It's already the last week of Ramadan! We get it, you're probably busy baking Raya kuih or sprucing up the house so you need something convenient for iftar - like one-pot meals or one-pan recipes ?
In this blessed month, we're all about providing you with articles that'll help us all get through these unprecedented times, and make things easier for you! Now for a quick iftar meal, read on to find out what dishes you can make with just one pot, pan or wok!
1. Chinese-style Chicken Rice (Hainanese-inspired!)
Let's start off with something simple, shall we? If you're a Malaysian/Singaporean, you'd know very well that chicken rice is our 'can't-go-wrong' comfort food. All the nutrients are there, every spoonful is packed with aroma yet is easy on our tastebuds - what more can we ask for?
If you're at home, you must try this ever-simple one-pot local delight recipe developed by Wei from Red House Spice. Elaborated in only 3 different steps, this is perfect if you've got the cravings and don't have the time to prepare the rice and chicken separately ? (Note: As this recipe uses Shaoxing rice wine, you can opt for white rice vinegar as the halal alternative.)
Wei incorporated the Pilaf method of cooking rice: toast, simmer and let rest. This is key to having fluffy, flavourful rice with less water usage overall ? Growing up, I used to wonder why my mum would lightly toast the uncooked rice with ghee prior to combining everything in the pot. Turns out, it does a lot of wonder to the grains that we eat! You can personalise this part of the recipe by using butter or even olive oil.
#HHWT Tip: Ramadan is a great period for us to watch what we eat! To do so, we recommend using a mix of brown and white rice, as well as adding side vegetable dish to go with your chicken rice ?? Yum indeed!
2. Lo Mein (Fried Tender Egg Noodles)
Okay, if you're looking at me some type of way now, I'll put this out there: we're making fried noodles. Using egg noodles. Tender ones. They're called Lo Mein. Hence, fried tender egg noodles.
My family is head over heels with Lo Mein ever since a halal 'mee tarik' (pulled noodles) restaurant opened up in my neighbourhood. There's something about the art of making the perfect Lo Mein that blows my mind. Individually, the ingredients are 'meh ??♂️'. When combined in one pan, wow, take my money, 'mee tarik' uncle!
Maggie from Omnivore's Cookbook uploaded this restaurant-style recipe and I couldn't be any more excited to know that it's super simple to make Lo Mein. This is one of those dishes that you can do to 'clean' your refrigerator, but it's best cooked with broccoli, carrots and bell peppers. It's not Asian if you don't put chilli in it, but I don't have to tell you that! ?
The ultimate joy when devouring Lo Mein lies in the noodles itself. Beautiful, substantial egg noodles seared in thick soy sauce that slides easily into your mouth. Accompanied by crunch from the veggies and the no-brainer animal protein of your choice. Oh, and cooking time should take less than 10 minutes. Too blissful, and too easy to prepare!
P.S. Check out these 5 easy Japanese recipes you can try (using halal ingredients!)
3. Mediterranean-style Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a type of dish variation shared by many cultures across the globe. Spanish, Egyptians, Italians, Russians (and more!) share the love for this kitchen staple that's wholesome and easy to prepare. The common idea is to stuff any solid vegetable that has a natural cavity with protein and carbohydrates of our choice. So if you're thinking eggplant, heirloom tomatoes and even zucchini, the answer is yes, feel free to stuff them too!
This recipe by Suzy of The Mediterranean Dish incorporates rice, ground beef and chickpeas as the stuffing. The rice is soaked beforehand to ensure it cooks well when everything is combined together. To add to the practicality aspect, the stuffing can also be prepared days in advance. Ideal for meal prep, you say? We think so too ?
The best thing about stuffed peppers is you can also ditch the pot, top the same stuffed peppers with mozzarella, and baked them instead! Megan Splawn of The Kitchn shows you how in this recipe. Either way, you'll be guaranteed to have a delicious, colourful lunch/dinner that'll excite your household for sure ?
4. Prawn Pad Thai
Ahh, Pad Thai. If I hadn't made it obvious yet, we Asians are so lucky to have loads of one-wok meals and this is the creme de la creme (in my opinion). It's been a while since I've had these thin flat rice noodle dish with a multitude of texture in each bite. If you've made Char Kuey Teow before, you probably know the drill here. If you haven't, I've got the recipe you'll need.
