Food Trail

Delicious and simple Ramadan meals to cook on a budget

Ramadan this year teaches us to be more mindful of our spending and to focus more on our ibadah. If you’re looking for ideas to create iftar dishes while on a budget, you’ve come to the right place. Since trips to the grocery store are few and far between during this social distancing period, we’ve created dishes that you can prepare with basic ingredients that you probably already have in the fridge. Hop on!

 

Stir-fried chicken and bok choy 

Credit: Rasa Malaysia

This one-pan dish is super simple to make! If you don’t have bok choy, don’t worry as you can replace it with other leafy greens such as spinach or kailan. You can also add sliced carrots, mushrooms or baby corn if you wish!

 

You’ll need:

200g boneless chicken breast

Bok choy

2 tbsp cooking oil

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced 

 

Marinade:

 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

 

Sauce:

1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp water

1/4 tsp sesame oil

3 dashes white pepper

1/2 tsp sugar

 

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken with the Marinade for 10 minutes. 
  2. Prepare the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well.
  3. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan in medium heat. 
  4. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it is cooked. Set aside. 
  5. Add the remaining oil into the pan and heat up again. 
  6. Add the ginger into the pan and stir-fry until aromatic. 
  7. Add the chicken and bok choy back into the wok and stir. 
  8. Pour the sauce into the pan and continue to stir-fry until the bok choy is cooked but remain crisp. 
  9. Serve while it’s hot with steamed white rice.

 

Crispy anchovies and potato

Credit: Nabilah Zullkipli

This one will bring back childhood memories! You can omit the chilis if you don’t want it to be spicy.

 

You’ll need:

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 handful anchovies

1 piece potato, sliced thinly

2 whole red chili, minced

2 whole green chili, minced

1 tbsp cooking oil

Salt to taste

 

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, add oil and fry the potato until crispy. Set aside. 
  2. Fry the anchovies until crispy. Set aside.
  3. Saute garlic, shallots, red and green chilis until fragrant.
  4. Add in potato and anchovies. Stir to combine.
  5. Done! Best served with hot steamed rice.

 

Do note that some types of anchovies are already very salty, so you may want to season with salt only after adding the anchovies. 

 

Stir-fried turmeric chicken

Credit: Dish by Ili

This can be included in your weekly rotation. Takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook, plus it uses ingredients that are already in your pantry! You can also add other vegetables such as cauliflower and carrots.

 

You’ll need:

200g boneless chicken breast, cut into strips

French bean or long bean, cut into 2-inch strips

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp oil

1/2 onion, sliced

1 whole red chili, deseeded and cut into thick strips

3 tbsp water

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

 

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken with the turmeric powder and oyster sauce for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat up the wok and add oil. Stir-fry the onion until aromatic, add the chicken and stir briefly.
  3. Add the red chili and French beans, and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Add the water into the wok and continue to cook the chicken.
  5. Season with sugar and salt (to taste), and continue stirring until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

 

Chinese-style broccoli with mushrooms

An easy and delicious vegetable dish? Yes, please!

 

You’ll need:

1 large head of broccoli, cut into small pieces

8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Half a carrot, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove, minced

1-inch ginger, sliced thinly

Half a medium-sized red onion, chopped

2 tbsp oil

Dash of sesame oil

1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in some water

Salt and white pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for half a minute, then set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, and then saute the garlic, onion and ginger until aromatic. 
  3. Add carrots, mushrooms and a bit of water (2-3 tbsp), and stir-fry for two minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Add the broccoli and a bit of water, and stir-fry for another two minutes. 
  5. Add the oyster sauce.
  6. Add the diluted cornstarch and mix well. Let the sauce boil for a minute until it thickens.
  7. Serve with hot steamed rice.

 

Ginger and soy steamed fish

Here’s one for the fish lovers. Steaming is one of the best ways to cook fish as it retains the sweetness. It’s also healthier!

 

You’ll need:

1 medium-sized fish such as sea bass, flounder, halibut, or snapper

6 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tbsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)

 

Garnish:

1/4 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves

4 stalks thinly sliced green onions

 

Method:

  1. Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels. 
  2. Place the fish in a glass dish or a large microwavable dish.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients (except for the coriander and green onions) until well combined. 
  4. Pour evenly over the fish, ensuring that both sides of fillets are coated with the sauce. Place the fish in a steamer and cook for about 8 minutes, until the fish flakes easily when prodded with the tip of a knife.
  5. When the fish is ready, carefully remove the plate from the steamer.
  6. Garnish the fish with the coriander and green onions. 
  7. Carefully serve while hot.

 

These recipes are so easy that even a novice cook can ace it. We hope you’re staying safe and healthy. Selamat berbuka puasa!

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