Up until about a year ago I really didn’t eat much brown rice, probably due to the fact the sort of brown rice I grew up with tasted like cardboard; claggy and bland ~ overall just rotten. So I was pleasantly surprised when I ate it again here in Oz after about 15 years of being a one-and-only white basmati fan. To be honest I rarely eat the latter much anymore as I just prefer the texture of brown rice. My husband started to cook brown medium-grain for dinners about 12 months ago and now we are hooked.
I love its nuttiness and it is a superb source of fibre, so great for keeping you healthy inside. 1 cup contains just under 100 calories; 2 grams of fat, including omegas-3 and 6 fatty acids and has no cholesterol = thumbs up all round, and is great if you are trying to lose weight as it really fills you up and keeps hunger pangs at bay. I normally get a bit puckish about 1.5 hours after dinner as I’m a bit a grazer, but find if I include brown rice in my dinners, in the form of a stir fry or salad I never think of food for the rest of the evening. I often pair it with chicken, but these garlicky prawns work wonderful with it and are packed full of great spicy, sweet and salty flavour.
2 cups medium grain brown rice
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 green + red chilli, both finely minced
4 large cloves garlic, peeled + minced
350g peeled + cleaned, green prawns
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup capers (non-salted)
4 radishes, sliced paper thin on a mandolin or carefully by hand
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
Handful coriander + mint leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt flakes + freshly ground black pepper
Olive + rice bran oil for cooking
Extra coriander leaves
Extra crushed peanuts to scatter
Lemon or lime wedges
Into a mixing bowl add the fish sauce, vinegar, minced green and red chilli, minced garlic and the zest of 1 and juice of 2 limes. Stir then add the prawns, cover and marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
30 minutes before you are ready to cook the prawns, add rice into a medium-sized saucepan and cover with 4 cups (1 litre) water. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and rinse rice well under cold water, drain thoroughly then add into a mixing bowl. Pour in 1 tablespoon EVOO, coat well then season to taste with salt and freshly ground
While rice is cooking, fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. Set aside near the sink.
Half-fill a medium-sized saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the broccoli florets and boil for 1 or 2 minutes max. Then quickly drain and plunge into the bowl of iced water. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before draining again.
Warm a heavy-duty, non-stick frying pan or skillet warm over high heat. Add the marinated prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes until opaque, orange in colour and cooked through ~ be careful not to overcook or they will end up a rubbery disaster!
Retaining the juices in the pan, remove prawns using a slotted spoon and allow to rest in a mixing bowl for a minute or two before adding 1 tablespoon of EVOO and the juice of 1 lime, coat well and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
To assemble the salad; add the cooking juices from the pan into the seasoned brown rice and coat thoroughly. Then add the broccoli florets, thinly sliced radish, crushed peanuts and 1/2 the prawns. Stir all together and turn out onto a serving platter. Scatter the remaining prawns over the top, a few fresh coriander leaves and a few extra crushed peanuts. Serve with extra lime or lemon wedges (optional).