Poke bowl black rice – East meet West meal

We are back again to this crazy rush for food as Government reinstate the lockdown again. I am glad to have found black rice as there are none aborio rice which I intended to make risotto. My poke bowl black rice is high in fiber, and vitamin E. So back to food from pantry, freezer and fridge. I have leftovers colourful vegetables that I have freeze in the freezer, yoghurt salad and pickled gingers. This should go well again with black rice.

Do you have the sudden urge for another food while waiting for the freeze food to thaw? I do most of the time. Today, I suddenly felt like eating fried chili sauce okra and ma po tofu; I decided to add it in with pickled gingers, colourful vegetables, and yoghurt salad as I don’t like wasting food. Call my mother to see if she has grandma fried chili okra recipe.

She could not find grandma recipe. So, I make the ingredients from memory of recipes I had browse awhile ago and scratch to get the taste I wanted: extra hot chili taste. I am pleased that it is a complete spicy hot, healthy, comfort, beautiful, colourful and delicious. This is like East meet West meal. Let’s cook!!!


Ma po tofu

1 block silken tofu, firm, drain the water from the tofu and cut into small pieces
500 g minced pork
3 Tbs chili bean paste
3 Tbs chili oil
3 Tbs XO chili oil (OPT)
1 Tbs light soy sauce
2 Tsp garlic minced
1/2 cup water
olive oil
black pepper

Fried chili sauce okra

500 g okras, sliced diagonally
1 Tbs garlic, minced
6-8 fresh red chilies
1 small piece Belacan about 20 g
2-4 Tbs white sugar
1 Tsp sambal chili prawn
1 Tbs XO chili oil (given by friend)
olive oil
salt to taste
a little bit of water (OPT)

Black rice

1/2 cup black rice, wash, soak overnight with salted-1/8 Tsp salt enough water
1 1/2 cups water
1/8 Tsp sea salt
2-4 Tsp matchsticks pickled ginger


300 g red cabbage, cut into bite size
1 small of each red and green capsicums, cut into bite size
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1/8 c sweet white wine
Dashes of balsamic vinegar
Worcester sauce

Yoghurt salad

1 medium size carrot, julienne
1 medium size cucumber, tiny bite size
200 g yoghurt
1 Tbs lime juice
1/2 Tbs oil
1 garlic, zest

Garnish (OPT)

3 Tbs pink pickled ginger


Put belacan on a small piece of aluminium foil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Toast it, turning it frequently, until belacan darkens slightly, has fragrance strong “stench” smells, and it becomes dry and crumbly. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, cut carrot into julienne. Then cucumber into half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon scrape the soft seed in the middle out.Then cut into tiny bite size, place in a muslin cloth or paper towel. Squeeze the juices out. Make sure its dry then put in a metal bowl. Now add carrot, yoghurt, grate garlic, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to incorporated. Place in fridge until needed about 30 minutes.

Next drain rice, and fill with water slightly above the rice in a pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil. Meantime stir rice to prevent sticking to bottom of pot for about 5 minutes. Now lower heat to simmer a further 10 minutes. Stir again until water reduced to half. Next add matchsticks pickled ginger and salt. Let it continue to cook and stirring until rice is cooked a further 5 minutes. Then remove from hob and set aside cover pot.

Once belacan has cool down, blend belacan with chili in a blender into a thick, rough paste. If the paste is too thick, add a little bit of water. Then add sugar and continue until just incorporated. Heat up frying pan and add oil. Stir fry garlic and add okras, blended chilies belacan paste, sambal chili prawn, XO chili sauce and salt. Stir fry for about 4-5 minutes until the okra becomes sticky-slimy and cooked.

Next to cook vegetables. In a frying pan, heat oil on high heat. Fry garlic until fragrant. Add cabbage, fry for about 5 minutes until tender. Then add red and green capsicums continue to cook about 4 minutes. Now add wine, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, Toss to mix well and until wine reduced a bit and vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat. If it cool down, reheat again.

To cook ma po tofu. Heat up a frying pan and pour in oil and chili oil. Add garlic, pork, chili bean paste and stir fry until pork is half done. Now add in soy sauce, XO chili oil and stir-fry until aromatic. Next add in tofu and water; stir gently to blend the tofu (don’t break them) well with the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7 mins or until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir and mixed well.

Now spoon cooked rice onto bowl. Followed by yoghurt salad, vegetables and garnish with pink pickled ginger, ma po tofu and fried chili sauce okra in the centre. Drizzle the chili sauce over it. Serve it with a glass of red wine.

Note: you can omit the yoghurt salad if you don’t want it. Or the fried chili sauce okra. You can make the yoghurt salad and the fried chili sauce okra or even ma po tofu; one day in advance. It can absorbs the flavour more the next day.

I used the leftovers colourful vegetables and yoghurt and garnish with pickled ginger. These two dishes can also be prepared and cooked one day advance. It’s your choice.

The original recipe for poke bowl black rice yoghurt salad only : https://helenscchin.com/2020/06/19/poke-bowl-black-rice-yoghurt-salad/