What can you make with a rice cooker… other than rice? I took on the challenge and made a totally delicious curry noodle soup – I even surprised myself! Topped with crispy noodles, shredded greens, a jammy egg and tempura prawns, the end result was a dish to remember. No rice cooker? No worries – you can absolutely use your stovetop instead.
150g (5 oz) dried rice vermicelli noodles
½ bunch bok choy, finely sliced, to serve
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
10 curry leaves
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
5 small dried chillies
1 tsp Vegemite
4 chicken stock cubes
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
sea salt, to taste
6 tofu puffs
1½ tsp fish sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
¼ cup cornflour (cornstarch), plus ½ cup extra for coating
½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp sea salt
4 large prawns, peeled and deveined
For the soup, heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic cloves to a mortar and pound with a pestle to a rough paste, then add to the hot oil. Now add curry leaves, garam masala and salt and give the pan a shake to disperse the flavours evenly throughout the oil. Crush the dried chillies with the mortar and pestle and then add to the spiced oil as well as the Vegemite. Now give everything a stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Add the spiced oil to the rice cooker. Crumble in stock cubes, then add 1 litre (1 qt) of water and the shiitake mushrooms. Select the Slow Cook/Soup function on the rice cooker and set the timer for 30 minutes. Press start. Alternatively, you can do this on the stovetop and cook the soup gently for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt to your liking. Then add the tofu puffs and allow them to soak in the soup for about 5 minutes. Season with fish and soy sauce. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, for the tempura prawns, place vegetable oil into a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Line a baking tray with some kitchen paper. While the oil is heating, place the cornflour, plain flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in 1 cup of water, then mix to create a thin batter. Place the extra half cup of cornflour in a separate bowl. Dip prawns into the cornflour, then tap off any excess before placing in the batter. Ensure the prawns are evenly coated in the batter, then carefully place into the hot oil (it will be hot enough for frying at 160°C/320°F, or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small bubbles). Cook, in batches, for 2-3 minutes or until the batter is crisp and the prawns are cooked through. Then transfer prawns to your lined tray to drain.
For the crispy noodles, take one-third of the dried noodles and place in the hot oil you used for the tempura prawns for 10 seconds or until all puffed up and golden. Use chopsticks or tongs to remove from the oil and drain on some paper towel. Set aside for later.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring some water to the boil, then add the remaining dried noodles and the eggs. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions – they should take around 5-6 minutes. For soft-boiled eggs, cook them for 6 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cool water to stop them cooking further. Peel shell from eggs and set aside for later. Once the noodles are just tender, divide them among serving bowls.
Ladle some of the spicy soup over the noodles, then top with a couple of tofu puffs. Cut soft-boiled eggs in half and add to the serving bowl, along with a couple of tempura prawns, some of the shredded bok choy and crispy noodles.
– Fried tofu puffs are great in soups. They have a great chewy texture and really soak up all the flavour of your liquid. Find them in an Asian grocer.
– This dish was made using the Panasonic SR-CN188WST 10-cup rice and multi cooker. For more information, visit Panasonic’s Website