BRAISED CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND CHESTNUTS

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
For the marinade:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp potato starch
1 tsp light soya sauce
50ml water
1½ tsp cooking oil

2 tbsp cooking oil
400g boneless chicken, cut into pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and pounded
50g shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
50g black fungus, soaked for 5min
50g chestnuts*, peeled
40g bell peppers, seeds removed, and chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp Chinese cooking wine (hua diao jiu)
250ml water
1 tsp potato starch

*Available vacuum-packed at the chiller section of major supermarkets.

DIRECTIONS
1 Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and season the chicken with it. Chill for 15-30min.
2 Add the oil, then the marinated chicken and garlic, to the preheated rice cooker. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.
3 Add the mushrooms, black fungus, chestnuts, bell peppers, oyster sauce, salt and 1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
4 Add the water, cover and cook for 5 to 10min.
5 Add the potato starch, mix well and transfer to a plate. Add 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine before serving.

SEAWEED GLASS NOODLES SOUP

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
1 litre boiling water
20g ikan bilis (dried anchovies), soaked for 5min
2 pieces dried seaweed, roughly cut
100g spinach, roughly cut
100g asparagus
1 tbsp wolfberries
1 bunch glass noodles
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (hua diao jiu)
1 tbsp fried ikan bilis

DIRECTIONS
1 Add the water into the rice cooker.
2 Add all the ingredients – except the cooking wine and ikan bilis – to the water and cover.
3 Cook for 10-15min. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle over the Chinese cooking wine. Top with fried ikan bilis and serve.

BEANCURD WITH BACON

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 pieces beancurd, cut into pieces
40g bacon, cut into 5cm pieces
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and pounded
300ml water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp light soya sauce

DIRECTIONS
1 Add the oil, then the beancurd to the preheated rice cooker. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
2 Add the bacon and stir-fry for 1min. Add the spring onions and garlic. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
3 Add the water, salt and soya sauce.
4 Cover and cook for 5min until it boils. Serve hot.

CHEF’S RICE COOKER TIPS

Your rice cooker.
Basic rice cookers (the kind Mum used when you were a kid) heat up and cook faster than their more advanced counterparts (these come with functions to cook different types of rice). So use the timings in these recipes as a gauge and adjust accordingly – we used a 1.8-litre basic rice cooker.

Pre-heat for 3-5 minutes.
The rice cooker is ready when you feel a mild heat coming from the inner pot – place your palm just above the base to check.

Pick the right ingredients.
When creating your own rice-cooker dishes, use ingredients that take roughly the same time to cook so you don’t have to keep opening the appliance to add them, which affects the heat in the rice cooker.

This article was originally published in Simply Her January 2015.