Has anyone ever researched 'rice dishes of the world'? After all, rice is the staple food of most of the world's population. I must admit that I have an ambivalence towards plain white rice - growing up, we had boiled rice with most meals and its sticky white boringness really bored me to tears. Even now, I rarely have plain rice except when it's needed to mop up the sauce from a tastier main dish.
Reaching into some long-lost Asian roots, fried rice is something that I prepare when I don't have much time to make dinner - or when I haven't thought about what to make. I like how you can throw in pretty much anything, and I love how the addition of several tasty sauces can transform that white boringness into yummy brown deliciousness.
Fried Rice with fried egg
8 green (uncooked) prawns, peeled, deveined and quartered
2 tblsp plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
50 g shoulder ham or Chinese sausage or BBQ pork, chopped
4 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 mins, finely chopped
2 cups cooked rice (admission: I use packaged, pre-cooked jasmine rice)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
spring onions, finely sliced
1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over med-high heat, until very hot. Add the prawns and stir until just cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside.
2. Reheat the wok and add heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil until very hot. Add the garlic and ginger and stirfry for 30 seconds.
3. Add the meat and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Then add the rice and prawns to the wok.
4. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and sesame oil together in a cup, then add to the wok. Stir until rice is coated with the sauce. Pour the rice into a bowl and wipe out the wok with paper towel.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the wok until hot, then break an egg into the wok and cook until the white is set. Repeat with the other egg.
6. To serve, divide the rice between two bowls and top with a fried egg and some spring onions.
Ingredients, including ham, shiitake mushrooms, prawns and egg.
. Here, popping a fried egg on the rice makes it like Indonesian nasi goreng (another popular rice dish!).