Bill from The Wok of Life featured the recipe of this Thai street food star that's fairly simple to make. Emphasising on the use of whole prawns (yes, the heads go in ?) for enhanced flavour and appetising colour, it'll make you second guess all the other sub-par Pad Thais you've had before. And of course, according to Bill, when you cook any fried meals, the 'wok hei' factor is uncompromisable. 'Wok hei' is a local Cantonese term loosely translated to the essence imparted by the wok to the ingredients when subjected to high heat.
Because if your Pad Thai isn't lightly charred, is it really worth the effort? ? Give this recipe a try and let us know!
P.S. Feeling adventurous? Why not try these 8 recipes you can easily make in an air fryer?
5. Mushroom Baked Rice
We've shown you 10 Easy Recipes You Can Make With The Rice Cooker. Rice and rice cooker are two glorious staples Asians can hardly deny, so here's a dish you absolutely have to attempt if you've got leftover rice in your fridge.
If you haven't tried this before, Noob Cook has got you covered with this straightforward Chicken & Mushroom Baked Rice recipe. As always, you can personalise the proteins to your liking but you will need to adjust the baking temperature according to your ingredients i.e if you're topping your baked rice with broccoli or leafy vegetables, you might want to add them within the final 5 - 7 minutes so they don't get too burnt.
Don't be afraid to get creative with your ingredients when you're making baked rice. Explore the taste spectrum; add tomatoes for that soft tangy filling, play with some curry powder - you get the gist!
#HHWT Tip: Baked rice is best served warm, so if you intend to prepare for iftar earlier, you can always start by combining the ingredients in a pan/pot, and chuck it in the oven 20 minutes prior to your mealtime.
6. Chicken & Quinoa Soup
This is the recipe for you if you're watching the scale and want to prepare something wholesome that can easily last for weeks!
This recipe by Lee of Fit Foodie Finds is the kind of fix we all need especially if you're not a fan of rice when having sahur/iftar. Any type of quinoa can be used - but if you're looking for grain alternatives, barley makes the perfect fit. Infused with local cooking staples; lemongrass, ginger and garlic, I wouldn't mind going ahead and add a dash of tom yum stock here too if I were you!
It might not look like it, but this protein and carbs-packed hearty bowl also fuels you with energy to last you through the day ??
P.S. Check out these 8 delicious meals you can whip up in 30 minutes or less!
7. Seafood Aglio Olio
You and I are no strangers to making pasta. Most of the time, we go out of our way to boil them separately before combining everything into one pot. Our mantra for today, ladies and gents, is "I-ain't-got-time-for-that".
There's the easier way to make seafood Aglio Olio without ending up with heaps of cookware in the sink to be washed, and Rachel dished on this in her blog Say My Kitchen. I mean, after a really good meal, the last thing you want to do is some serious pot-scrubbing. So, how did she do it?
Instead of pre-boiling the pasta, Rachel boiled it in the same pot she prepared her seafood stock. Imagine the union of well-marinated seafood and garlic with basil. At the end of the process, you'll get the ideal taste bomb pasta one could ever whip up ?
#HHWT Tip: A surefire way to have your pasta cook in time and absorb the infused flavours at the same time is by using fine pasta i.e Angel Hair!
8. Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice)
The name says it all, and it doesn't take a genius to marry rice and kimchi - it just takes a pan. If you're a fan of Korean food and you've gone through our latest piece; 10 Easy Korean Recipes You Should Try Making At Home, let's get right to this one.
For Korean households, this is an unbeatable classic when you have leftover rice in the pantry and mature kimchi. The latter is important if you want that plateful of umami goodness ??
Mark from NoRecipes.com indulged his readers with the recipe, as well as tricks on how to prepare this comforting meal without ending up with soggy rice from all the kimchi juice (click if you want to find out!). This recipe doesn't include any meat except for the sunny side up egg as a source of animal protein, but feel free to improvise to your heart's content, hungry folks, because the world is your oyster ?
There you have it! 8 convenient and wholesome one-pot/pan recipes you can try out. Check out our list of 30 Yummy Sahur Recipes For Every Day of Ramadan 2020, if you haven't already! Let us know which one you've tried and if you love them as much as we do ?