Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fried rice #1

I'm endlessly fascinated by the food pornographer's fried rice variations. TFP would seem to have a standard recipe that includes garlic, light and dark soy, SPAM, and an egg mixed in at the last minute. She makes it sound and look really appealing.

I too have a standard fried rice recipe that I make all the time. I scramble the egg first in quite a lot of peanut oil, which fluffs it up nicely and ups its lip-smacking fat content. Then I set the egg aside on a plate, break it into little pieces with my spatula and stir them in at the end. I use garlic, ginger, salt, white pepper, and kecap manis. I almost always add frozen peas and usually also green onions. But because fried rice is a leftovers dish, I put in whatever in the fridge is on its last legs.

Today I had some pork tenderloin and mushrooms. I had no scallions but I did have shallots, which are much better. I decided to try one of the food pornographer's techniques at a time instead of copying the whole Gestalt. So I played it safe and decided to stir the egg in at the end instead of the beginning. Everything else I did my usual way.

I cut the pork into small bits, sprinkled on salt, sugar, pepper, and mirin, and set it aside for about an hour in the fridge. Then I heated up my pan, poured in a little bit of peanut oil, and seared the meat until it was almost fully cooked. I moved it to a plate. I heated up a little bit more oil in the pan and sauteed some cremini mushrooms. When they were soft and darker brown, I added a little more oil (the shrooms sucked up all the oil I had started with) and scraped in my garlic, ginger, and shallots, all minced finely. Then I added day-old rice, what I thought were peas but which actually turned out to be green beans, and salt and pepper and stirred well to break up the clumps of rice. Then I added back the pork and drizzled in the kecap manis. Stir, stir, stir. I pushed the fried rice in the center of the pan aside and poured one egg, beaten with a bit of salt, into the well. I stirred it for a few moments to get it scrambling and then mixed it into the rice with broad strokes of my wooden spoon.

I liked the results a lot. I missed the chunky bits of egg, but I appreciated the little shreds of it hanging onto my rice kernels. I see the merits of this technique. The little rice eater loves fried rice so much that we can sneak all kinds of other foods into him by hiding them in it. An extra egg or two might do him good. One additional fried rice note: although I like eating Chinese food that I cook at home with chopsticks--it makes the experience feel a little less ersatz--I prefer to eat fried rice with a fork. More of the rice ends up in my mouth that way.

What's next? It could be dark and light soy instead of kecap manis. Or it could be SPAM, which I have never had in my entire life. Stay tuned, rice lovers.


Blogger Joe said...

I like how you brought this together - it sounds very good!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahahaha! Your fried rice sounds delicious. Sometimes I will scramble the egg or fry it(make a chinese omelette, with white pepper and a dash of soy sauce) and then add it to the rice. Depends how lazy I feel.

I never use chopsticks at home. For me it's always a spoon for fried rice - I can shovel it in quicker that way! Actually I eat most things with a spoon (that's why I like pasta stir fry too)!

Great idea to sneak bits of goodness for the little rice eater in the fried rice. I've had brussells sprouts fed to me sneakily in such a manner!

12:16 AM  

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