I must admit this – cooking IS a luxurious hobby to have, given that one must have many condiments and ingredients to start with in order to feed each of these recipes. I can’t do that here in Durham anymore. Baking soda? Chuck. Teriyaki sauce? Chuck. Garam Masala? Chuck. Can’t find it here either.
The last 2 weeks in Singapore was a period of havoc. I had to squeeze my brain juice dry to find ways to try to use up at least 90% of my condiments at home. I believe 10% of these are still sitting in the fridge and happily humming along the silent buzz of the fridge… and rotting away. Among the list were 2 of my favourite condiments – tom yam paste and coconut flakes. I kept using these to cook the rice because it emits exactly the same fragrance that of Nasi Lemak rice. Just spoon between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of each into the rice and microwave the rice with water – Bingo! As simple as that!
Here is a version of the Tom Yam Rice that I made before I stopped cooking rice altogether, during my last week in Singapore.
- Rice: 1 cup, washed
- Water: to cover rice plus 1 inch of water
- Tom Yam paste: 1 tbsp
- Coconut flakes: 1 rounded tsp
- Anchovies in oil: 3 fillets + 1 tsp oil from it
- Add water, Tom Yam paste and coconut flakes into rice.
- Cook rice on high heat in microwave for 10min.
- Add anchovies and oil used to preserve it into rice. Stir the rice to distribute the fillets and oil.
- Cook rice on high heat in microwave for another 10min.
- Try to stir the rice frequently every 5min so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn at the sides.