17 April, 2006

Late-Nite Fried Rice

Yesterday I spent Easter passing time (and drinking quite a few bottles of wine) with the fam; my brother's girlfriend was there as well as vergueishon and my uncle who's staying with the folks. For dinner we feasted on honey-glazed ham and roasted duck, for which vergui and I made a tamarind sauce (very much an adventure that one), garlic-mashed potatoes with green beans and asparagus. There was so much food we had tons of leftovers, and I elected to take home the duck (it wasnt hard to convince me). My uncle eyed it and said "You've got enough there to make duck fried rice".

That hung around in my head all the way home, so when we got there we decided to make rice to have in the morning. It was while I was watching the rice that the urge to cook fried rice right then hit me, and I couldnt get the notion out of my head. It just kept turning over and over like some fat idea worm, and internally I carried on a debate over doing it then or in the morning--mind you, it was about 11:15 at night. Finally, I threw up my hands and declared "Goddammit! I'll just make fried rice right now". Surprisingly, for making it up as I went along the fried rice turned out very tasty, and I didnt even add salt or pepper--plus, the whole process only took 20 minutes.

So here's how to do Late-Nite fried rice. I did it with duck, but Im sure you can subsitute with any meat or, if you are a leaf browser, vegetable you like. The secret is that you must have Ketjap Manis. Ketjap is simply an Indonesian soy sauce that is thick and sweet. You can find it at any international market in the city (or even chinese/korean grocer).

1. Slice about a quarter of an onion (or more if you prefer). You dont want the slices too thin or thick. Also chop finely two cloves of garlic and two green onion stocks. I also had three mushrooms left over so I sliced those up. Any other random vegetables you have are also great to add, but since it is late night you should try to keep it simple. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, take the meat off the duck to have ready. Set aside. You should also have rice ready somewhere.

3. Also in the meanwhile, beat two eggs in a small bowl. Melt butter in a frying pan and when it hot enough (dont have it at too high of a flame!) pour the egg in. Turn the flame very low and then cover with a top; let cook for a while, this will create a perfect pancake-like egg that's easy to cut up and add to the rice.

4. Heat some vegetable oil, about a tablespoon or so, in to a hot wok. When the oil is smoking throw (carefully!) in the onion, followed quickly by the garlic. Let cook for a minute or two before throwing in the green onions. Another 2 minutes and then throw in the mushroom. Once all the ingrediants are in, cook for a minute and then add in a bunch of soy sauce. Stir quickly until everything is coated, then add the duck.

5. After a minute or so, add the rice. Once the rice is in stir often while adding more soy sauce. Squirt some Ketjap on as well; the soy sauce and the ketjap will add the salty sweetness required for fried rice. At some point add the chopped egg and mix everything together so the rice is coated.

6. Voila! Eat.

So there you have it folks: late-nite fried rice, without any added salt or other spices--just soy sauce and ketjap! The whole process, including veggie prep and cooking time, took just 20 minutes. For added fun, use Sirachi hot sauce (the clear bottle with the red chile sauce, the rooster graphic and green cap) to give it a nice kick.

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