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Pumpkin Rice

Pumpkin Rice with pork, wolfberries, mushrooms and salted fish

This pumpkin rice has a bright yellow hue when cooked, thanks to the pumpkin, so it looks extra cheery on the dinner table. I learnt this recipe from my friend koalabear. This method of cooking is quite similar to my mum’s cabbage rice – involving pre-cooking some of the ingredients by stir-frying and then everything is tossed in a rice cooker to cook as a one-dish meal. The buttery aroma of the rice blended perfectly with the sweet taste of pumpkin (which is nicely mashed when cooked). The result is just heavenly deliciousness.

(Serves 3)

– 1 tbsp cooking oil, divided
– 20g butter
– 100g pork belly (aka sam cham bak/3-layered pork/3层肉), cut to thin stripes (can substitute with bacon)
– 10g dried salted fish, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
– Half large onion, finely chopped
– 150g piece of pumpkin flesh (without skin), cubed
– 3 portebello or shiitake mushrooms, cubed
– 1 1/4 cup of long-grained rice, washed and rinsed
– Water to cook the rice (ratio of about 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups of water – may vary with different rice cooker)
– 1 tbsp wolfberries
– coriander or mint leaves, for garnishing (optional)

(see picture, row by row, left to right)

1. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in wok and fry pork slices until they are just cooked on the surface. If you are using bacon, you do not need oil. Set aside the cooked pork/bacon.
3. Heat another 1/2 tbsp oil in wok and fry salted fish until golden brown. Add and melt butter to the remaining oil.
4. Add garlic, onions and stir fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add pumpkin, mushrooms and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add uncooked washed rice and stir fry until the onions are clear.
6. Transfer contents from the wok, together with the previously cooked pork and wolfberries, to the rice cooker.
7. Add water and set rice cooker to cook.
8. After rice is cooked, stir and gently mash up pumpkin using a rice paddle. Keep warm for a few minutes before serving.

Cooking Notes

1. If you are using the traditional cook warm/cook rice cooker which operates by sensing temperature, you have to wait for the rice mixture to cool for approximately 15 minutes before setting it to cook in the rice cooker.

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