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Basic Oriental Cooking (Part II)

Updated on February 28, 2015
Perspycacious profile image

Demas is the father of five and "Grampa" for 17 along with freelancing, editing, and publishing such books as his "Haiku American Style."

Cooking skills are cumulative.
Cooking skills are cumulative. | Source

Here we grow again!

Cooking Perfect Rice:

Cooking rice was actually "easy" even before the advent of the surge of electric rice cookers which played havoc with Japan's projected growth for its electrical grid a number of years ago!

Here's how to do it the tried and true way that served at least a billion Asians before someone thought up an electric rice cooker. (I add here that we have found other uses for these modern rice cookers, but my daughters and I prefer this "old fashioned" method.)

Select the size of pan suited to the amount of rice you need, and then add the amount of rice you want to cook, place your clean palm flat on top of the rice and add water to the bottom of your wrist bone. (The American Rule of Thumb is two cups of water for every one cup of rice , but wild rice needs 2 1/4 Cups of water to one cup of rice.) Bring the rice and water to a boil while partially covered; boil briefly and reduce the heat to just below Low and hotter than the Warm setting.

Take a clean washcloth you have moistened so it is damp. Place it over the cooking rice. Quickly cover it with the pan's lid while drawing the corners of the washcloth over the lid, clipping the washcloth's corners if necessary to keep them away from the heat source.

Cook the rice for 15-25 minutes. The cooking time is largely dependent on the type of rice being cooked. For example, wild rice tends to be drier and harder, requiring more time to become the fluffy texture you are looking for. Remember that, while birds eat rocks, people do not. This is also a reminder to be sure that the rice was free of rocks to begin with.

For rice that was "fortified" any rinsing defeats the purpose of fortifying the rice in the first place.

After 15 minutes at the reduced heat, stir/mix the rice thoroughly and sample to check the texture. Check again until you have the desired softness, stir the cooked rice which, if properly fluffy will have no clumps. Don't allow the pan to go completely dry (adding a small amount of water if needed.)

Preparing Fried Rice

While this section starts with preparing Vegetable Fried Rice, preparing shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork fried rice follows these initial steps, except for cooking the meat or seafood portions appropriately when sauteing the onion, oil, and garlic powder before adding the small amount of water needed to cook the vegetables prior to adding the eggs and rice for the final combination of all the ingredients.

You will need the following ingredients (plus any added meat or seafood for variations) to feed approximately four people:

2 Cups of Cooked Rice

1 Tbsp. Cooking Oil (I prefer Canola or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1/2 Cup Diced fresh Yellow Onion (with a dash of Garlic Powder)

2 Cups of shredded Cabbage

1/4 Cup of Mung Beansprouts

1 or 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (let your taste be your guide)

A dash of Black Pepper

2 or 3 Eggs Beaten

1/4 Cup of Diced Green (Spring) Onions or Chopped Parsley

Sauté the onion and garlic powder with the oil, add the cabbage and diced carrots plus a little water cooking for about 5 minutes. Mix in the soy sauce and beaten eggs, mixing well until the eggs are just cooked. Add the rice and dash of pepper, then add the diced green onions/parsley. Mix well over the heat to allow the mixture to pick up the flavors of the last item(s). Turn off the heat and serve. The preparation of this dish is easier if you are using a wok, as this allows easy mixing and the steady return of the items to an area closest to the heat source. the cooking temperature is the same as you might use when frying an egg.

You can opt for leeks, or bok choy, or a combination with cabbage to make up a combined 2 Cups, and (as always) experiment around this basic recipe to find the flavors and ingredients most pleasing to the palates you are trying to please.

This is a basically low salt, low sugar dish, with the amount of soy sauce generally controlling the salt content, and the amount of carrots controlling the sugar content. Use slightly more oil in the initial sauteing, if you will be adding meat or seafood as part of the fried rice dish.

Green Garden (And Egg) Salad

On the next trip to your green grocer, or your garden during summer (but why wait until then?) plan to take to the kitchen 1/4 Cup of fresh chives or green (spring) onions, 1 Cup of broken dandelion leaves, 1 Cup of fresh beansprouts, 4 strips of bacon, 4 hard boiled large eggs, and enough Romaine lettuce, shredded carrots (or beets or beans), as well as spinach cut into 2" pieces (stems and all).

Dice the eggs, cook the bacon crisp and crumble it, then mix all the ingredients and serve immediately with your favorite dressing.

This is one of my favorite dressings, and it can't really be called "oriental":: to your blender add 1/4 Cup flax oil or canola oil, 1/4 Cup raw sugar or raw honey (remembering that some people may be allergic to honey), 1/4 Cup ketchup or fresh tomato puree, 1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar, 1 large onion (grated), and salt to taste, or use a vegetable soy sauce, or Bragg's Amino Acids sauce. Blend until thoroughly mixed, though if the onion was really finely diced it is okay to have some small pieces visible.

Asian Food Rolls

[A daring breakfast, a fine lunch item, or a light supper staple.]

Steam fry 10 oz. of lean ground beef or 1 Cup of textured soy protein granules and a large, diced yellow onion in soy sauce or liquid aminos such as Bragg's Aminos, add a little garlic powder to taste, and set this aside.

Dice any (or all) of the following: carrots, green bell peppers, tomatoes, iceberg/green/red leaf lettuce, spinach, beansprouts (or other sprouts you like), spring onions, red onions, and cilentro. All of these should be well-washed. clean, and fresh.

Combine the cooked and prepared items and roll them in softened rice wrappers, or dry wrappers from Thailand. The rice wrappers may have the edges moistened by hand with water so that when they are rolled the wrapper holds the mixed ingredients much the same way as a cooked eggroll would.

These will be even more authentic if dipped in prepared dipping sauce made from a half cup of carrot juice, a diced garlic clove, a dash of lemon juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, some soy sauce, and a pinch of sea salt or Redmond Salt.

© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Time to tap a little of this accumulated cooking expertise? Give it a try.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      It's a deal! :)

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 8 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Give it a try Audrey. If it doesn't come out right to your satisfaction, we will give it another try when you visit with us in 2018. We're looking forward to it. You can give MNJ a voice lesson in exchange, and you don't need to bring your piano.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Fried rice is a favorite of mine and I've been wanting a recipe for a long time. I'll be using your suggestions for this dish and looking forward to trying it. Thank you so much!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 16 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      The good life is all about sharing.

      If you found a new taste, even a new adventure arising from this article, then realize that holding back from publishing one of your favorite cooking tips or recipes is simply sharing delayed.

      Thanks for your comments here. I shared them with the cook.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      mouthwatering indeed

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      tasty hub

    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Definitely going to give these a try. And maybe I'll share my try-to-be-Chinese recipe to let people do a taste test. Seriously, going to try this, not kidding. Good day to you! Thanks.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      these recipes look great. I simply love Asian food!! will bookmark.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I like these recipes. I love Asian food, and I never considered cooking it myself.I always ordered out.Thank you for enlightening me. I could at least give it a shot!