 300g beef, sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100ml water

Method:

  • In a bowl, mix garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornflour, pepper, and water. Set aside.
  • Heat some oil in the wok and stir-fry the beef until cooked.
  • Add in the wine.
  • Add in the mixed sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve.

Variation:

  • I modified our stirfry beef a little by adding some baby spinach and sliced brown button mushrooms right at the end so we have a more complete meal (no need to make a separate veggie dish).

Easy Family Dinners