Healthy grain bowls don’t have to be all about quinoa and brown rice. Our take on satay with nasi kunyit (traditionally made with glutinous rice and coconut milk) makes good use of fragrant coconut oil, turmeric, jasmine rice and a bunch of tasty spices to yield a delicious rice bowl that’s well-balanced and with plenty of kick. Marinate the chicken well ahead of time to maximise the flavour and make the pineapple and cucumber salad right before digging in to enjoy optimum crunch. The coconut oil and turmeric give the rice a nice richness sans the heaviness of glutinous rice and coconut milk. Your waistline will thank you, too.
For the yellow rice
1 cup rice
1.5 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil (try Cocorosco)
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
For the satay
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, thinly sliced
10 shallots, halved
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 chicken thigh fillets, cubed
For the spicy pineapple and cucumber salad
½ tbsp sambal belacan (try Sing Long brand)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 Japanese cucumber, seeded and diced
½ cup diced unsweetened canned pineapple, drained
1. To cook rice, wash grains till the water runs clear. Place in a rice cooker along with the rest of the ingredients and cook according to rice cooker instructions.
2. To make satay, grind the lemongrass and shallots in a food processor or blender till quite smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and salt.
3. Add the chicken to the bowl of marinade, rub the marinade into the chicken pieces, and let sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight, covered, in the fridge.
4. Thread the cubes of marinated chicken onto bamboo skewers. Grill over a lightly greased hot griddle pan over high heat or in a foil-lined baking tray in an oven preheated to 190°C at the grill setting, for about 15 minutes, turning the skewers halfway through the cooking time.
5. To make the salad, combine sambal belacan, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and stir to form a sauce. Toss the cucumber and pineapple in this dressing.
6. To assemble, scoop cooked rice into a bowl. Top with chicken satay skewers and a heap of salad. Serve immediately.