On The Side

Easy and Quick Fried Rice. Transform your Leftovers!

Quick Fried Rice

Munch Munch

As regular readers know, I hate wasting any kind of food. After serving up some smashing tacos for dinner this week I had some kaffir lime infused rice leftover, not wanting to toss it, I popped it in the fridge to make something for lunch with it the next day.

Gathering bits and pieces from the fridge that wouldn’t be missed I tossed together a quick and easy Fried Rice that only took ten minutes tops. The beauty of Fried Rice is it’s like Bubble and Squeak, you really can throw anything in. You can use any vegetables (or not), just make sure you cut them small so they cook quickly.

You don’t need the Shaoxing/Chinese Rice wine if you don’t have it, it’s delicate flavour just adds to the overall taste. It’s always in my cupboard because of a few staple meals I make call for it. However, it is really cheap $2-$3 L and lasts for ages. You’ll find it in the International Foods Aisle or your local Asian Grocer will have it.

Serves 1 (lunch for one/side serve for 2)


  • 1 Cup Boiled Rice, I infused mine with a few crushed Kaffir Lime leaves. (this was done the night before for dinner so was dried out, if you’re cooking fresh boil the rice as you normally would, spread it out on a plate and whack in the freezer to help reduce the stickiness of it. A plate not bowl is preferable due to the larger surface area).
  • 1 Tsp Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Small Brown Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Small knob Ginger, about an inch, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano or Thai Chilli, chopped
  • 1 Chinese Sausage, sliced thinly, or any other meat/protein will do
  • 4 Button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 Shallot, quartered
  • 1 Capful Shaoxing or Chinese Rice Wine for Cooking, the light brown stuff not the white (the white is useless)
  • 1 Splash Tamari or GF Soy Sauce
  • Handful Fresh Herbs, like Coriander or Thai Basil


  • 1 Eshcallot finely sliced
  • Squeeze of Sriracha or your favourite Hot Sauce.

Heat a little of the oil in your fry pan or wok. Once the oil starts heating lift your pan from the elements and swirl it a little to get an even coating. Crack your Egg and cover with a lid or even Pizza tray to ensure the yolk area sets nicely.

While the egg is cooking, prep the vegies etc. Once the yolk is milky and the whites set, remove egg from the pan and place on some paper towel whilst you cook the rest.

Add the rest of the vegetable oil and saute the Onion, Ginger, Chilli and Garlic until aromatic. Cook your Chinese Sausage or Protein, once sealed or heated through add the Mushrooms and Shallot, cook for a few minutes until soft.

Add the rice and thoroughly mix the ingredients, toss the pan a little to help coat the rice with all the flavours.  Add the Shaoxing/Chinese rice wine and splash of Tamari. Cook for a further two minutes.

Remove from heat, toss in the herbs and plate up. Top the rice with your fried egg and eschollot and squirt on the Sriracha or your favourite hot sauce. 

Easy As.



Open Sesame! Wombok Crunchy Noodle Salad

Asian Crunch Salad

Munch Munch Munch

My partner’s Mum makes this Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad all the time and it is just amazing. So very easy, so very tasty and oh my lordy so very munchy! Such a simple recipe that everyone will love. If it’s just the two of you prep everything and set aside half the cabbage mix leaving out half the nuts, noodles and dressing for the next day you serve it up (prevents serious sog factor).


Serves 6 large side portions


  • 1 baby wombok or half regular wombok (Chinese Cabbage)
  • 6 eschallots, sliced on an angle
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted (100g packet is perfect)
  • 1 packet GF Crispy Noodles (Chang’s Gluten Free Crunchy Noodles are great and cheap)


  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs sesame oil (original recipe is only teaspoons but regular readers will know I love sesame oil)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • little less than 1/4 cup caster sugar, I find the full 1/4 a little too sweet and need to compensate with a little sea salt if I have to ( I use raw caster sugar)
  • 1 tbs gf soy sauce or tamari (Kikkomans is fab)

In a wee frypan gently toast your almonds until lightly tanned, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Remove the hard end of the wombok (love that word) and slice the cabbage in about 1cm thick pieces (for the tough bits chop a little smaller).

