Many people in Singapore live with their parents, some with two generations under one roof, some with three, or even four too. Since the implementation of the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker, it’s inevitable that the increased interaction leads to more squabbles.
I’m the youngest of three daughters, and my parents are in their early 70s, but god forbid we refer to them as elderly. Sure, they all love having priority queues and discounts at the supermarket, they all enjoy taking public transport at a cheaper price, but from my experience, if you value your life and happy atmosphere at home, remember this: Never remind them of their advanced age (unless it’s to rave about the incredible wealth of experience they’ve garnered in their lifetime).
When the government puts out messages like “Seniors should try their best to stay at home, and let others do their groceries for them”, they’ll agree with the notion, but to actually get them to stay indoors for a full 28 days? The struggle is REAL!
Luckily, my sisters and I outnumber my parents (I hope they don’t regret having me, the third child, at this point, haha), and we’ve managed to limit their movement outdoors with a series of cajoling, emotional blackmail, and possibly an empty threat or two.
My point is, with elderly older folks at home, we have to cook a balanced meal, all while juggling the stresses of working in a less than ideal environment, and possibly even taking care of kids at the same time.
That’s why I enjoy cooking this Thai One-Pot Rice – I can chop everything quickly, toss it into the rice cooker, and the natural flavours of the ingredients and the stock meld together with little effort, into a delicious all-in-one meal.
You can add your own twist to it too, like luncheon meat or tuna, or perhaps serve it as a side to a grilled salmon fillet. Whatever you choose, I hope you and your family will find this recipe just as useful and scrumptious too!
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 2½ cups rice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp galangal, minced
- 4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 5-cm lengths and bruised
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced thinly
- 1 large chili, cut into 1-cm lengths
- ¾ cup carrots, diced
- ¾ cup broccoli, separate stems and florets
- 1 tbsp butter
Put everything but the broccoli florets and butter into the rice cooker. Stir it up so it’s well-mixed, and cook as per normal.
15 mins before the rice is done, pop the lid and add in the broccoli florets and butter. Close the lid and let it continue cooking.
Toss up and serve!
Text, recipe and images by Charmaine Phua. Charmaine hosts the “The Midday Brew” every weekday, 10am-1pm.