Hongkongers love fried rice, and arguably the dish is delicious because the oil-coated grains are full of fat and flavour. But can rice taste good without all the unhealthy stuff?
Yes, according to Ivy Ng, president of the Hong Kong Nutrition Association. Consider this baked brown rice recipe contributed by Shing Hin Catering Group's City Top restaurant at City University in Kowloon. 'Flavourful baked rice can be prepared with the use of garlic and fresh basil instead of cream and butter, which add to fat intake,' says Ng.
Brown rice and pumpkin also increases dietary fibre in the dish. Each serving contains an estimated 626 calories, 15 grams of fat, 99 grams of carbs, 30 grams of protein, and 750mg of sodium.
Baked brown rice with pumpkin and seafood
800 grams pumpkin
30 grams brown rice
2 tsp olive oil
Some minced garlic
5 tbsp fish broth
2 oyster mushrooms
2 prawns, rinsed
2 slices squid, rinsed
2 blue mussels, rinsed
2 small fish fillets, rinsed
Some white wine
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetables, diced
6 fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Rinse pumpkin. Cut off its top and discard the seeds. Bake the pumpkin at 190 degrees for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain brown rice. Add 1 tsp oil, minced garlic and some fish broth in a pot. Cook brown rice until 70 per cent done. Set aside.
- Roast oyster mushrooms until dry and aromatic. Set aside.
- Heat the last 1 tsp oil. Add minced garlic, seafood and white wine. Cook ingredients until 70 per cent done.
- Add salt, vegetables, fresh basil, mushrooms and rice. Cook for one minute.
- Transfer seafood and rice into the pumpkin. Bake pumpkin for five more minutes and serve.
Recipe provided by the Health Department as part of its EatSmart@restaurant.hk  campaign. For more information, visit restaurant.eatsmart.gov.hk