Discover new ways to enjoy this nutritious and versatile grain with our four rice recipes, created by some of the nation’s top chefs.
TV chef and food writer, Ching-He Huang, is the go-to expert for Chinese cuisine. Her approach to cooking stems from the traditional cooking techniques and lifestyles of her farming grandparents in Southern Taiwan, creating modern dishes with Chinese heritage. Ching is also the author of six best-selling cookbooks and is a regular guest on shows such as BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen Live and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
‘Make sure you have all the ingredients pre-chopped and prepared before wokking! This is because when you start and once the heat is on, you don’t have time to stop, chop and then wok.’
Rice cooking time: 15 mins
Prep time: 10 mins
Wok time: 5 mins
- Rapeseed oil 3 tbsp
- Organic eggs 2, beaten
- Garlic cloves 2, crushed, peeled and finely chopped
- Fresh root ginger 1in, peeled and finely grated
- Spring onions 2, washed, top, tailed and finely sliced
- Diced smoked bacon lardons 50g
- Small raw prawns 100g, whole, shelled and deveined
- Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry, 1 tbsp
- Red peppers 50g, diced
- Frozen garden peas 50g, defrosted, rinsed and drained
- ‘Steamed’ boiled jasmine rice 400g, cooled and dressed with a dash of
toasted sesame oil
- Low sodium light soy sauce 2 tbsp
- Premium oyster sauce 1 tbsp
- Freshly ground white pepper 1 pinch
- Toasted sesame oil 1tsp
- Red chilli 1, deseeded and finely sliced
- Spring onion 1, washed, top, tailed and finely sliced
- Heat a wok over high heat on the hob until smoking, add in 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil.
- Tip in the beaten egg and, using a pair of chopsticks or spoon, stir to scramble quickly as the egg turns golden. Spoon out and set aside.
- Wipe out the wok, reheat it and add 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil.
- Add in the garlic, ginger and spring onion, stirring swiftly for 5 secs until aromatic. Tip in the smoked bacon lardons, wok fry for 10 seconds, add the raw prawns and stir-fry for 1 min until the prawns start to turn pink (if using cooked prawns, stir fry for 10 seconds).
- Season with a splash of shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry. Tip in the defrosted green peas, add the diced red pepper and scrambled eggs, and toss well to mix.
- Tip in the cooked Jasmine rice, stir-frying for 1 min to combine. Try not to stab at the ingredients, but to gently toss and scoop from underneath, turning the spatula – similar to a shovelling motion. (You want whole grains of rice.)
- Quickly add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground white pepper and toasted sesame oil, and stir-fry for another min to combine well. (When pouring, try to distribute the sauces evenly in the wok so that when you come to combine, the rice is coated as evenly as possible with the sauce.)
- Transfer to a warmed plate. Serve at once with freshly sliced spring onions and chillies.
Dean Edwards is a regular chef on ITV’s Lorraine, creating dishes for the audience that are achievable, simple and taste fantastic. He’s spent the past 11 years inspiring home cooks, whether that’s through his cookbooks, including the bestselling Cook Slow, or his own YouTube channel, Dean Edwards: Proper Food.
‘Some diced chicken thigh meat would also be delicious if you want to opt for a meat version.’
- Medium fresh tomatoes 3, halved
- Cherry tomatoes 150g, halved
- Red onion 1, peeled and roughly chopped
- Red peppers 2, deseeded and roughly chopped
- Garlic cloves 3, peeled
- Fresh oregano 1 tbsp
- Tomato puree 1 tbsp
- Boiling vegetable stock 250ml
- Long grain rice 250g
- Black olives 80g, stoned and halved lengthways
- Feta cheese 80g, crumbled
- Fresh oregano and dill
- Extra virgin olive oil, dash
- Blend the 3 medium tomatoes, red onion, peppers, garlic, oregano and tomato puree in a blender or liquidiser until smooth then spoon into a saucepan, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer on the hob, then cover with a lid and cook for 15 mins. Next, pour in the stock and return to a simmer.
- While the sauce is cooking, rinse the rice really well then drain. When the tomato sauce is ready, stir the rice into it. If necessary, add a splash more water to make sure the rice is just covered. Place a piece of foil on top, along with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over the lowest heat setting for 20 mins, remove the lid and foil, stir well, then re-cover and cook for a further 15 mins.
- Remove the lid and foil, place a tea towel on top and leave to rest for 5 mins before fluffing up the grains.
- Before serving, scatter over the olives, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Cyrus Todiwala OBE, DL is a TV chef and owner of the award-winning Café Spice Namasté restaurant in London. He trained at the Taj Hotels chain in India and rose to become executive chef of eleven restaurants within those hotels. He moved to the UK in 1991 with his family. In 2000, he was awarded an MBE for his commitment and expertise in the restaurant and catering industry.
