I became a huge fan of Mary Berry when I was introduced to her on the Great British Baking show, when she and Paul Hollywood were judges. More recently, we enjoyed her shows available on those channels you buy by monthly subscription. In particular, Mary Berry Classics.
Most food shows I watch, I watch purely as entertainment. I might tsk at the overuse of a garlic press, or scoff at how TV producers define “easy” as something that requires a large shopping list, and two hours of food prep.
Mary Berry Classics had me scrambling for a piece of paper and pen to take notes and jot a few recipes down. More importantly, it got me motivated to try them!
The first recipe I tried, her take on a Spanish tortilla, was a huge success. I am not writing about it today because we ate the entire egg dish without a thought of taking a photo of it. No proof, so it didn’t happen.
The Malay Rice dish was an equal success. This time I remembered to take a photo, however, the picture shown is the left overs so doesn’t have the crowning jewel of a soft cooked fried egg sitting on top. You will just need to use your imagination for that.
Using Mary’s favourite catchphrases, this dish was a “bit of alright” and “tempting”. She uses this recipe to summon her husband in from whatever corner of the garden he might be in. I can see why. It is aromatic with the onion, garlic and Asian spices. Once I got this going on the stove top, Michael was sniffing around the kitchen pretty quick too.
Here’s what you need for this easy recipe:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs because that’s what I had in the freezer)
1 – 2 tsp honey
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 6 because I can). Mary is a huge advocate for the garlic press. I get by by squishing the garlic with the flat side of my knife, sprinkling with a bit of salt, and keep working it until the desired crushed-ness. If I get fed up with squishing the garlic, I just chop it to smithereens. I’ll do anything to avoid having to wash a garlic press, even if it means I have to expend 10x more energy than I would if I relented and used a garlic press. It’s a thing.
200 grams mushrooms, sliced or chopped, white or brown
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp curry powder. Mary recommends mild, I used medium.
** I went a bit off-roading here, and also added a generous spoonful of coriander and tumeric to the spice blend.
250g long grain rice (I use jasmine scented), cooked and chilled
150g frozen peas
Eggs (1 per person)
4 tbsp soy sauce
Olive Oil for cooking the chicken and veg (about 1 – 2 tbsp)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fry up the chicken in a bit of olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Mary taught me that by adding the honey, you can achieve a lovely golden browning, without needing to overcook the chicken. It worked like a miracle.
Remove the chicken to a plate.
Add a bit more olive oil, and fry up the onion. When it softens, add the chopped red pepper and garlic. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms reduce.
Season to taste.
Add in your spices, and allow to cook for another few minutes. Stir, don’t let it burn. My mix was quite dry, so I added a splash of water to lift the fond off the bottom of the pan.
Once your veggies look good, the air is aromatic with the scent of those lovely spices, and you’ve shooed your life partner out of the kitchen, add the cooked and cooled rice and frozen peas to the mix.
Mary teaches that it is important to make sure the rice is cold after cooking. If you add it while it’s warm, you’ll end up with mush. Add it cold, and it will crisp up nicely.
Mix in your cooked chicken, and add the soy sauce. Cook on high to allow the rice to crisp. Watch this carefully, and continue to stir. Don’t allow it to burn.
Just before you are ready to serve, fry up one egg per person. A soft runny yolk is visually appealing, but if you forgot to watch your eggs, or prefer to have a solid yolk, that will be fine too.
Plate up the rice, and rest the egg on top.
And there you have it, Mary Berry’s Malay Rice. It is super easy to make, and is flexible enough to use whatever chicken and spices you might have or prefer.