What I also like about this fried rice is you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. You can switch up the veggies. I almost always use onion, spring onion, capsicum and carrot. I also add zucchini, snow peas, cabbage and baby corn if I have any of them on hand. The same is the case with the protein. Almost always I use a little bacon for flavour and some egg. Then I either use prawns, shredded chicken and sometimes even ham depending on what I have available at the time. So like you see, this fried rice is one of those meals you can put together almost any day of the week, even when your grocery run is due the next day. Apart from cooking the rice, it comes together in one pan – I now use my wok and love it.
This is the quickest way I find to get this on the plate. Soak my rice and when the rice is soaking and cooking, I prep my protien and veggies. When everything is ready, the final dish takes about 10 minutes tops to put together. Its one of my favourite quick and easy weeknight meal options. I tend to add a lot of vegetables and I like it that way, you could drop the quantity of vegetables to suit your liking. This is just a guide to making this fried rice and the quantities are suggestions. Go with what you think you’ll enjoy and adjust to your liking.
Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 3 (as mains)
1 cup basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 birdseye chilly (optional – we enjoy hot food but you can leave it out if you dont)
3 spring onions
1 red pepper
6-8 green beans
A handful of finely sliced cabbage (about a cups worth)
3 rashers of bacon (I used streaky bacon)
A cup of shredded chicken (you could used poached, roast, or rotisserie chicken)
A couple of tablespoons of oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower or any other cooking oil of your choice)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Approx. 1 tbsp soy sauce (I use salt reduced soy)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Rinse the rice a couple of times and drain. Soak in fresh water at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil (just like you would for pasta). Add a spoon of salt to the water and carefully add the rice. Cook the rice till almost done (al dente). Don’t cook the rice through as it will turn mushy once you add it to the wok.
Drain the cook rice and using a fork lightly loosen the grains and leave to cool.
In the meanwhile, clean and chop all your vegetables. I like to chop mine in like sized pieces. You could julienne everything or slice it on the diagonal into little chunks. (I will try and get a picture of the chopped up veggies when I make this next, I was in a hurry this time and forgot.)
Dice the bacon rashers and keep aside.
Keep all your ingredients handy. The trick to cooking a delicious fried rice is to cook it on a high heat and cook it quickly.
Heat your wok or pan. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, add a little salt and lightly whisk. Now either make a plain omlette and cut into chunks or a plain scramble. Take the egg off the pan and keep aside.
Next step is to fry off the bacon. Add a little oil if needed and tip the cut bacon into the work and let it cook a little and add some flavor to the pan. Dont cook till crisp. You just want the ends to start changing to a light brown. Now add the garlic and chilly and saute till it gets fragrant.
Add the sesame oil and then tip in the diced pepper and the rest of the veggies and stir fry on high heat till they cook off a little. You still want them to have a little bite.
Add the chopped spring onions.
Add a light sprinkle of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir to let it coat the veggies. Please adjust the sauce to suit your liking.
Tip in the chicken and egg and stir well to incorporate.
At this stage add the rice to the wok and gently mix everything but mix thoroughly. I use a spatula and a pair of chopsticks to do this.
Once the rice has warmed through, serve hot and top with finely sliced spring onion greens to garnish and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, some finely sliced fresh chilly.
Enjoy piping hot.
**Leftovers warm up really well the next day too.
Chinese Sticky Pork Belly
I usually make my favourite pork curry and we enjoy it. Apart from that, I’ve only ever made these pan-fried pork chops and thats how long my pork recipe repertoire is. Now that’s just wrong and needed to be fixed. You will see a few more pork recipes coming up. When I was on the lookout for some interesting ways to cook pork, I came across this recipe. I have heard so much about how good pork belly is and also how good a sticky Asian glaze can be, so obviously the two together had to be even better, right? I was so right. The original recipe calls for the pork to be cooked for 2 whole hours. While I’ve done this before when I didn’t have access to my pressure cooker, I knew I wasn’t going to slow cook it this time. I used my pressure cooker and in about 15-20 minutes achieved the same lovely tenderness. If you haven’t tried using a pressure cooker before, you should. Maybe borrow it from a friend and see if it works for you. I use mine all the time. I use it to cook meat, boil dry beans (instead of buying canned ones), boiling potato and beetroot and so much more. I cannot imagine life without my pressure cooker. Oh wait, I did have to wait for a whole year before I got mine from back home and it wasn’t fun. It just cuts down cooking time drastically and you save on gas/energy by cutting down on cooking time. That’s a win-win in my book. I hope to share more pressure cooker recipes with you in future.
Back to the pork belly. There’s beautiful flavour in the meat and the glaze is just a wonderful bonus. One thing I should mention is be very careful when the meat is in the pan, there is a lot of serious popping that goes on and you don’t want to burn yourself. Frying the pork adds some lovely crunchy bits to the pork. So you end up with tender, succulent meat, crunchy bits and a sticky glaze. Yum!!! I served this pork up with a bowl of warm noodles and some stir fried Asian greens.
Chinese Sticky Pork Belly
Adapted from: Kitchen Sanctuary