Go Lay Cai Peng (Cabbage Rice)

When I rang my grandmother a few weeks ago, she mentioned that my Mum had just cooked her Go Lay Cai (White Cabbage) Peng (Rice) for dinner. Suddenly, that made me crave for this very Hokkien dish which I grew up on. In that instant, I could distinctly smell and taste the dish and I wanted to eat it desperately!

If you haven’t had it before, it is essentially an all-in-one dish (like claypot rice) which saves the cook the hassle of having to prepare multiple dishes to go with white rice. We would usually have this special rice along with some watery congee. Apart from Cabbage Rice, we also used to have Cai Dao Peng (Long Bean Rice) and Dua Cai Peng (Chinese Mustard Rice).

For days I kept thinking about Cabbage Rice ever since my grandmother put that idea in my head but I didn’t know how to cook it! So Mum came to the rescue by giving teaching me over the phone.

I was lucky I had the essential ingredients, which are dried shrimps and dried Chinese mushrooms. Without them two, it would be difficult to achieve the taste.

I soaked the shrimps and mushrooms before frying them with onions and garlic and then added small pieces of pork, shredded white cabbage and carrot. When the rice was about 90% cooked in the rice cooker, I dumped all the ingredients in there and gave it a good stir. Then I left it in the rice cooker to stew until the rice was ready.

It turned out to be a pretty authentic Cabbage Rice I must say, although if I were to do it again I would use chunks of bacon or Chinese lap cheong instead of British pork, which has a rather unpleasant smell.

When R came home he said the food smelt like Singapore, which was to me a big compliment!

Verdict? Desperation makes good chefs.

Explore posts in the same categories: Food, Life

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