Sunday, July 25, 2010

Odds and ends: Pork fried rice

As many eaters of Indian and Chinese takeout will tell you, there is always more rice than necessary. It hangs out, forgotten, in its little container at the back of the fridge, until it turns into a dry, sad little block of white that even the most intrepid won't want to bring to the office to nuke for lunch. Or, if you are trying to save money like we are currently, the same can be said of the leftover dried out rice at the bottom of the rice cooker, that part thats kind of stuck to the pot.
Resist the urge to throw this unwanted rice away! Thems good eats, with a little know-how. It's a great way to use up your leftovers, and a cheap meal to boot.
Fried rice is awesome because there is no wrong thing to put into it. Wilting veggies, leftover ham, bacon, chicken, sausage, whatever. You can even make hot dog fried rice.
I mean, if you want to. I wouldn't.

I only had about two cups worth of leftover rice this time around, so need plenty of other things to fill it up. I decided to try my hand at char-siu pork (chinese BBQ pork) to add in with the rice, since I was at the butcher anyway and pork butt is pretty cheap.

Char-siu style pork:

  • 6 pieces of pork butt, trimmed and cut 1 inch thick


  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1.5 Tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • a splash of Mirin (sweet rice wine)

  • a squirt of sriracha

  • 1/4 teaspoon chinese five-spice powder

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Add the slices of pork, making sure to cover completely in the marinade.

  3. Let the pork marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, turning once to make sure everything is covered.

  4. Set your oven to 350 degrees.

  5. Line a pan with foil - the sauce carmelizes and is extremely hard to clean off of pans.

  6. Remove the pork from the marinade, letting it drip off, and bake for 25 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees.

  7. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes, then slice very thinly. You can either add it to the rice near the end, or lay on top of the finished fried rice.

For the Fried Rice:

  • whatever vegetables you like, diced finely. Zucchini, peppers, edamame, peas, water chestnuts, carrots, bean sprouts, thin slices of ginger are all good things to add.

  • Anything else you want in the rice (like leftover protein), chopped up small.

  • one onion, diced finely

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • three eggs, beaten

  • Leftover rice

  • oil (I used coconut)

  • five-spice powder

  • soy sauce

  • sesame oil to finish

  1. Bring a heavy skillet (or wok, if you have one) to medium high heat.

  2. Add the cooking oil - I used coconut oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the onion and then the garlic. Sprinkle over kosher salt and a bit of five-spice.

  3. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft.

  4. Add the vegetables and stir until crisp- tender, a few minutes.

  5. Move the onion and veggies to one side of the skillet and add the beaten eggs to the other side, tilting the pan back and forth to over the bottom. Think like making an omelet. after 30 seconds of this, stir up the egg to scramble, then tilt the pan again so the liquid egg runs off to the bottom, and repeat. The trick is to get a nice crepe-like scrambled egg to add into the mix.

  6. Once the egg is just about cooked, add the rice, a little soy sauce, and a little sesame oil. Stir so everything is mixed up in the pan.  Cook two minutes or until the rice is heated through.

  7. Add the char-siu pork, on top or mixed in, and enjoy your cheap, delicious meal!


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