I have many a night when I feel uninspired, the kitchen cupboard looks sadly bare and I just can’t face going to the shops. Take-away pizza? Non. A dinner challénge. Yes! Kitchen-cupboard fried rice is one of those yummy dishes that I can easily pull together when the going gets tough. And it need not be boring. I do try to have frozen peas, a can of sweet corn, some variety of Asian sauces and of course, ginger and garlic, handy for moments such as these. You could add Chinese sausage instead of bacon, mushrooms, shrimp, whatever you wish (so long as it’s within the realms of Chinese cookery, of course, and not something like, say, parmesan cheese ). Just give it some love and you’ll be rewarded with a nice meal indeed.
1 cup rice (basmati is my personal fave)
sesame or peanut oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 knob ginger, chopped finely
4 pieces bacon, trimmed of fat and diced
2/3 cup frozen peas
small can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
2-3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
pinch dried chilli flakes
Boil the rice in a pot or rice cooker. I like to add a little veggie stock powder to mine and cook it well, for at least 20 minutes, to ensure the rice is nice and fluffy. Prepare all of the remaining ingredients so that you can quickly add them to the wok.
When the rice is halfway through cooking, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a hot wok, then fry the eggs. Don’t let them cook completely, as they will keep cooking as they cool. Add a drop of oyster sauce to the eggs, fold the eggs in half with a spatula and then cut up into rough pieces. Set aside on a plate and keep the wok on the flame.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok, then the garlic and ginger. Fry for half a minute or so, until fragrant, then add the bacon. Continue to stir and cook until bacon is just about done, then add the peas. I don’t bother to defrost these, as the juice from the peas adds much-needed liquid at about this point. Cook for one minute, then add the celery, corn and most of the spring onions. Stir for half a minute and then add soy, hoisin sauce and the remaining oyster sauce. Add a pinch of chilli or fresh chilli at this point also. Add your fluffy rice to the wok, as well as the egg, and combine well. The mixture is quite heavy at this point, so I find the spatula works a treat and helps to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Have a taste and add more soy or seasoning if necessary. There should be a nice kick from the chilli too! Spoon into bowls and top with remaining spring onions. This quantity should serve about 2-3 very hungry people, or 4-5 not so hungry people.