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Euro-Fried Rice

February 23, 2013

I like Chinese food.  I also, as you may have guessed (if you’ve read any of my previous postings), I have a slight obsession with leafy herbs.  I’m an ethnobotanist.  It’s kinda my thing.  Anyway, I like Chinese food, but tend to find it too oily for optimum digestion (at least when purchased from most shops).  Likewise, as a vegetarian with a pronounced dairy allergy, I’ve found it is best for all involved to just make my own anyway.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been all happy to find something at an Asian market and, upon looking at the ingredients, find milk/milk fat/etc. or beef/pork/chicken/fish flakes as a component in whatever it is.  Same goes for sauces, oddly enough, Worcestershire sauce coming to mind most readily.  I know people like it, but fermented anchovies have never seemed all that appealing to me.  It’s a preference, just sayin’.  I would also like to point out that when eggs are featured in my recipes, they are always from cage-free, free range hens.  If that’s not an option at the market, they don’t go in the cart.  And they’re only used sparingly — most protein’s from mushrooms and beans.  So, without further ado: Euro-Fried Rice.

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Ingredients:

2 eggs (can be substituted out with more/different variety mushrooms or perhaps beans if you’d prefer — I haven’t tried with beans though, so if you do please let me know how it works out)

1 tomato

2 mushrooms (add more at your own discretion) — baby portabellos featured here

1/2 an onion (the darker the colour, the more concentrated the nutrients, which is why I almost invariably go for red onions, unless the sweet [yellow] onions are better suited to the recipe) — if you want more, by all means use the whole thing.  I’ve tried that before though and it’s a tad strong.

Oil (for purposes of this experiment, I used sunflower oil — it’s light and tastes quite nice.  Also my physiological system and olives in their various forms are not really on speaking terms, and hey — sunflower oil’s cheap.)

Rice (as this is for two servings, make enough rice for two servings — if you’re using rice from it’s uncooked state, cook it before using it.  This is imperative.  Seriously.  If it’s from a ready-pack, you can just open the pack and pour it in the pan.  If you don’t know how to make rice, ask someone who does or Google it.) — for purposes of accuracy I had a pack of Uncle Ben’s Batsmati rice, so used that and it turned out quite well.

Herb & Spice mix: Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Ground Black Pepper, Chili Flakes, dash of Sea Salt, dash of Turmeric, granulated Garlic

Prep:

Ok, first, I’d suggest getting everything set up (e.g. slice/dice — however you like your veg — your mushrooms, tomato, and 1/2 onion and set them aside).

Now, pour the oil into your pan, enough that the bottom of said pan is coated. [Note: If you’re not including eggs in your concoction, skip ahead to the next paragraph.]  Crack the eggs into the pan (I just use the side of the pan and cook them over-easy but my Mum’s more a fan of scrambled more often than not.  Add the herbs and spices — they become cooked into the egg at this point.  It’s eggs — you can basically do it how you like [or substitute something else].  I particularly like over-easy because after flipping the eggs and having them cook for a bit, just use the spatula/turner to cut them into bite-sized pieces.

At this point, add the rice in whatever capacity (if it’s ready-pack rice, I’d suggest squeezing/mushing it in the pack before opening it — less hassle and time needed stabbing it with the spatula once it’s in the pan that way… and yes, I forgot that factoid, so I’m making a point to share it).  If you didn’t include eggs, add the herbs and spices to the rice instead (and even if you did, I tend to go a bit overboard with the parsley and such anyway — it’s tasty).  At this point, depending on how much you originally had, you might need to add some more oil to the pan.  If you’re using the pack rice, I’d suggest using a bit of water from the kettle as well.  Stir the egg and rice together for a bit.

Now, after it’s been sitting for a minute or so, feel free to add the veg — you can also add others (broccoli and the like, I just didn’t feel in a broccoli mood at the time 😉 ).  Water chestnuts are likewise always good additions to fried rice.  As the veg is cooking a bit, stir the mix occasionally, as burning is a distinct possibility — possibly add a bit of water if it’s looking at all dry.

Once it’s done, take the pan off the heat.  At this point, you can do one of two things.  You can either add some leafy greens to it, as I intended to do, or you can plate it, as I did, because… well to be honest, I forgot the shoots were on the counter behind me — they’ll make an appearance tomorrow anyway, so it’s all good.  Also, I’d advise using a bowl for your rice, rather than a plate — makes it bit easier to work with while studying.

Enjoy 🙂

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