Posts Tagged With: rice

Super Tasty Mega Rice – Vegan Fried Rice

Sooooooooo tasty! Quick and easy rice dish, think Nasi Goreng (Indonesia)

There’s so much in this dish to get the tastebuds jumping; sesame pancake, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, ginger, crispy onions, deep and dark soya sauce……this is a quick lunch and an amazing way to treat leftover rice and veggies.

We all need a good, simple fried rice recipe under our aprons, in our cutlery draws or tucked away behind our chopping boards.  Super quick and tasty, some would say mega!!  This rice is something everyone will enjoy, packed with veggies and big flavours.

The sesame pancake is one of the stars here, it really adds something to the dish, giving it a change-up in texture and flavour.  It’s also very easy to get together and can be used in many dishes in many ways.  They’re great by themselves and are basically just a small cup of gram (chickpea flour).  Surely one of my favourite ingredients.

I was raised, for a chunk of my childhood in the Philippines, I just cooked this dish for Mum who says that it’s similar to my favourite Filipino fried rice that I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner as a nipper.  I’ve always loved trying new and exciting dishes.  Although this is a staple dish, we can take it in so many directions.  We eat it as a weekend treat in the Beach House, I like it especially in the mornings.  A big chilli hit in the AM beats an espresso any day!  Anyone else like fried rice for breakfast?

Use any array of veggies you like here, whatever is seasonal or hanging out in your veg tray/ basket.  This is similar to Nasi Goreng which is the ubiquitous vegan go-to dish in Indonesia, a country that Jane and I love deeply (see some our travel stories, street food or visiting tofu village).  I think it’s just as good without the fish sauce and Kecap Manis, which is a sweet soya sauce (I’m in Spain, so needed to improvise).

This style of rice dish is awesome with some aromatic paste, South East Asia style, probably the eastiest to get our hands on is Thai pastes, yellow, green or red.  A couple of tablespoons will do the trick.  But maybe you’d like to make your own, there are some good looking recipes for Basa Gede – Balanese Paste that are exciting me right now.  Must try soon, when lemongrass and the like are back on the menu.

Mega Tasty Rice – Leftovers given a very tasty make over

This is an awesome leftovers dish, using up rice cooked for something else.  If you’re cooking the rice especially for the dish, make sure it’s fully cooled first.  I always think fried rice is best when the rice has sat in the fridge overnight.  The best way to cool rice at home is to spread it our on a baking tray, it will cook much quicker than being left in the pan.  Rice needs to be cooled as quick as possible and then stored in the fridge.  Fried rice should be eaten straight away and not re-heated.

I’m doing a load of recipe testing and menu planning for the late summer and autumn at the minute, loving it!!  It can be so inspiring, but I’ve got to say, challenging too.  The success rate yesterday was less than 50/50.  Some dishes just seem to work in the head and in the pan/ oven/ mouth, just don’t work out.  This is a dish we cooked today for a quick lunch between recipe testing and the one I decided to share!  Such is life.  My favourite dishes tend to be the simple ones and when you look at our favourite dishes, from all over the world, it seems that that is just the way we’re wired up.

We love these little sesame pancakes


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This dish is so simple and versatile, hope you get to give it a go!

Happy cooking!


Recipe Notes

Any long grain rice will do here, whatever you like best.

Add more chillies, I dare you!  I love this dish fiery!!

If you’re cooking your own rice, roughly 140g of uncooked rice will make 400-ish g of cooked.

After cooking, cool your rice quickly by spreading it out thinly on a large plate/platter. Once cooked, place in a fridge.

Add whatever veggies you fancy to this, in fact normally, we add two or three more types to this dish.

To make this Mega Rice gluten-free, you can buy gluten-free soya sauce or tamari.

Fried Rice 101 – get all your ingredients and chopping done before you start cooking, makes things a cool  breeze as opposed to a potential heated stress-fest!

Super Tasty Mega Rice – Vegan Fried Rice

The Bits – For 4-6

1 small onion (finely sliced)

2 large garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)

2 tbs ginger (finely chopped)

1 small carrot (finely sliced into matchsticks)


100g oyster, or other, mushrooms (sliced)

1 green/ red pepper (deseeded and sliced)

2-4+ dried chillies or 1-2-3 teas chilli flakes (finely sliced)


6 asparagus spears (finely sliced at an angle)

400g cooked rice (from the fridge)

250g chickpeas (drained)

3 tbs good quality passata

1 1/2 tbsp tamari/ gluten-free soya sauce


2-3 tbs cooking oil (I use good rapeseed oil)


Sesame Pancake

50g gram flour

100ml water

½ clove garlic

Couple large pinches turmeric

Couple large pinches salt


1 1/2 tbs sesame seeds



1/2 cucumber (seeds removed and sliced)

1 large tomatoes (sliced)

Crispy onions (gluten-free)

Lime wedges

Your favourite chilli sauce


Do It 

Add the ingredients for the pancake, except the sesame seeds, into a bowl, gradually add the water, stirring as you go to make a smooth batter.

