Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming is an Asian-inspired one-pan mince and rice dinner and something that I have not had since a kid (and that is some years ago now!)

I was reminded of this old family dish when I saw that Maggi – who are an international brand of seasonings, instant soups and noodles –   have made a packet meal of it.

I thought ‘fancy that!’ –  you don’t need to buy the packet mix because you will have the ingredients in your pantry, and best of all, you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

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.


  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g mincemeat
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1cup uncooked rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup broccoli, pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, celery
  • 1 chopped red capsicum
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded 

Heat the oil in a large pan (I use my wok)

Cook the onion until soft, then add the mince and brown.

Add Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, rice and boiling water.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add frozen peas and broccoli, celery and simmer for about 10 minutes

Add shredded cabbage and turn off the heat. Leave to stand with a lid on for about 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls.

** Use any vegetables that you have on hand

**Substitute the rice for noodles if you prefer.IMG_0299.JPG

If you are a child born in the 1960’s in New Zealand, your mum will have her version of this dish in her recipe book somewhere. I think mine is pretty close to my mum’s – I’ll have to ask her if I got it right!

What is a dish you can remember from your childhood that you haven’t had since then? It might be time to resurrect it and share it with your family, and make a new memory.

Happy foody memories xx






Courgette ‘Spaghetti Noodles’ with Bolognese Sauce

What a long week….the first 5 day working week in a little while and it  sure felt like it! Thinking about dinner is usually the last thing on your mind? But hunger drives you to do something!

Some time ago I bought a spiraliser after a young friend of mine made the most delicious salad with raw beetroot and courgettes. I shared my very basic version of a salad using raw beetroot last month. After buying cheap one from a certain ‘red’ shop and it failing terribly so I shopped at Millie’s for a rather more solid model which I trust will last me a lifetime! (And it was my  birthday gift to myself so I figured it was okay to spend a little more? :))


Like many of you I really don’t have much space in my kitchen for more kitchen ‘gadgets’ however I have to say this is not too bulky, and is sitting happily in the pantry within easy reach. The blades are interchangeable and just slot in and out easily – so easy to clean. I just rinse it under a hot tap and let it dry on the bench.

For this recipe I used 3 courgettes as shown. I was surprised at the quantity it gave us – certainly plenty for the two of us. I made an easy bolognese sauce to go with the courgette noodles and dinner was achieved in 30 minutes! Not too mad for a week night when you have to eat but really don’t feel like cooking.


For the bolognese sauce:IMG_0878

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp oregano and of basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Heat onion over a medium heat, add onion & garlic and cook until the onions soft – maybe 3-4 minutes.

Add ground beef & cook until brown – making sure it is broken up not ‘clumpy’.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reducing the heat to a simmer. Let it bubble away for about 30 minutes.

While the bolognese sauce is doing tis thing, heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the garlic until you can smell it 🙂

Add the courgette spaghetti noodles and cook for about 4 minutes or until they are as you like them. I added a bit of salt at this stage.

Top courgette spaghetti noodles with the bolognese sauce, fresh herbs or parmesan cheese as I did.

We are doing ‘no carbs’ Monday – Friday in an effort to lose a few pounds so this recipe  was within those boundaries. And you know we didn’t miss the ‘real spaghetti’ at all – I promise.

Happy cooking xx