eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice with Pic’s Extra Virgin Peanut Oil

eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice with Pic's Extra Virgin Peanut Oil_Brendon D'Souza_brendonthesmilingchef_2

Some months ago I posted up a review of a Peanut Butter product from New Zealand based company Pic’s. Well Pic’s are back with another trick up its sleeve – Pic’s Really Good Peanut Oil

Initial Thoughts

I was very pleased with the first peanut test. It was great to know that the high oleic peanuts were sourced from sunny Queensland, ensuring the freshness of the product. The bottle features Pic’s signature red star, as well as a cheeky note, reassuring this reviewer that, ‘No Peanut Butter suffered in the making of this product.’

The cold-press method not only ensures that the oil retains all its essential nutrients, but also, provided the punchy peanut scent that jumps from the bottle. As I am told by a Pic’s spokesperson, the biggest difference between Pic’s peanut oil and the others available on the market, is that only nuts suitable for human consumption are used.

She says, “ Generally peanut oil is made using solvent or heat extraction, in which case they don’t need to use edible-grade nuts — they just need to “purify” the oil at the other end to an edible state. So what they are actually using are all the reject nuts.”

A great Eco-friendly benefit to cold-pressing is that it does not require the use of solvents to purify the oil, making it much better for Mother Earth, and our bodies.

eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice with Pic's Extra Virgin Peanut Oil_Brendon D'Souza_brendonthesmilingchef_1

The Test

The oil is fairly neutral and plain in colour, but is the pure essence of raw peanuts in taste. It does have a strong aroma which is most suited for Asian cooking, where it makes a popular appearance in dressings, and for frying.

In this recipe (see below) I used the oil to brown chicken thigh fillets, veggies and rice which worked a treat. The high smoke point of the oil meant that cooking the chicken was a breeze without having to worry about setting the fire alarm off; something that is very common when using even light olive oil at such high temperatures. The hot oil crisped up the rice nicely, giving it a chewy and crunchy texture.

The Verdict

I really cannot find anything that I don’t particularly like about this product. Pic’s have proven yet again that they are determined to create the best quality peanut oil on the market, and indeed they have achieved this. I really admire the fact that the source nuts are grown locally, and that the cold pressed method for extraction is used, giving Pic’s oil it’s distinctive flavour that must be tried.

Whilst peanut oil is symbiotic to Asian cuisine, I think I’d be quite happy to try frying my chips in it, or even brushing it over pumpkin before roasting.

One challenge I would like to pose to Pic’s though is this, with all the effort taken in the current production, will the company ever consider entering into the organic market? If so, then feel free to put my name down for the first bottle because I’m sold.

Now Cook with It!

I’ve been cooking a lot with leftovers lately and I’ve really enjoyed the challenge, and I think it’s because there are so many organisations out there that are trying to encourage up-cycled food, as I like to call it. Think Love Food Hate Waste, and Oz Harvest. Taste.com.au Magazine has a great little section called ‘Crisper Cuisine’ and there’s even the great community Make The Most. Cooking with leftovers is like taking up Masterchef’s Invention Test time and time again, only without the pressure. It’s all about taking something that has already been cooked before and making it magical again. This recipe was something I whipped up using mostly bits of leftover boiled corn, raw capsicum from a salad and the sad bunch of cauliflower that was left at the bottom of the crisper. Teamed with some chicken thighs and an energy-rich wild rice blend containing a mix of wild rice, brown rice, barley, quinoa, chia seeds and other grains, my  eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice makes for the perfect weeknight meal.

eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice with Pic's Extra Virgin Peanut Oil_Brendon D'Souza_brendonthesmilingchef_3

Prep Time 10 mins | Cooking Time 20 mins | Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Pic’s Really Good Peanut Oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 brown onion, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 200g chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced
  • 250g wild rice blend, cooked, cooled, chilled
  • 150g cauliflower, chopped
  • 150g red capsicum, cut into strips
  • 150g boiled corn, kernels removed
  • 300g baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey

Method:

Make an omelette. Heat 1 tbsp peanut oil in a large cast-iron wok or pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the beaten egg and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from pan, roll up on a chopping board and chop into strips. Reserve.

Fry the rice. Heat remaining oil in the wok over high and add the onion and chicken. Stir-fry to brown, then add the rice and allow to crisp. Add the veggies and combined sauces and stir-fry for 5 minutes until heated through. Serve.

What do you think of peanut oil? Or maybe you have a favourite recipe or technique you’d like to  Leave your views in the comments below. Simply click on the speech bubble in the bottom right-hand corner.

eSPECIALly Wild Fried Rice with Pic's Extra Virgin Peanut Oil_Brendon D'Souza_brendonthesmilingchef_4

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a really nice alternative to sesame oil. I do love both though.

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    1. I do think this dish needs that sesame flavour to sing, but it definitely benefits from a fry in the peanut oil 🙂

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  2. I could have fried rice everyday! Have never tried peanut oil, just the sesame one..so interesting. I’ll have to look for it and give it a go! Looks delicious

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    1. Thanks for the comment Oana, I definitely love a good bowlful as well. I would definitely recommend using the peanut oil to fry the rice, adding a couple of splashes of the sesame for its savoury flavour. Happy cooking 🙂

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  3. Dana Fashina says:

    This is dope! I love wild rice and its different variations. Great review too!
    Question though – does the aroma of the peanut oil overwhelm the overall taste of the dish or does it become subtle enough to blend in smoothly?

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    1. Thanks for the comment and questions Dana. The peanut oil worked quite well with the dish. The aroma was very strong when I opened the bottle but I think the rice mixture absorbed most of the flavour. The veggies were very strong-flavoured too so the peanut smell didn’t overkill the dish. If you wanted more flavour I’d recommend drizzling sesame oil over the rice at the end and stirring it through. Very traditional and it gives the rice a great umami taste 🙂

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