Monday, May 15, 2006

Fried Rice

I went to a music/comedy event at University of Washington this past weekend. Mos Def, Mixmaster Mike (of Beastie Boys), Phantom Planet were some of the musicians that performed. Music wise, I was most impressed by a hip-hop unit called Blue Scholars. I had never even heard of them before, but they are apparently Seattle's up-and-coming one MC, one DJ duo. I guess their album available on iTunes, so they must be fairly popular.

For this event, I was mostly looking forward to see Carlos Mencia perform his standup. I recently caught him on Comedy Central and thought he was entertaining. When he came on the stage, the crowd got into it, but I noticed a few people booing and shouting, "you suck!" and "you are stupid!!" He tends to do a lot of racial jokes, so I guess some people found him offensive. Before he took a break, he apologized to the audience that his intension is not to hurt people's feelings, but he's a comedian, so it's his job to be stupid and make fun of things, and that they shouldn't take him seriously. It was kind of weird. I guess at events like these, not everyone is going to be his fan.

Today, I'll introduce fried rice. I guess this is more of a Chinese food than Japanese, but fried rice and ramen (and gyoza) are considered a standard set in Japan, so I figured it's ok. There are packets of fried rice powders, and I have tried them before, but who knows what kind of chemical is in there.

CATEGORY: Rice/Noodles
SERVES: 2 people

2 bowls of rice
1/2 cup of mixed vegetable
1/4 onion
some shrimp or meat
1 egg
1 TBsp vegetable oil
1 half inch piece of ginger (see TIP: Ginger)
1 TBsp soy sauce
some salt
some pepper

I usually make fried rice when we make too much rice, and I need to store the leftover rice in a fridge for a day or two. Those actually work better than freshly made rice when cooking fried rice.

Pour about a table spoon of oil into a wok or pan and cook your preferred meat or shrimp. If you are using bacon, (which is what I used), you don't need to use any oil, as bacon gives plenty of oil for cooking. I recommend using bacon, sausage, ham or shrimp for fried rice as those already have salty flavor. After about a minute, add onions to the pan.

After your meat/shrimp look mostly cooked, add the frozen vegetables and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Push the meat and vegetables to one side of the pan, and cook the egg on an empty space you have just created. If I'm not using sausage or bacon that's already salty, I normally add a bit of salt to the egg as I scramble it into tiny tiny pieces.

Then add the rice to the wok/pan and mix. When the rice is evenly mixed together with meat and vegetables, shred the ginger on top and add the soy sauce and pepper to the mix. Taste test to see how it tastes, and if needed, add some salt.

If you want to serve kind of fancy like the photo, scoop the fried rice into a little bowl, press gently, and place it upside down on a plate.

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