Aug 22, 2017

Aromatic Meal - Curry Fried Rice

Bell pepper rarely shows up on my shopping list, and this colorful ingredient also seems absent from my family's dining table during my childhood. However, I guess taste does change over time and I start to appreciate bell pepper more throughout the years, especially when it's used for pizza topping! Who can resist pizza with sausages and bell pepper baked to perfection!?

Grilled bell peppers and pickled bell peppers are now my two favorite ways to enjoy these color veggies. 
Bell peppers can withstand stronger-tasting seasonings such as curry powder and cumin powder. So this time, I'm going to incorporate bell peppers into my curry fried rice recipe. 


Curry fried rice -





Ingredients (makes about 6 to 8 portions)?

  • 1/2 rice cup quinoa
  • 3 rice cups basmati rice
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 to 3 large king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 to 2 eggplants (if using shorter and skinny variety then use 2 instead)
  • 1 small can green peas
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper

Chicken marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese tsuyu
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder


How?

Soak the quinoa first for about 10 to 20 minutes. Wash the basmati rice then pour the quinoa and its soaking water to the rice cooker, mix together with basmati rice. Cook the rice mixture with a little bit less water than usual in order to get the right texture for the fried rice. Fluff the grains once ready.




Ideally, drier and firmer grains are more suitable for fried rice. You can also precook the grains the day before then store in the fridge overnight. It will help drawing out some moisture in such cold and dry environment.

Cut the chicken breasts into smaller cubes and massage with the marinade ingredients. Cover and transfer to the fridge, let it marinate for at least 6 hours up to overnight.




Take the chicken out of the fridge a little earlier before cooking, about 10 minutes. That way the meat won't be too cold when adding to the pan.


Peel and cube the onion. Destem and finely chop the red chilies. Discard the seeds and cube the bell peppers. Cube the king oyster mushrooms. Destem, peel, and slice the eggplants. Drain the canned peas.




Destem and chop the scallion, separate the white and green sections.


Add the butter to a big pan and turn to medium high heat. Once the butter starts to melt, add in cubed onion along with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Give it a quick stir then add in the white sections of chopped scallion and red chilies. Mix again and cook till the edges of the onion turns slightly browned.


Transfer the chicken into the pan and cook till about half way cooked through.




Add bell pepper and king oyster mushrooms, mix and cook for about 2 minutes. Now transfer the eggplants over and cook till softened. 




Add in 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 2 teaspoons of curry powder, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Mix well and cook for another minute or two.


Add in drained peas in the end. However, if using fresh peas then add to the pan earlier. Taste and adjust the flavors with salt or even more cumin/curry powder. It should be on the saltier side so the flavors will balanced out when the grains are mixed in.


Mix in the quinoa and basmati rice mixture in two to three batches. Make sure every grain is coated with the seasonings but try not to over mix it, otherwise the rice might turn sticky and even paste-like.




Plate the curry fried rice and garnish with green section of the chopped scallions and perhaps some more freshly ground black pepper.  




Think about it, this might actually be my first recipe using bell pepper on foodmakesmehappy.com. Maybe it's time to explore some other ingredients that I don't get to eat as mush when I was a kid. 



Other fried rice recipes: 


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