Fragrant Vietnamese Rice
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons dried shrimp
2 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
225 g (8 oz) onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons shallots, finely sliced
3 tablespoons spring onions, finely chopped
2 red or green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Peel the lemongrass stalk to the tender whitish centre and cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces. Smash with the flat side of a cleaver or knife. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain well. In a food processor, process the dried shrimp until it is chopped. Remove and set aside.
- Fill the first level of the microwave rice cooker with raw rice and then the second level with water. Cooked the rice as instructed for the first half of time.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a wok over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the lemongrass and shrimp and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Then add the onions, garlic, shallots, spring onions, chillies, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
- Carefully remove the top of the rice cooker, then the interior cover, add mixture from the wok. Give the mixture a few stirs. Recover the rice cooker and finish cooking the rice with the fragrant mixture.