Posts Tagged ‘rice

07
Jan
13

Day 5: Anchovy and Chicken Fried Rice

Anchovy and Chicken Fried Rice

Anchovy and Chicken Fried Rice

When I was in college, none of my apartments where within walking distance to any grocery stores, so I ended up eating out a lot or relying on the generosity of my friends with cars.  Although a significant amount of the week was spent on dining out, there where times that I, being a mature and responsible college student, would stay home to study.  All right, let’s be honest, I was just trying to recover from the hang over.  Regardless of the reason for me staying home, I had to find creative ways to make sure that I had food to cook.

Chicken

I usually had a whole roasted chicken in my fridge that I would get from the supermarket whenever I had access to a car. The chicken was a great discovery because I realized that:

1. I didn’t have to cook a whole chicken

2. I could enjoy it as is, but also turn it into a sandwich, soup, pasta, or stir fry

3. That I can pretend that I cooked a whole chicken when I was making dinner for friends

4. If I am hung-over, roasted chicken taste like the sweet ambrosia from the Gods.

Rice

 

Rice was easy.  On campus, we were lucky enough to have a Panda Express.  Well, lucky for me, but not for my clothing size.    There where times that I would order Panda Express for lunch on a daily basis for months on end.  It was even better when, as the Co-Director of the Asian Pacific Student Union, I was munching on a bowl of fake, exploitative Chinese food in our offices and trying to promote the Asian American experience on campus.  But, their “Orange Chicken” was delicious.  Especially paired with the “Green Beans in Black Bean Sauce”.  Plus, you can order a small container of white rice to go. Which was necessary to have at home.

Eggs

Next to campus we had a café that would serve Mexican style breakfast.  Did you know that there is this beautiful dish that involves tortilla chips, cheese, red sauce, chicken, and eggs?  It’s essentially a nacho dish and no one would judge you for eating it for breakfast, because it had an egg on it.   This is where I learned the beauty of “Chiliaquiles”.  The best part of this place was that they where so close to my apartment that I could call and order chilaquiles and a side of scrambled eggs, hobble over in my sunglasses and hung- over state to pick it up, and then enjoy them back at home to “study”.  Plus, why wouldn’t you want to eat something like tortilla chips smothered in enchilada sauce and chicken?

Anchovies/Salted Fish

Anchovies where always the trickiest to find and is not a common ingredient that is just lying around campus.  However, one night when I was ordering a pizza for delivery, it occurred to me.  Can I order anchovies to go?  The answer is “yes”!  During the early 2000’s, online pizza ordering was becoming a normal thing, and I realized that I could order a pizza with a side of anchovies without dealing with the person over the phone and the awkward request for anchovies on the side.  However, once the delivery person came, I had to figure out a way to play it off like the anchovies where a $1.50 joke on a friend and that I would never order a side of anchovies normally.  I must have used that excuse a dozen times.  I could picture the pizza place as the order came in.

“Here comes that anchovy order for Scott again.”

“Man, Scott is really boring, playing the same joke on his friend over and over again.”

“Maybe he just likes anchovies?”

“Nah, then he would just buy his own jar of anchovies.”

“True”

Now that I think of it.  After this whole treasure hunt, I could have just purchased the anchovies, rice, and eggs at the store while I was picking up the whole roasted chicken.  But, you know, this is much more fun.  It made me feel like one of my ancestors from yore.  I felt like I was participating in the annual hunt for mini salted and oil packed fish and pre-roasted whole chicken and their young: scrambled eggs, while gathering cooked rice along the brambles of my cave.  Call me a modern day cave man.

This dish is based on one of my favorite Chinese restaurant dishes: Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice.  It’s a beautiful blend of salty, nutty, fishy, and chicken flavors.  Ok, the last description was more of a noun, but the chicken is more of a flavor aspect to the dish then a main component but you can add more chicken if you want.

Check out the “Fried Rice 101” post for more information on fried rice.

~stuff

3 medium eggs, scrambled (if already cooked, then that’s cool)

2 tbs oil

8 anchovies fillets

1/2 cup roasted chicken, shredded

1 medium shallot sliced

¼ cup scallions, minced

3 cups leftover rice, separated

1 tbs soy sauce

2 tsp black pepper

~steps

cook eggs in 1 tbs oil on high, remove and set aside when cooked through

sautee shallots, anchovies, chicken, and scallions in the rest of the oil in a wok or deep pan on high heat

add rice and toss until fully coated and heated completely through, 3 to 4 minutes

pour the soy sauce and pepper to the rice and stir until fully mixed

-serves 6-

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21
Apr
10

la rou fan-chinese bacon rice

lard rice...i said it...lard rice

This is not your vegan post.  There is no veggie option.  There are no similar flavors that can be replicated with tofu, seitan, veggies, or fake meat.  This is a post purely about the joy of lard and its flavors.  Yum.

The joy of some fatty substance mixed with starch is, as I find it, pretty common across borders.  Most people I talk to about it says it comes from memories of their youth. I heard of stories of butter mixed with soy sauce and rice given to young Koreans, tortillas slathered with butter for my Chicano friends, and myself enjoying the joys of lard, scallions, and cooked noodles mixed in a bowl.  Awesome!  It was so delicious, creamy, and wonderful.  The thought of it reminds me both of my youth and how the “waste not” pioneers started with the working class and trying to survive with what they had.  There is a  Chinese dish that roughly translated is called “Idiot Noodles”.  Concept being that an idiot can make it, however the noodle dish was created out of the fact that people in areas of China could not afford to throw away every part of the pig.  That after all the meat had been eaten, there still needed to be a way to feed the family, so they created a simple meal that was both filling and flavorful.

I’ve been doing some consulting work for a community based organization here in New York City.  It’s been a really great experience, and I have been brushing up on my Mandarin… so don’t be surprised when you find a post about 午餐肉 (dang, it took me like 5 minutes to type SPAM in Chinese).  In addition to the benefit of becoming a UN interpreter from my limited knowledge of mandarin, I also have been getting to know more about food.  Working with a working class community, I’ve been able to build relationships and really value the work and experiences of the members.  I’ve also been generously given homemade moonshine and Chinese bacon.  Both have brought me much squealing delight, one maybe more than the other.

Now, the bacon is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I haven’t really been able to get a sense of its history or any interesting facts, so if folks have any; leave it in the comments.  You can get the bacon in most Chinese supermarkets.  In the aisles or butcher section there is dried up sticks of pork belly fat that almost look like a mini meat club.  They can either be found hanging up or in vacuum packs, both will work for this dish.   This dish couldn’t be any simpler and tastes amazing as a side.  I have a rice cooker so I used that, but you can also cook it stovetop.  I just don’t know how.  You can also use this bacon for my brussel sprout with duck prociutto and substitute the duck for the best bacon you will ever taste!  And now, my ode to lard, in haiku form:

My Love of Lard

my love knows no bounds

provides rich flavor of joy

you do me no wrong

~stuff

1 cup uncooked rice

1 cup water, plus some for rinsing

6 ½ inch slices of Chinese Bacon/La Rou/Lap Yuk

½ tbs soy sauce

minced scallion for garnish, optional

~steps

rinse rice with water until liquid runs clear

mix all ingredients with water, rice, bacon and soy sauce

cook rice per direction of method (rice cooker or stove top)

serve topped with scallion

-serves 2-




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