‘When boiling basmati rice, it’s best to check it after 5 to 6 mins to see if the grain is cooked to your liking. There’s no need to keep basmati al dente, but just to the point as it will cook after draining as well.’
- Oil 4 tbsp
- Cinnamon stick 5cm
- Cardamom pods 3-4, gently crushed
- Cloves 3-4
- Dried red chillies 4-5, broken into pieces
- Medium onions 2, chopped
- Lamb 500g, diced
- Ground turmeric 1tsp
- Ground coriander 1½ tbsp
- Ground cumin 1 tbsp
- Garlic cloves 4, crushed
- Fresh ginger 3cm, ground into a paste
- Tomatoes 2-3, chopped
- Basmati rice 500g
- Large potatoes 2, peeled and cut into wedges
- Fresh coriander 2-3 tbsp, chopped
- Saffron pinch
Optional to serve
- Caramelised sliced onions and hard-boiled eggs
- Preheat the oven to 130°C.
- Add 2 tbsp of the oil to a heavy casserole and heat it on the hob until there is a haze on top.
- Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and the dried red chillies.
- As soon as you see the spices swell, puff and change colour, add the chopped onions. Sauté until they are brown.
- Add the lamb, turning occasionally and browning well.
- Use a pestle and mortar to mix the crushed garlic and ginger to form a paste. Add to the lamb.
- Mix the turmeric, coriander and cumin with a little water and also add to the lamb. This is your masala mix.
- When the lamb and the masala are browned, add enough water to just about cover the lamb, put a tight lid on it and simmer for around 20 mins. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking.
- Meanwhile, wash and drain the rice. Add to 1 litre of boiling water (double the quantity of water to rice) in a saucepan and stir, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5-6 mins or until the rice is just over halfway cooked. Drain and loosen the grains with a fork, Let the rice cool.
- Boil the potatoes for 8-10 mins or until just tender. Drain and add to the lamb.
- Cook the lamb for another 5-6 mins and check to see if it is nearly done.
- Stir in the chopped coriander.
- Place a third of the rice at the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish that has a lid, add half the lamb on top. Add a third of the rice on top of this and the rest of the lamb. Place the rest of the rice on top and spread it evenly.
- Add the saffron to a tablespoon of water and pour over the top, cover the pot and place it in the middle shelf of your oven, bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
Danilo Cortellini is the head chef of the Italian Embassy in London and has trained at Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and in London at the three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Danilo has also taken part in MasterChef: The Professionals, ranking as one of the finalists, and has appeared on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen Live.
‘The last step is key when cooking risotto. This is called “mantecatura” – with the right movements you can make the risotto creamier and increase its natural ooziness.’
- Carnaroli rice 300g
- Grana Padano cheese 90g, grated (or vegetarian alternative)
- Onion 100g, finely chopped
- Unsalted butter 40g
- Vegetable or chicken stock 1 litre, heated through
- Dry white wine 100ml
- Wild garlic 250g, when in season (when out of season, use rocket leaves)
- Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
- Ricotta 100g
- Lemon 1
- Basil leaves, handful
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start with the wild garlic puree. Rinse and pat dry the wild garlic. Discard the very large and bulky stalks (these can be used in the stock and the flowers as garnish if you wish). Everything else can be used. Once dry, blanch the garlic in salted boiling water for around 1 min, until soft. Now blitz the garlic in a food processor, adding a bit of the cooking water if necessary, until it is the consistency of a puree/paste. Don’t worry if the paste is grainy. Follow the same method if using rocket leaves.
- For the risotto, gently fry the chopped onion in a small pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 10-15 mins on low heat, until golden and caramelised. Keep to one side.
- In a large casserole dish, start to toast the rice on a low heat on the hob with a pinch of salt, but no oil or fat. This helps the heat reach the core of each rice grain, resulting in more uniform al dente rice. Keep stirring the rice, making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or burn. When the rice is very hot, pour the white wine in. Let the alcohol evaporate, set the cooking time to 15 mins and add the simmering stock a ladle at a time, little by little. Stir the rice occasionally.
- Halfway through the cooking, add the caramelized onion and wild garlic puree to the rice and keep stirring. Check if the ricotta is too watery and get rid of any liquid by draining the ricotta with a colander.
- Once the cooking time of the risotto is up, and if you’re happy with the texture, remove from the heat.
- The last step is called “mantecatura” – with the right movements you can make the risotto creamier and increase its natural ooziness. Add the grated Grana Padano cheese (or vegetarian alternative) and butter to the rice. Stir until the risotto is nice and creamy. Season to taste and add a splash of lemon juice.
- Serve the hot risotto, topped with lemon zest, chunks of fresh ricotta and a few basil leaves.