Monday, May 16, 2011

Basic fried rice

Fried rice is another one of those recipes that use up all the leftovers in the fridge. All you really need is rice, soy sauce, veggies, protein and oil. You can have an endless amount of combinations. I have yet to make a combination that tastes bad, but that doesn't mean this recipe is infallible. Think before you mix. If I'm using leftover meat, I won't use any meat that's got a sauce on it. In terms of veggies, I had a cucumber in the fridge, but thought it might not mix well with the other flavours. Plus, cooked cucumber? Gross.

3 servings of cooked rice, cooled (preferably overnight)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2" slice of ginger, peeled and left intact (Unless you like eating ginger)
2 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in water, stems removed and diced. Water reserved
1/4 tsp shrimp paste
1 egg, beaten
1 serving meat (I used frozen smoked sausage), diced
1 tsp light soy sauce (or more, to taste)
Optional: any other kind of veggies or meat you have diced. I tossed in some chives from the garden, though green onion would make more sense.

I'm sure there's some kind of science around why you want the rice to be old and cold. I don't know it, but it's a tip I got from my brother and it seems to get good (i.e. not mushy) results. If you're not using brown rice (and why not?), you can rinse it after it's cooled, to rinse out any residual starches.

In terms of the dried mushrooms and shrimp paste, they're not completely necessary, but I find that they really elevate the dish from rice that's fried to FRIED RICE. Both can be found in an Asian grocery store (but not the Asian area of any grocery store that I've been to) or on the internet. Shrimp paste smells like rotten shrimp, but is a fantastic addition to a lot of Asian dishes.

Let's do it!
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok on medium heat. Pour in the scrambled egg and let sit until it's mostly cooked. Turn it over to cook on the other side. Slide out of the pan and chop it up into 1" x 1/2" slices, or diced, or whatever you want. Put aside.

Throw the onion and ginger in the pan. Saute for about 4 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Throw in the other veggies (mushrooms, and whatever else you have). Cook for another 3 minutes to meld the flavours. Add the meat and cook for another 3 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium high and throw in the rice. Stir fry it. Mix 1 tbsp of mushroom water, the shrimp paste and soy sauce in a bowl until it's blended well. Add it to the wok and mix everything well. Add the egg. Taste the rice. Is it salty enough? If so, you're done. If not, add a bit more soy sauce.

That's it!

1 comment:

  1. Cooked cucumber is actually a standard ingredient in Thai stir-fries involving pineapple. The trick is not to overdo it otherwise it ends up going mushy. As it is, it ends up being surprisingly not disgusting.