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Rice - Suitable for vegetarians

Thank you captain obvious. Believe it, the packet of rice I cooked this evening really does explain rice is suitable for vegetarians. It begs the question is there rice that is unsuitable for vegetarians?

Cooked dinner for the parents this evening, Thai Green Chicken Curry. Nothing fancy, three chicken breasts, sauce from a jar, and a little bit of sweetcorn. Diluted the sauce a bit thin with the milk I used to rinse out the jar and the other cooking juices but after a long time simmering it thickened back up nicely, and the sweetcorn made a nice difference without changing the flavour too much.

Next on the list is cooking some biscuits (no not cookies, biscuits) from our childhood favourite the Mr. Men Cookbook. Haven't done much cooking in years and although I'm as capable as ever progress is much much slower.



you'd be surprised...

...in some packages of "flavoured" rice there are, sometimes, animal-derived products.


One week ago I noticed the label "Suitable for vegetarians" in the envelop of one of those Chinese instant noodle soups. The advertised flavour was Chicken Noodle Soup...

Quim Gil


Making curry using curry paste

Hey Alan,

Since my mother is Thai and I grew up with curry I thought I would share a bit. Since thai curries take a lot of prep work involving grinding up a lot of spices and and cooking them in oil before hand I usually take the shortcut of using curry pastes which come in cans. I use a Maseri brand which can be found in any asian market. I usually use a half a can of spices per can of cocunut milk. Make sure you don't get the low fat milk but do get the unsweetened kind. You can always add sugar later.

What I do is dump a half a can of the milk in with the curry and reduce that and then put the rest of the milk in with the meat. Simmer slow and low until meat is cooked and add vegitables based on individual cooking times.

If you really want to get technical you can brown the meat before hand and then deglaze the pan. What this does is seal in the jucies while drying out the outside which will be more apt to drawing in the spices from the sauce. It also enfuses the sauce with the falvor from the meat when you deglaze the pan.

You can also get a more consitent cook by brazing the meat instead of cooking it on the stovetop which gives uneven heat. To braze, brown the meat and take it out of the pan, setting aside for later use. Put in your liquids to deglaze and spices and reduce the mixture over the stovetop. The more you reduce the more flavor is rendered into the sauce. I would add other spices at this point (salt, pepper, sugar, lime juice, wine) though usually with the cans you will not need to. Actually with lime juice and/or wine I would deglaze with them first. Next put the meat in a oven safe dish or pot. Cover it half way with the sauce (you want some of the meet sticking out or you end up making a soup or stew but not a braze, so this works best with chicken still on the bone or cubes of steak). Insert parchment paper to cover mixture (cut it out to fit inside your pot) and place an inverted aluminam foil cap (basicly push some aluminum foil into the pot and crimp to the sides of the pot). The parchment paper makes sure you don't get an aluminum taste and the aluminum is there for a complete seal. Cover up with the cover for the pot. Put in a 325 degree preheated oven for about 1 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender. When done bring up to the stove and add any quick cooking vegitables (you could have added potatos during the braze but be warned vegitables can get soggy) and cook. If some vegitables take a bit longer you could always start the process with the leftover liquid. Pour the rest of the liquid into the curry, add some more coconut milk or condensed milk if desired and serve with streamed rice.

I don't really think there is any rice that is unsuitable for vegetarians on the market; the "flavoured" rice you'd find in some packages uses only chemical products. Even the chicken falvour is chemically produced. I've had lunch in some hotels in Bangkok and they're only using pure rice spiced by their own chefs.
I'm surprised to hear how many vegetarians buy vegetarian food and find animal derived ingredients in it. And how can they fully nourish their bodies if they don't eat meat? I know they eat other products that have the same amount of proteins and so on. Still, would you make your baby a vegetarian when he first starts eating solid foods? Do you think he will get the necessary elements to grow healthy?
Allie Patchell - email

June 2015



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