Asian Fried Rice

I hesitate to call this dish by anything but its generic English name “fried rice”, because fried rice is so ubiquitous in Asian cuisine. They are all variations on the same theme, the Chinese fried rice, “chow fan”, give or take a few ingredients. In Cambodia, it is called Bai Laen Saik Krok, in the Philippines it’s Morisqueta Tostada, in Korea it’s Bokumbap, the Vietnamese call it Com Chien Thap Cam and Thai call it Kao Pad Kon Jon. It’s a very simple dish, ideally made with chilled cooked rice, either leftovers or cooked specifically for this purpose. Use fragrant jasmine rice if it’s available in your area.

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Fried Rice with Chinese Pork Sausage (lap xuong or lap chuong)

For 4-6 servings

2 Chinese sausages, sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch thick pieces (can be found at Asian stores in the meat department)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
6 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions/scallions

Steam the Chinese sausage for 5 minutes and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. When hot but not smoking, add the eggs; quickly tilt the pan all around to spread the eggs, and when set (about 30 seconds) remove to a platter, shred/slice and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the wok or skillet, and set over medium-high heat. When hot but not smoking, add garlic and steamed sausage slices, stir-frying until garlic is just beginning to turn color, 1-2 minutes. Add rice and sprinkle with the salt. Stir and fold rice, pressing gently on any clumps to separate the rice grains. Cook, stirring/folding frequently until rice is hot. Adjust seasoning. You may leave the rice at this point for a few minutes if you want the bottom to develop a crust. (This crust is highly prized in some Asian cuisines.) Fold in the egg shreds and chopped scallions. Serve immediately.

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