My family loves Korean food! Two dishes that we regularly order at a Korean restaurant are Bibimbap, which is a rice bowl with sautéed vegetables, meat and Gochujang (chili pepper paste), and, Bulgogi, which is basically Korean grilled meat, served with rice or lettuce cups. This recipe for Korean Spice Chicken is my weeknight, and pressure cooker friendly combination of the two.
I start by marinating the chicken with ingredients that I use for making Bulgogi– some Gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), ginger-garlic, honey, onion and ground or grated pear. The pear tenderizes the meat and provides a subtle sweet flavor, which balances the heat from the Gochujang really well. Then I pressure cook the meat in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Any pressure cooker would work great for this recipe. You can even do this in a skillet on the stove-top. Marinate the meat. Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium high heat and dump everything in. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, remove lid and cook till chicken is tender and the sauce is thick to your liking.
My kids like having rice with Korean Spice Chicken, so, I make it in the same pot using pot-in-pot method. My husband and I like to have it over lettuce cups. The crisp lettuce contrasts really well with the spicy chicken. I have to tell you, that this is one of the tastiest low-carb meals we make at home.
Korean food is almost incomplete without an assortment of side dishes called Banchan. I make a few of them at home, including the Spicy Cucumber Salad called Oi Muchim. Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers work great for this dish. The fresh and crunchy cucumbers, marinated in Gochujang, salt, vinegar and sesame oil, are a perfect match for this chicken. They being this meal together beautifully! Try this recipe and let me know how it works for you by leaving a comment. Continue Reading…
Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where rice is cooked with aromatic cumin seeds. It is traditionally cooked with Basmati Rice, which is a long grained rice known for it’s sweet aroma and a slight nutty flavor. It is the perfect accompaniment to all lentils and curries. This simple yet versatile rice dish is the base of many great dishes like Jeera Pulao (Cumin Pilaf with sautéed onions) and Vegetable Pulao (Rice Pilaf with chopped vegetables).
Basmati Rice comes in many varieties. I like using Tilda Basmati Rice, or, Kohinoor Basmati Rice XL. Both have extra long rice kernals, which I love! Cooking times of Basmati rice and water-to-rice ratio can differ depending on:
How long the grain is
How you like your rice- el dente (like in Biryani), or soft & fluffy
Lastly, how well you drained it after rinsing it (yup- that’s a factor too).
In a simple stove-top version of this recipe, rice is typically rinsed 2-3 times and then soaked for 15 – 30 minutes before cooking, that creates a soft and fluffy texture, while each grain of rice stays separate. Then, you heat a sauce pan on medium-high heat, add Ghee or butter to it, add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle. Now add the strained rice and sauté for 30 seconds. Add salt, water and let is come to a boil. Then, turn the heat to medium and set a timer for 7-8 minutes. Turn off the flame and let the rice rest for 5-10 minutes. Open the lid and gently fluff with a fork. Done!
It took me a few tries in the Instant Pot to get it ‘just right’ for my family. The magic number for me is 6 minutes for Basmati Rice. I cooked a few batches with a 1:1 ratio of rice to water, but found that adding 2 tablespoons extra water plus 1 teaspoon butter/ghee or oil made them more fluffy, which was perfect for us. If you like your Basmati rice a little el dente, stick to 1:1 ratio. If you like them more soft, add 1 1/4 cup water for 1 cup rice. But the time remains the same 6 minutes, NPR for 10 minutes.
Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it version: For plain Basmati Rice, skip the cumin and just add all remaining ingredients in the Instant Pot. Press Manual (high), 6 minutes, NPR 10 minutes.
Rinse the basmati rice 2-3 times and soak for 20 minutes. Strain the soaked basmati rice in a sieve to get all the water out. Turn on IP on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds and add ghee/butter/oil and cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle (a few seconds), add rice and sauté another 30 seconds. Add salt and water and stir. Close the lid. Set the valve to 'sealing'. Press Manual (high) for 6 minutes, NPR for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could just dump everything in and turn ON the Instant Pot on the same setting. It will have a milder cumin flavor, but will still be present.
Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Cumin rice is best served warm with lentils soups, curries or any grilled entrée.
Brown Jasmine rice is a variety of long grain rice originally grown in Thailand. It is one of the popular varieties of rice due to its nutty flavor and floral aroma. When cooked, it has a little bite to it. It pairs very well with most curries and grilled meats. Brown rice tends to be a healthier choice than white rice since it doesn’t go through the milling process to make it white. Since it retains its ‘brown’ husk, it also ends up retaining fiber and many essential nutrients. It’s often recommended to people following a low-carb or a low calorie diet.
Everyone likes their rice a certain way. Almost every culture has their unique way of eating it. So, the end result can wary between a sticky texture to firm kernels. Which is why cooking time and water-to-rice ratio is different for everyone. The time and ratio is different for a short-grain brown rice. So you see, one size doesn’t fit all here!
I did many experiments with cooking times and water ratios to find the perfect combination for Jasmine Brown rice. I found that Basmati Rice had similar results. Here is what I realized:
My family likes our rice to be in between soft and firm. So, the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water + 1 teaspoon ghee/oil, Manual (High) 22 minutes, NPR, works best for us. We typically eat our rice with curries or stir-frys.
If you like your rice more firm than soft, then a 1: 1 ratio, Manual (High) 20 minutes, NPR.
If you like your rice more soft and fluffy, 1:1.25 ratio,Manual (High) 22 minutes, NPR.