Grab a large, non-stick, frying pan/ wok, add 1/2 tbs oil, place on a medium high heat.  When the oil is warm, pour the batter mix into the centre of the pan, swirling the pan to make a thin pancake.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, halfway through that time, sprinkle over the sesame seeds to give the pancake a good covering.  Now flip the pancake using a spatula.  Cook for another minute, then set aside.  Give the pan a quick clean out.

Return the pan to the heat, add 1 tbs cooking oil, when hot, add the onions, ginger, garlic and carrots.  Toss and fry for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms, dried chillies and peppers, cook for another 2 minutes, now add the passata, soya sauce, chickpeas, rice and asparagus.  Stir gently and warm through fully for 3-4 minutes, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Get it nice and hot!

Taste the rice, add a touch more soya sauce or salt for seasoning.  Chop up the pancake into strips and stir into the rice.  Serve straight away with crunchy veggies like tomatoes and cucumber, chilli sauce, crispy onions and a twist of lime is delicious.

View from the Beach House Kitchen (Spain branch) today. Way too close to the beach to work properly;)

Foodie Fact

Chillies have outrageously high levels of vitamin C, plus decent amounts of vitamin A, K and B-6. Vitamin C wise, they leave the oranges in the shade.

Categories: Breakfast, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Maqluba with Roast Pepper, Aubergine and Almond

Maqluba - Red Pepper and Aubergine Savoury Cake

Maqluba – Red Pepper and Aubergine Savoury Cake

An easier, vegan method of making a Maqluba (an ‘upside down’ one pot savoury cake if you like) which if made properly takes around a fortnight to prepare.  I, like many of you, have not got a lot of time in the kitchen.  I work in a kitchen so days off are spent trying to stop myself thinking about food, new recipes etc.  This is a difficult task and if Im in the house, the kitchen calls!  This also leads to me eating far too much.  It’s complicated!!!

This savoury cake is real festival food, real party time on a plate.  The flavours are an awesome mix and as a centre piece on a table would grace any banquet; vegan, vegetarian or other.  It just looks so very cool, all those layers and roasted sweet veggies.

I like to streamline things, I love the idea of food heritage and recipes being handed down through generations.  The providence of dishes are essential to maintain their relevance to a culture, food expresses who and where we are in the world.  We are proud of it and rightly so, all cultures have explored their local produce and experimented to the point of culinary excellence and deliciousness.  Even in Britain, we are pretty handy with potatoes and leeks.

YOTAM (Again)

I have to say that one person who most excites me in the modern food game is Mr Yotam Ottenleghi.  He is responsible for a wave of beautiful books/dishes and is changing our perceptions towards the foods of the Southern Med/ Middle East.  I have always loved food from this area and surround but Yotam has taken my understanding of it to another level.

It’s fruity and spicy, nutty and floral, very sweet and very sour, all avenues of flavour are explored and utilised in the cuisine, its also screams out with gorgeous colour.  It’s such a fertile area, great produce abounds at the markets.  Historically, the cultures are old, real old.  You feel that in the food tradition, where feasts are prepared and savoured.  The romance of food is alive in the rituals of preparation and the coming together of family and friends in the kitchen and around the dining table.

This take on Maqluba is one such dish.  Having said that, it is historically a dish that is quick and easy for mothers to get together, we certainly have less time on our hands in Westernised countries than others. What a shame!  I can think of nothing more rewarding than preparing a dish with love and attention throughout the day for my loved ones.


Sometimes I wish we could cut the internet to the Beach House.  This would certainly free up some time, but then the Beach House Kitchen would disappear and I enjoy this blogging game far too much for that, meeting all of you wonderful folk from around the world is a real pleasure.  You inspire me!  It’s a modern conundrum indeed!

So I’ve taken the best bits about this traditional dish and had a play with them, it still makes something quite spectacular and I don’t think you lose much flavour by cooking the rice seperately.  I have incorporated all the ingredients at the end and given them a quick steam with rose water which brings things together nicely in a floral fashion.

Depending on your taste and dietary persuasion, you may like to substitute the brown rice for good basmati rice.  This does absorb greater flavour and is a little more tender.

The frying pan you use should not be too deep, the more shallow the pan, the easier it will be to turn out the final cake.  It looks a million dollars this dish when you get it right.