Slice up the escahllots and toss together with the cabbage.

In a large jam jar or whatever you use to shake your salad dressings about in add all of the dressing ingredients. Shake it (with lid on like a maraca until sugar has dissolved).

Just before serving dress the wombok mix, add the almonds and noodles and toss a little more. Serve up and munch out!


Potato Salad

Munch Munch

I just adore eating potato salad with BBQ’ed food and made it myself for the first time on the weekend. Very happy with the results, in fact I wouldn’t change the recipe – first time luck I guess. BTW everyone at the BBQ loved the salad and there was none left in the bowl. To make it vego just omit the bacon :)



Makes enough for hosting a BBQ, lets say 10 small side serves – don’t be freakin greedy

  • 1 kg baby ruby potatoes, halved (or your favourite spud cut into bite size pieces), in Australia you can only buy these at Woolworths
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 5 rashes bacon, torn and grilled
  • 6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
  • large handful or two button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (stuff from the bottle is fine for this)
  • 2 tsp hot english mustard, not generous, flat.
  • handful continental parsley, chopped
  • 3 eschallots, ribboned or finely sliced
  • 1/2 handful toasted pine nuts (optional)

In a large pot add the halved/chopped potatoes, a little salt and cold water (enough to drown the spuds), cover with lid and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until potatoes are soft enough to skewer with a knife. If you’re not sure, take one out and try it. Potatoes should be just cooked, they will continue to cook a little while longer as they cool on the bench. Careful not to overcook you don’t want floury potatoes.

Meanwhile under a high temperature on your grill, cook the bacon pieces. Keep an eye on them, they can burn pretty easily.

Also (now you’re multitasking) pop the eggs on to hard boil too. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk til smooth. Then add the onion, mushrooms and chopped parsley. Pop in the potatoes and cover with the sauce then stir through the bacon and eggs.

Cover bowl with glad wrap/cling film/plastic wrap and pop in the fridge to chill. 

Just before serving put the potato mix into your favourite salad bowl and top with the pine nuts and eschallots.

Handy Hint: Serve this salad in a more flat salad dish/serving tray (nothing to steep) as you don’t want all that gorgeous sauce sitting in the bottom of the dish and dry potatoes on the top. Also I’ve had this in the fridge for three days and was still super tasty, I reckon it could go another two.


South Western Quinoa

Munch Munch

I came across this really interesting sounding recipe via Twitter feed by Cooking with Quinoa author Wendy Polisi (@cookingquinoa) after she started following me (@munchglutenfree) and my mouth started watering instantly! Made the recipe within a few ours of the discovery and had to substitute a few bits due to availability in Australia, the only thing I will change next time with regards to flavour is to add fresh coriander leaves, as I reckon it will really help it sing.



Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (orig is chili powder)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (orig is 1 teaspoon garlic powder), I only ever use fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp tobasco sauce


  • 400g tin four bin mix drained and rinsed (orig is 1 cup cooked black beans, I have never been able to find these)
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 eschalots, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (I toasted mine first)

Prepare your quinoa as you normally would (I microwave mine to 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes). Except instead of cooking plain, add the first set of ingredients and then after cooking allow to sit covered for an additional five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, honey and tobasco sauce. Whisk until well combined.

In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, beans, tomatoes, red onions, eschalots and avocado.

Toss with dressing and top with pine nuts.

Handy hint: Avocado tends to go brown if left out for too long, although the citrus juice should stop it from discolouring I would add the avo just before serving up. Also with these style of Quinoa salads, the earlier you make it in the day the better it tastes as the little quinoa balls are able to absorb all those amazing flavours better.

2nd Handy Hint (you lucky ducks): Pine nuts are amazing in simple green/green/garden salads. Instead of going through the effort of toasting them each time you make a salad, the first time you open the pack, toast them all at one and then store the rest in a plastic container, they really add another flavour dimension to simple salads and they’re good for you. To toast, simply pop a fry pan on a low heat (no oil or anything) and sprinkle in the nuts, gently warm them until they get a little colour and then take off the heat and allow to cool.


