Rice is the staple throughout south east Asia. It is served with every meal and generally cooked once a day for consumption throughout the day. Leftover ice is often re-fried. This dish is popular along the entire length of the Mekong River, hence the name. A similar version of the dish peers in our book of the week, Hot Sour Salty Sweet. The cooked rice is flavoured with lemongrass, shrimp and shallot paste, a speciality of central Vietnam. This rice is delicious, served on its own with a Vietnamese herb and salad platter, and some dipping sauce. For a bit more extravagance, grilled fish or chicken can be served with it.
4 cups cold cooked Asian rice (or cook 2 cups raw rice)
1T dried shrimp, soaked in a little hot water for 5 minutes
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and cut into ±2cm lengths
1 small onion
3 spring onions
Pinch of salt
2T garlic, minced
3 spring onions, trimmed, and julienned into ±5cm lengths
2T roasted sesame seeds
1T fish sauce, or to taste
2 tomatoes, sliced (or 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
- Place the cooked rice in a large bowl, and with damp hands, break up any clumps, and set aside.
- Place the shrimp, with its soaking water, the lemongrass, onions, spring onions, sugar and salt in a large mortar, or spice grinder, and grind to a paste.
- Heat a large heavy wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the oil, toss in the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds, taking care not to burn. Add the paste and stir-fry for ±3 minutes, until it is golden.
- Add the spring onions and stir-fry briefly.
- Sprinkle the rice into the wok and stir-fry for ±2 minutes, tossing and pressing the rice against the sides of the wok until well mixed, with some of the rice crisping up to golden.
- Add the sesame seeds and fish sauce, and stir-fry for ±30 seconds. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with coriander and pepper, and arrange the tomato slices around the rice.
- Serve with the herb and salad platter and dipping sauce, or with chicken.
Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.