April 15, 2016

Fabulous Friday Flavour: Songkran Mushroom and Seafood Butter Rice

It’s Songkran over in Thailand this week and like many Songkrans in the years we’ve been living in Thailand, we are hardly ever here to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. 

That’s because it is usually a long holiday.  It is the only time we can be away for a longer period without wasting our annual leave days to go back to Holland.

Songkran is a festival celebrated in April and marked by the throwing of water everywhere. It is also the time when traffic accidents are at its highest and even if we had stayed behind, we don’t venture out very much to avoid the dousing. Because, when you are out on the streets, you will not be spared from staying dry.

Like the previous years, we are away again this year. This time, back in Singapore for our last trip back before we would be able to come back again to my home for a long time. At least not for another year. In a way, with so many people to meet (and I had to go to work at our Singapore office too), the countdown has begun…

There really is no better way to honour the Thai New Year by dishing out a dish that looks festive, colourful and befitting of the Songkran spirit without the dousing of water by creating my own Grubbecipes in the form of Songkran Butter Rice.

This was actually made this last week in conjunction with the school’s request for parents to bring along a dish for their kids to celebrate Songkran on the last day of the term. It was the usual fare.

I have actually forgotten about the request;  I had worked late and it was not until I got home that I remembered I had to cook something for the kids to bring to school the next day. So this was not planned at all. I had to whip it on a fly with whatever I could find in the fridge.

Luckily I’ve got some ingredients stocked up. We have mushrooms and lots of it. I also found potatoes, crab meat, squid balls and prawns which can all be used as the main poison and as long as there are onions and garlic, it would be easy to make the base. With some butter and  spices, we can make magic!

The colourful rice is just for the hell of it really. And that’s because Spud has specifically asked for the dish to be in rainbow colour.  For something that should be so simple, I still ended up being on my feet for at least 2 hours in the kitchen. The cooking was only done close to 10 p.m. and when it was all done, I thought it was very apt to call it a Songkran dish. 

My thought after cleaning up was: Bloody hell! The kids and the teachers better finish up this rice dish I have painstakingly made. And they did as both Spud and Squirt brought back empty Tupperware containers. That’s enough to make me happy.

Here’s what this dish is all about. Enjoy!

Songkran Mushroom and Seafood Butter Rice
A bastardised version of aromatic saffron rice and fried rice without the use of saffron. Topped with rolled omelette
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of white rice
  2. 3 tbsp butter
  3. 2 cardamoms, crushed
  4. 2 cloves
  5. 1 star anise
  6. 3cm ginger
  7. 1 clove garlic
  8. 4 shallots, minced
  9. 1 onion, sliced
  10. 3-4 tbsp dried parsely
  11. Half cup evaporated milk
  12. 1.5 cups of mushrooms, minced
  13. A handful of squid balls, cubed
  14. 6-8 sticks of crab meat
  15. 6-8 pieces of fresh prawns, cut
  16. 2 potatoes, cubed
  17. 1 tspn salt or to taste
  18. A few drops of colouring of orange, yellow, green and blue
  19. 5 eggs for thin omelette
For the rice
  1. Pound or blitz garlic, ginger and onions together. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter in a wok. Add in minced shallot and fry them till golden brown.
  3. Throw in the spices into the pan and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms. Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.
  5. Then add in the squid balls, prawns and crab meat. Mix well and cover for 3 minutes till all of them are cooked.
  6. Add in the pounded ingredients. Fry till it gets aromatic. Add in evaporated milk. Mix well.
  7. Add in the drained rice into the pot. Mix well like you would fry fried rice. Cover for 1-2 minutes
  8. Add in parsely and salt to taste. Mix well
  9. Lastly, add in the colourings, one colour by one colour and loosely mix to coat the rice randomly.
  10. Turn off the fire and set aside.
For the omelette
  1. Crack egg and whisk each egg individually
  2. In a hot pan, spread the beaten egg around the pan so that it flats out like a pancake. You'd want to make this very thin.
  3. Remove when both sides are cooked.
  4. Do this one by one and set aside
  5. Then roll each egg from end to end and use a scissors to cut. This would give it a round circular shape like you see in the picture.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. The mushrooms really did make a difference to the taste in this dish! Use of colours is optional.
Adapted from Spiced Saffron Rice
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/

This recipe virtually came out of nothing. The fun bit for me was using mushrooms as a new addition as I hardly use them simply because I am not a big mushroom fan. This dish still turns out great. Playing with the food colouring was fun too!

The thing is this: Got ingredients, can cook! 😀


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