Asian Glass Noodle Salad, recipe by Ms Nigella Lawson

Munch Munch Munch

I have recruited the lovely Nigella Lawson this evening and her salad is a knockout.  So I used a bought BBQ Chicken. This is such a great little dish – no stove, no pots, no cooking. The secret to a really flavoursome glass noodle salad is too make sure the noodles are well and truly drained, sticky, not slippery.



Serves 6 Sides

For The Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, deseeded and finely diced (I only had one in the fridge, so I left in the seeds and added two shakes of dried chilli flakes)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 60ml water
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For The Salad

  • 250g bbq chicken, cut into fine strips (Nigella used Turkey)
  • 175g glass noodles (also called cellophane noodles) I used 250g, that’s the size the packet came in and I couldn’t detach the extras (you’ll see why if you make this)
  • 125g sugar snap peas
  • 125g beansprouts
  • 3 eschallots, sliced into thin circles
  • 1/2 Spanish Onion (my add, my eschollots were very thin so I thought I’d need more onion, the purple added much need colour too)
  • small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • Or if you’re Vegetarian, instead why not replace the chicken with blanched asparagus, finely sliced snow peas, mushrooms and capsicum. I know I’ll add more vegies next time :)
First make the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together. Use an old jam jar with a lid – handy for really mixing the ingredients together.
Soak the noodles in a large bowl in freshly boiled water (from a kettle) until they look clear when you hold them up singly. Refresh the noodles in cold water, then drain. Pop them back into the large bowl once thoroughly drained.
Put the sugar snaps into an bowl and pour over boiling water from a kettle. Let them sit for about two minutes or so. Add beansprouts after a minute. Drain.
Add the eshallots and onion to the noodles and mix the dressing and toss until all of the noodles are coated. This may take a bit as each noodle considers the other its best friend and it can be hard to get the dressing into the middle of the noodle pile at first.
Now add the chicken, beansprouts and sugar snap peas and toss some more.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander over and toss everything together well before arranging on a large plate or in a bowl.

Handy Hint: Nigella says the dressing can be made and kept in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Another Handy Hint: Check your ml guide on your measuring spoons as Nigella says in her recipe 1tbs (15 ml) my own measuring spoons I bought here in Australia say 1 tbs (20 ml). You want to make sure you don’t add too much especially when using strong sauces like Fish Sauce – eek.


Quinoa and Paprika Pumpkin

Quinoa Salad Munch Munch

I just love this salad. We eat this most weeks accompanied by a piece of grilled salmon fillet. The zesty tang of the salad helps cut through grease, so perfect for eating with oily fish or BBQed meats. I found the recipe on the Gluten Free Goddess site, and adapted it to make it a little more filling with the Roasted Paprika Pumpkin.



Serve 4 large sides

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinse in a fine sieve
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbs of light olive oil
  • 2 limes (juice only, zest not required)
  • 2 Cloves of garlic crushed
  • Salt and Pepper – couple of twists
  • 4 Spings of fresh mint finely chopped
  • 1/3 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 2 eschallots finely sliced
  • 1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
  • Sprinkle of paprika 
  • 200g pumpkin (roughly), chopped into smallish salad friendly sized piece


Place oven on about 180 degrees. Chop the pumpkin and spray with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Pop in the pumpkin in the oven to roast away whilst you do the rest.

In a microwave safe dish place one cup of uncooked rinsed quinoa to 2 cups of water, stir with a fork and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the microwave and cover  the quinoa and let it stand on the bench for at least 15 minutes (the longer is stays covered the more fluffier and lighter the quinoa will become).

Once the quinoa is cooked just add the rest of the ingredients and gently fork through. Easy Peasy.

Handy Hint: If you can make this salad several hours before, do, it means the Quiona can absorb all the flavours. I have had it last in my fridge for four days and it’s tasted great. Just like Spaghetti the older it is, the better it tastes! You can also add some more vegetables like capsicum and beans to the mix to make it more filling.

P.S It’s pronounced “Kin-Wa”



Feel free to comment on this post or ask any questions about the recipe!

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