KS 3 & KS 4
Design and Technology- Food Technology;
Cross-curriculum learning - Citizenship, History and Geography
5 Coloured Fried Rice (Vegetarian)
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- 200g mixed vegetables
- (cauliflower florets, diced carrots, diced aubergine, chopped tomato, chopped spring onion)
- 250g cooked rice
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce
1. Cut and clean the vegetables, dice them in small, mouth-sized pieces.
2. Blanch the harder vegetables (cauliflowers, carrots and aubergine) in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry all the vegetables until cooked.
4. Add the cooked rice and sauce mix, stir-fry together for 5 minutes or until the rice is heated through, before serving.
A. Activity Plan
How to make fried rice, a traditional Chinese dish
Use various ingredients like aubergine and spring onion which are common in Asian cuisines.
Use various seasoning source e.g. hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.
Learn cooking techniques - stir-frying and blanching
Learn to use a wok
Increase cultural understanding through learning about Chinese cuisines, utensils like wok and eating culture and tradition
B. Popular ingredients in Chinese dishes
1. Aubergine (Eggplant)
A purple-skinned vegetable, comparable to the familiar American eggplant. Chinese eggplants have thinner skins, a more delicate flavour, and fewer seeds that would otherwise make eggplants taste bitter.
2. Spring Onion
These are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks. They are usually eaten raw, as seasoning, but you can also grill or sauté them.
Despite being native to South America (they were introduced in China in the XVII century by means of foreign trade), tomatoes are widely used in Chinese cuisine, very rarely eaten raw. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that tomatoes have contributed to detoxification, reducing blood pressure and preventing from aging. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Similar to broccoli, cauliflowers have "flower buds", called florets, that can be detached by the main body by cutting the green base. They are a great source of Vitamin K, antioxidants and fibres. In Chinese cuisine they are usually marinated, blanched or cooked in sauté. It is important not to overcook them, as they would lose shape and retain to much water, changing the taste.
Introduced in China in later centuries just like tomatoes, carrots are usually stir-fried and used in many traditional recipes. Carrots are one of the richest sources of the anti-oxidant Beta-Carotene, which helps forming Vitamin A.
C. Chinese Sauces
Oyster sauce is made with oyster extracts from oysters. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce originated since 1888 made with oyster extracts from the finest oysters. Use it as an all-purpose seasoning sauce to uplift the umami taste of meat and vegetables. Traditionally used as a marinade, it is a seasoning for stir-fries, as a condiment for many Chinese dishes.
Lee Kum Kee's Hoisin Sauce is typically used as a glaze for meat or as a dipping sauce. Great when for cooking a crispy aromatic duck and many other Chinese classics such as Kung Pao Chicken. It has a reddish-brown colour, and the taste is salty, sweet and spicy. The word Hoisin is a romanisation of the Chinese word for seafood 海鮮 (pinyin: hoi seen), although it does not contain seafood and tends to be made from soybean paste, garlic, chillies and other spices.
D. Preparation and Cooking techniques
Blanching is a cooking technique wherein food usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.
This technique is often used to cook and soften vegetables that might turn bitter (such as broccoli) when cooked with other techniques, and it is also useful to let the vegetables maintain their shape, texture and vivid colours. In fact, this quick hot-cold alternation slows enzymes that would corrupt the vegetable in the cooking process.
Stir-frying is a technique that, when properly executed, allows foods to be cooked in minutes with very little oil, so that they retain their natural flavours and textures. In Chinese cuisine, this technique is usually executed with a wok, and it is called: chao 炒. The chao technique is similar to the Western technique of sautéing. A small amount of cooking oil is poured down the side of the wok, followed by dry seasoning (for example, ginger and garlic); then, as soon as the seasoning can be smelled, meat, tofu and other ingredients are added and tossed around, agitating the wok with energy.
Sautéing is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking, and quickly stirred both by moving the wok with the hand and by using a spoon or spatula.
When stir-frying rice, Chinese chefs normally use an adequate amount of oil that will ensure the ingredients don't stick to the wok. They will also use high heat and stir-fry in a speedy way. As a result, they will achieve a slightly smoky flavor in their stir-fried rice. Also, they prefer using cold or leftover cooked rice because this rice will become firm and dry, making it easier to separate and avoiding the fried rice turning out mushy.
E. Cooking tools
A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods.
A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia. The most common materials used in making woks today are carbon steel and cast iron. Although the latter was the most common type used in the past, cooks today tend to be divided on which woks are superior, i.e. carbon steel or cast iron.
F. Story behind the dishes
China's economy has long since relied on agricultural production from cultivating the land. The reliance on rice production has led to a strong focus on rice within Chinese cuisine and on developing technologies to improve yields such as irrigation technologies. In many ways China may be considered to have a history of "rice culture."
Archaeologists have found that China began cultivating rice 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. By the Western Zhou Dynasty in 1100 BCE rice was an accepted and important part of the cuisine. During the Han Dynasty 206 BCE - 220 CE rice became central to Chinese culture and diets after improvements to farming techniques.
With rice cultivation dictating how farmers worked the development of the economic cycle revolved around rice planting, from ploughing, weeding, harvest and hoarding. Rice production is hugely labour intensive which in many ways absorbed China's large population. Huge amounts of land in China were suitable for rice cultivation including the middle and lower reaches of the Yantze region and North China region. Rice also created a number of different by-products including wine.
Today rice production in China accounts for 26% of the annual world production.
Traditionally speaking, Chinese always eat steamed rice with meat and vegetables, and tend to measure and cook it for daily consumption, in large quantities. Sometimes, however, not all rice is eaten on the spot. This "left-over" rice does not go wasted! In fact, left-over cooked rice becomes the perfect rice for stir-frying, since it is drier, firmer and less sticky, making the stir-frying process easier. Fresh steamed rice is moister and softer which may not be as good as the left-over cooked rice for stir-frying.
G. 5 A Day: vegetables and fruits in your diet
People (especially children) in the UK have been criticised that they don't eat enough vegetables and fruits. Eating vegetables and fruits can be not boring at all.
The key secret to making it fun, balanced and interesting is variety: not just green and leafy, but also yellow, red orange and even blue and purple! A "5 A Day" diet is recommended which suggest you eat 5 different portions of fruit/vegetables every single day.
These 5 portions should weight each around 80g, making it 400g in total. This plan was created by the World Health Organization to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
It is better if these 5 portions include different fruits and vegetables, as each has different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients: almost all fruit and vegetables count (fresh, frozen, canned, dried or pure juices, not concentrated, or even cooked in stews or pasta!). It is interesting to notice that potatoes do not count, as they mainly provide starch.
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