Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thai Fried Rice

Fried rice is a good way to clean the refrigerator. As we don't usually have leftovers, Luke and I seldom have it, though. Earlier this week, however, I made extra rice in preparation to cook fried rice later in the week. It was a quick and easy meal. Took me no more than 15 minutes to make.

There are certainly many variations to this quick one-dish meal -- plain, with chicken, shrimp, pork, eggs, vegetables, or any combination of the ingredients above. I decided to make Thai fried rice tonight. And what made it Thai? Fish sauce, of course! It turned out great! We both really enjoyed this comfort food.

Thai Fried Rice w/ Pork and Basil*:

- Cooked rice, day old (a bit dry) is best
- Cooking oil
- Finely chopped garlic
- Crushed red chili pepper
- Chopped scallions
- Ground pork
- 2 eggs
- Frozen mix vegetables
- Few splashes fish sauce
- A pinch salt/pepper
- Garnish with basil (optional)

1. When the pan is extremely hot (smoking hot), pour in the oil and follow with chopped garlic, chili pepper, and chopped scallions. Stir quickly. It can get real smoky.
2. Stir in ground pork. If you see that there is juice coming out from your meat and pooling on the bottom and not evaporating, your pan is not hot enough. When the meat is cooked, set it aside or just put it on the side of the pan if you can.
3. Add the eggs and scramble the eggs until the egg is all cooked. Put the eggs aside or just push it aside and make some room on the bottom of the pan.
4. Add frozen mix vegetables. Add fish sauce and stir. Keep stirring until the vegetables are heated through. Add salt and pepper.
5. Add cooked rice and mix it well with the ingredients. Remember to cook on high heat and stir often. This will give the fried rice that "burnt" taste.
6. Serve hot with sliced basil leaves as garnish.

Making great fried rice requires a number of tricks:
- A wok - it is the best tool for fried rice. If you don't, it can be tricky but still manageable. I don't have one, but the fried rice still turned out mighty tasty.
- High heat - you want your pan as hot as possible. That's why it frequently tastes so much better at a restaurant.
- Dry rice - Making your rice a little drier than normal or using day-old rice keeps the rice from clumping together.

*The amount of ingredients can be increased or decreased based on your liking. If unsure, always start small, taste, and add more if necessary.

Recipe adapted from here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy, my tummy danks you. =] I get first dibs on the leftovers for lunch! You will have to make do with cereal. yup!

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