Friday, December 7, 2012

Kai Si Ming recipe

I've been in a total cooking funk lately so I turned to my friends for inspiration. One of them, Penny, told me about her magic one-pot dish that's frugal, low-grain, easy to make and the whole family enjoys. Kai Si Ming.

A bit of research online told me Kai Si Ming hit the NZ dinner scene sometime in the 60s, when recipes for it started popping up in women's magazines, Plunket newsletters and the like.

Kai Si Ming is an Asian-inspired (but still truly Kiwi) one-pot mince and rice dinner that you may remember from your childhood. I don't think it's a recipe my Mum cooked for us, although I definitely remember the Kiwi classic, Curried Sausages.

Anyway, long story short, I cooked Kai Si Ming earlier this week and the girls loved it. They ate the leftovers for breakfast another two mornings. Sophie especially loved trying to say "Kai Si Ming." It does have a nice ring to it.

The recipe I made was a mix of the one Penny had described, plus a few extra flavours I thought might be nice. (Feel free to mix up the vegetables, using whatever you have on hand, eg. broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, diced capsicum/bell pepper, etc.)

  • 450g / 1 pound beef mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2t curry powder
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 large stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, finely shredded or diced 
  • 1/4c Basmati, Jasmine or plain white rice
  • 3-3.5c liquid chicken stock
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5T soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large frying pan or saucepan, brown the mince until the fat starts to melt and then add in the onion.

2. Cook together, breaking up any clumps of mince and stirring occasionally, until the mince is cooked through and the onion has started to turn translucent.

3. Stir through the curry powder and cook for another minute.

4. Add in the carrot, celery, cabbage and rice and stir to coat in the curry powder.

5. Pour in the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until everything is cooked through.

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Serve to your kids in a bowl and watch them wolf it down. This makes a large portion, enough to feed our family of five twice.

Budget breakdown
  • 450g / 1 pound beef mince - NZD$5
  • 1 onion - NZD$0.20
  • 1/4 cabbage - NZD$0.50
  • 2 carrots NZD - $0.50
  • 2 sticks celery - NZD$0.20
  • 1/4c rice - NZD$0.20
  • 3.5c chicken stock - FREE if you make your own from scraps
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce - NZD$0.10
  • 1.5T soy sauce - NZD$0.30
  • 2t curry powder - NZD$0.30

TOTAL - NZD$7.30 for two family-sized dinners.


  1. I tried this for tonights was yum! The kids didn't complain either (good sign) like they often do if I cook anything with curry powder in it. I loved how easy and cheap it was! Will be adding this to my menu plan for sure! I made double quantity and mixed in the left over rice, so I've got another meal ready go (just add wraps!). Merry Christmas Emma!

    1. Yay that's so cool! Thanks for letting me know. Merry Christmas to you too!

    2. Yep I have the same problem with anything that has curry powder. Cooked this last night and it went down well with the kids. Although arguably more of a winter meal and it's summer at the moment! :)

  2. I definitely remember Ki Si Ming from when I was a kid... and only just found out a couple of days ago that is was a kiwi original dish... have added it to my list for the kids to try - glad your liked it - I hope mine will.
    I remember one time mum made it she dropped the curry powder in it, and tried to remove as much as she could... I think we were about 2 mouthfuls into it when everyone decided it was far too hot to continue...


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