The “fish fillet” behind the rice is soya-based textured vegetable protein. Sam likes to include what she calls “fake meat” and “fake fish” in her meals for texture more than anything else. I mean, they don’t have any distinctive flavor so what they really do is add bulk. And because they turn crisp when fried, they lend that fried meat or fried fish feel to an otherwise vegetable dish.
The flavors of this meal come from the rice and the vegetables. If you cook them at the same time using two pans, the meal can be ready in under 15 minutes, including preparation time. Cook the vegetables in butter and a little water, and while they cook, stir fry the rice with garlic and herbs in another pan. By the time the vegetables are done, the rice will still be hot and you’ve got yourself a tasty vegetarian meal.
Recipe: Herbed rice and buttered vegetables
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 1 c. of cut sitaw (yard-long beans)
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp. of minced garlic, divided into two portions
- lemon or lime juice, to taste
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. of chopped basil
- 1/2 tsp. of chopped parsley
- 1 c. of cooked rice
- Melt the butter in a pan with four tablespoonfuls of water over high heat. When bubbly, add the sitaw, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for five minutes until softened (the water would have been soaked up by the sitaw by that time).
- While the sitaw cooks, heat the olive oil in another pan. Add half of the garlic, basil and parsley. Cook gently over medium heat until fragrant. Add the rice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry just until the rice is heated through.
- Meanwhile, when the sitaw in the other pan has softened and soaked up the water, add the bell pepper strips and the rest of the garlic. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Stir fry for a minute or two. Off the heat, stir in the lemon or lime juice.
- The herbed rice and buttered vegetables form a complete and filling meal. You can serve them with fried soya-based meat or seafood substitute if you want a crisp element in your meal.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 1