Friday, October 14, 2016

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

We have been cooking at home so often that sometimes I just dread eating plain rice, even though its steaming fragrance rice.  I would love to explore cooking flavoured rice but DinoPapa is an old fashion old man someone who love his steaming white rice during dinner so my options are limited. Last year I managed to let him accept the Tomato Rice (after telling him the ingredients and reassure him that it will be tasty) and I've been cooking that quite often.  And yes, it get kinda boring after a while so couple of months back I made the Kimchi Rice, that night I was jittery because honestly, kimchi is an acquired taste; you either love it or hate it to the core, I was prepared to face the almighty "Justice Bao" at dining table.  Luckily that did not happen and turned out that he love it *phew!*

2 weeks ago I made a new flavoured rice, it was a last minute decision because DinoPapa was not feeling well to cook and I did not have any idea what ingredients we had in the fridge.  With limited time to grab ingredients after I knock off from work, I needed some simple dishes ideas.  I scoured the web and thought of making the Cheesy Zuchinni Rice as one pot meal will be great.  It was too late to bring out any chicken thigh, fish or the prawns from the freezer to thaw so I bought a packet of frozen cooked shrimp from the supermarket.  By the time I reach home some of the prawns had thawed, just in time for cooking.

This time I have no fear of meeting "Justice Bao" because DinoPapa sort of got used to eating non-white-steaming rice occassionally, plus there are cheese and he do love cheese! Since cheese sort of fill the stomach up I cooked lesser than usual rice that day... BIG MISTAKE!!!  The rice was so delicious that we all would love to have 2nd helping but was disappointed when there were none.  

This rice is as versatile as the Tomato Rice but its has more flavour, perhaps of the onion and garlic that was used to cook with the rice.  Every grain of the rice is moist and cheesy, I burnt some of the cheese accidentally (forgot to watch the fire) but turned out that it adds a bit of chow tar crunch to the rice.  However if its burnt and blacken, please throw that portion away as it is unhealthy to consume them.  I love zucchini so I got DinoBoy to diced it, it adds a bit of crunch in the rice but if you do not like that you can either julienne or grate it with a grater for a lesser crunch.

I have always and only cook rice in the rice cooker and when I'm cooking in the office its in the Electric Lunch Box, never would I think that I will cook it in any other way.  This rice uses the skillet to cook, truth be told I wasn't sure if it will be successful or not but I just went ahead, the worse scenario will be a ruined dinner with 1 unhappy boy and 1 "Justice Bao", not the first time that happened in the family too.  And the recipe calls for long grain rice but I did not have it and didn't want to spend money to get a new packet of rice so I just use our normal fragrance rice, works just as well too.

So, I started off by frying the diced onions and minced garlic in melted margarine, the aroma of these 3 ingredients are heavenly!  It made DinoPapa came into the kitchen to check out the smell and see what am I cooking.  

Next I added in the washed rice to fry it for a while, remember to drain all the water otherwise you will have oil splatter all over the stove and yourself too!

20 mins or so later, the rice is done! It has absorbed all the chicken stock, its time to add in the cheese, margarine and zucchini. When they have all melted and mixed with the rice, you can stir in the prawns or whatever ingredients you have prepared and set aside earlier.  The last thing to do is serve them hot, sit down and enjoy it with your family!

I used shrimp this time and it was delicious, I am now thinking what other side dish I can make to go with this Cheesy Zucchini Rice the next time I make it.  I reckon it will be in the near future because the taste is so unforgettable, the plus point is that it takes only 30mins to cook it! 

* 1.5 cups rice, washed
* 1 Japanese zucchini, diced/grated
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 knobs of butter/margarine, separated

1. Melt 1 knob butter/margarine in skillet using medium heat, be careful not to burnt it.
2. Add in the onion and garlic, sauté till onion is soft and translucent.
3. Add in washed rice, stir continuously for about 1-2 mins.
4. Add in the chicken stock, turn the fire to high to bring it to boil.  After that, bring the fire down to low, cover the skillet and let it simmer for 15-20mins or till the the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
5. Add the Cheddar & Parmesan cheese, zucchini and the other knob of butter/margarine to the hot rice, mix them up ensuring that the cheese and butter/margarine melts and coat all the rice.
6.  Stir in any ingredients you have prepared earlier.
7.  Serve while hot.

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  1. Yummy!! I tasted this like recipe(saffron rice) in my Canada trip last year. Hope to try it soon.