Anyone who knows me well and knows my philosophy on food (and life) will understand why ‘Minimum Waste, Maximum Taste’ resonates with me. I’m the cook who gets three meals out of a roast chook – roast on the first night, fried rice with chicken bits on the second, and soup from the carcass on the third night.
So I was very happy to be invited to do a virtual live cooking class with Diana Chan, to not only see how she whips up an impressive Fried Rice (check out the recipe that follows) but also to hear about a worthwhile collaboration she is involved in with P’Nut Street Noodles.
P’Nut, if you’re not familiar with it, sells southeast Asian style street food through a string of restaurants in Sydney, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. I really like the freshness and authenticity of their dishes. They make their sauces from scratch and are not afraid to use robust flavours rather than adapting recipes to suit a perceived blander Australian palate.
Diana, winner of MasterChef in 2017, is on a mission to reduce food waste. The issue resonates strongly with her, like it does for me (and as it hopefully also does with our readers). It is estimated that 7.3 million tonnes of food are wasted in Australia each year, when around 65 percent of daily food waste could be repurposed. The wastage accounts for more than 5 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Diana has joined forces with P’Nut in an initiative called Asian Soul Food Minimum Waste, Maximum Taste, designed to raise public awareness of food waste and inspiring Australians to become more resourceful and creative with their food scraps.
Inspired by her Malaysian heritage, she created four dishes that cut back on waste (but not flavour). These include her delicious Malaysian Fried Rice (and yes, we’ll get to the recipe soon!), Black Pepper Noodles, Malaysian Hearty Soup, and Pork Belly Wonton Dumplings, all made with bits and pieces of bok choy, broccoli stems, ginger, shallots and carrot ends that would otherwise be wasted.
The menu is available until August 31 across all P’Nut locations. They can also be ordered online (takeaway or home delivery). P’Nut general manager, Petra Orrenius, says that since the initiative was launched on June 1, it has prevented more than 500 kilograms of vegetables ending up in landfill, as well as reducing P’Nut’s carbon footprint by an estimated 460 kilograms. That’s nothing to be sneezed at.
When Diana was demonstrating this recipe in her virtual live cooking class, she made it clear that you could play around with it and substitute ingredients depending on what you have on hand. “There’s really no rule book with fried rice, you can use anything,” she said. It’s all part of the fun and is a great way of using up all those bits of veg lurking at the back of the fridge.
Diana says her Malaysian Fried Rice is best served with prawns, but I’d sneak a little bit of chicken into it too!
Recipe For Malaysian Fried Rice
250g cooked jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic oil
35g P’Nut Secret Sambal Sauce (can be switched out for regular Sambal Oelek Sauce)
1 tablespoon Knorr
30g capsicum, medium dice
20g green beans, small dice
30g carrot baton
30g white onion, sliced
30g bok choy
vegetable oil for frying
5 pieces of silken fried tofu
6 to 8 Australian prawns
15g soy sauce and 15g tamarind sauce, mixed together well
sliced chilli to serve
lemon slice to serve
1. Begin by cutting all the vegetables, making sure to use all parts, including the broccoli stem.
2. Prepare the jasmine rice.
3. Blanch the prawns, tofu and vegetables in hot water for 5 seconds. Put aside.
4. In a large wok over medium high heat, add the oil and allow it to heat up. Add the egg and toss around for 30 seconds.
5. Add the rice, along with seasoning to the wok, blending it all together on high heat for 30 seconds.
6. Add the blanched prawns, tofu and vegetables to the wok with the garlic.
7. Continue to toss the ingredients together in the wok for another 30 seconds.
8. Remove the wok from the heat and plate up immediately. Serve with chilli, P’Nut Secret Sambala Sauce and a slice of lemon.
With thanks to P’Nut and Diana Chan for providing the above recipe and for inviting me to take part in this fun cooking session.