The Bits – For 4

2 large tomatoes (1cm slices)

1 large aubergine (width ways – 1cm slices)

1 red pepper (cut into thin slices)

1/2 small cauliflower (cut into small florets)

1 large leek (finely sliced)

1/2 teas cinnamon

1/3 teas ground cardamom

1 teas turmeric

1/4 teas all spice

1 1/2 teas baharat (spice mix or just up the other spices)

1/4 teas black pepper

2 teas lemon zest

250ml creamy soya yoghurt (unsweetened)

1-2 teas rose water

1 big handful crushed toasted almonds/ almond flakes

Olive oil



1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice (or other long grain)

2 3/4 cups good veg stock

5 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 handful dried cherries (or sultanas/ dried apricot)

1/2 teas turmeric

1 red onion (finely sliced)

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

2 tbs olive oil (for frying)

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock



Crushed toasted almonds/ flaked almonds

Soya yoghurt and cucumber (mix together with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper)

Sour cherries (or sulatanas/ dried apricot)


Do It

Soak rice in salted water for 30 mins to 1 hour before cooking,

In a saucepan, begin by frying off onions gently until golden in 2 tbs oil for 1o-15 minutes.  Add your garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and turmeric, stir through and heat for a minute, then add your rice and coat well, leave to warm through for 1 minute and then add 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock (save a little).  Bring to a boil and cover tightly, lower heat to minimum and cook for 35-40 minutes.

In a large frying pan, saute your vegetables in batches using as much oil as you like.  Cook them until soft and slightly caramelised.  Have a warm plate with cover ready.  Start with peppers, aubergine and then tomato.  They will all take differing times, tomatoes only take a minute each side.  You’re looking for some charred edges, but not completely cooked, a higher heat will achieve this.  So its burnt, but not that burnt, what a great rule!

Pour boiling water (from the kettle) over the cauliflower florets and leave for 10 minutes.

Lastly fry the leeks until soft and golden, then add cauliflower and all spices and heat for a minute, then take off the heat and stir in the soya yoghurt and lemon zest.  Cover and set aside (you’ll need another warm plate here).

Now we’re ready to layer.  Clean and wipe out your frying pan, begin by scattering in a generous amount of almonds, then place the tomatoes over the base.  Leave spaces between them, this is going to be the top of the cake, so make it nice!  Then add your aubergine and then pepper, then spoon on your leek mix on top of that, spread evenly.  Now fluff your rice and spread evenly over the top, press down gently to get it all nicely packed in.  Now get the pan warm again, and pour over 1/4 cup of stock and the rose water, cover with a suitably sized lid or plate and warm gently on the hob for 10 minutes to get all the flavours mingling.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then place your hand on the plate and invert the pan in one smooth motion (easier said than done).  A swift action is needed here so think it through!  Place down on a work surface and tap the bottom of the pan with the base of a wooden spoon, rolling pin…….something hefty.  I leave it for a few minutes to sort itself out and settle.

When ready to serve, take off pan and you will have a lovely looking layer rice cake awaiting.  Maqluba!

Maqluba -Lovely layers of goodness

Maqluba -with dried cherries and almonds


Warm with scattered dried sour cherries and more almonds   Extra yoghurt, salads, pickles…….YUM!

We Love It!

We sure do!  This is a feast, a one pot wonder, sure beats a hot pot!  The flavours here are quite incredible and this is something very special.  A special occasion treat and the rose water adds a unique flavour to the Maqluba.

Foodie Fact

Rose water is used widely the cuisine of the southern Mediterranean and Iran and all the way to India, it is a magical ingredient and must be used sparingly, especially in a savoury dish.  A  little goes a long way.

Rose water is very simple to make, distill rose petal and there you have it!  It is used in cosmetics also, but I prefer putting it in desserts!  What a waste of good rose water!

In India they use rose water to clear irritations of the eye, so its versatile too!


Categories: Dinner, gluten-free, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sweet Thai Mango, Basil & Coconut Rice


Thai Mango and Coconut Forbidden Purple Rice with Basil (Vegan)…..quite a mouthful this wonder dessert, in more than just the name!

If you love this magical dessert, you have been to Thailand and probably savoured it in a hectic street scene with a plastic spoon and big smile on your face.  It’s one of those experiences that etches itself on your memory, your first taste of sticky coconut rice is not easily forgotten.

The very mention of this desert and I’m weak at the knee; one foot in dessert heaven, its full of unspeakably good sweet stuff and awesome flavour combos. As you may gather, I quite like this dish, it’s up there with my top desserts of all time (ever) in the world.

I’m not a huge dessert fella, but sweet coconut rice topped with mango is something I’d swim to Thailand to try again.  Jane brought it all the way to the Beach House and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Jane made this ‘Forbidden Rice’ for one of our date nights (in). We are some of the luckiest folks you’ll ever meet and get much good luck/ news/ people crossing our paths and we felt like celebrating it all. I opened something fizzy and Jane disappeared into the bowels of the Beach House Kitchen to work her culinary magic spatulas, and what a feast we had. The Corn and Coconut Korma (recipe coming soon) was something to write home about (even though we were already home) but the dessert…………..I do a lot of the cooking in the B.H.K. and I also work in a kitchen for my sins, so to have a dinner presented to you with such care is a recipe for a magic night.

Purple rice (sometimes called black rice) was deemed so special, fragrant and nutty, it was only served to emperors in ancient China, hence the ‘forbidden’ moniker.  It was also popular in the fascinating Indian region of Manipur, where it is still served on very special occasions to much fanfare.  It is believed that all of the strains of this rice lead back to the Manipur region.  It is a glutinous rice and is grown in many different countries now, it is exceptionally nutritious (see the Foodie Fact) and has a distinct, full flavour.  This rice also makes for a very funky porridge.

The only problem is getting hold of the stuff, the real deal is hard to find.  Jane picked some up in Glastonbury, which is the heart of all things obscure and nutritious foodstuffs within the UK.  I imagine if you live in certain pockets of California it grows on trees there!  But generally, it may take a while to track down.  Our advise, persevere and bring this dessert into your life.   Of you can’t get black, go white jasmine instead.

This is an easy dessert to make and is perfect for when you fancy adding something a little exotic to proceedings; mango and coconut are a legendary pair and the coconut pouring sauce, quite literally, tops it off.

We had some pouring sauce left over and its been making cheeky appearances on all sorts of things, mainly bowls of muesli.

You may like to add a little jasmine thai rice to the mix, it turns a wonderful purple colour when combined with the purple/black rice.

A word on coconut milk: there is some real rubbish out there.  We have managed to find a little sustainable Sri Lankan project that makes the finest coco milk, it cannot be compared with the stuff you’ll find clogging most supermarket shelves.


Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake

Moist Almond and Olive Cake

Raw Chocolate Brownies

Raw Strawberry Tartlets

Sweet Coconuts and Happy Days to you allXXXXX



Sweet Thai Mango, Basil & Coconut Rice (Gluten-free, vegan)

Makes enough for two very lucky folk

The Bits – For 2

1/2 cup black rice (or any rice you prefer really)

1 big handful of jasmine rice

1 can sustainable coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar (we used unrefined brown)

1/2 teas sea salt

1 ripe/ fragrant mango



2 tbs toasted dried coconut (desiccated coconut will do)

Several leaves of basil (we forgot the first one, but it would be amazing)


Do It

Soak black rice for four hours or overnight to get nice and tender.

Cook all rice in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil, simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until tender but still with a little bite.  Drain, keep warm.

Pour coco milk (make sure you get all the cream from the bottom of the can), sugar and salt into saucepan and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly.  Reserve a cup for pouring at this stage.

Add your rice to the saucepan, heat again gently to a boil, then simmer for 10 mins until it thickens.  Check sweetness.

Cut mangoes, this can be quite a fiddle, so heres a little example of how its best done by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone (we loved the name).   This will give you cubes, for the thin slices, just take off the skin at  the cubing stage and slice thinly.  Any questions, we are here to help on the mango hotline, Wales.

Next up toast your coconut in a small frying pan, medium heat for 5-8 minutes will do and this can be done well in advance, although warm is better.

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Forbidden Purple Rice gets a drizzle

Forbidden Purple Rice gets a drizzle


In lovely shallow bowls (small servings are best as this is a very rich dessert), spoon in your purple rice, lay on your slices of mango (fan shapes look brilliant here) and offer the pouring sauce in a small jug.  The general sweetness of the dish will be enough for most.

Sprinkle on your coconut and basil leaves and serve warm and immediately.


We Love It!

You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard me get all excited, you imagine the flavours…… know you’ll love it!


Foodie Fact

Purple/ black rice contains all of the 18 amino acids, which means that technically you can live on the stuff.  Great for dessert islands (small joke there)!  It is also high in iron, zinc, copper, caroten and several great vitamins.

It also contains anthocyanins, which make it black and are also found in blueberries and peppers.  This chemical mops up bad molecules and is a poweful anti-oxidant.

Purple/ black rice has also be touted as  the new superfood against the big C (cancer).



Because music and food are the same thing, one in your ear, one in your mouth……

Two tunes this time from Beach House radio and both relevant to this incredible dessert.  Deep Purple ‘Child in Time’ for the deep purple of the rice and because it reminds me of the dawning or rock music in my world (I was around 10 years old in the back seat of a car when it hit me like bolt, you can wail and not be told off! IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL.  If I could sing like Ian Gillan, I’d happily forgo my forbidden rice.

and a shaky clip from one of my favourite music bars in the world, the Adhere Blues Bar (just of the infamous and rubbish Khaosan Road) in Thailand (queue more wailing with a Thai accent).

Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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