Thursday, September 29, 2011

"How to Cook Chinese/Japanese/ Filipino food at home"

To be honest, I don't know which this recipe is. The rice bit is (with minor adjustments by me) from my aunt , who is Filipino, but the rest is just what I thought smelled good and looked oriental. And it tastes FANTASTIC, if I may say so myself. A friend of mine saw this dish once and thought I had ordered it from a Japanese restaurant. And it must be sorta kinda authentic, since part of it came from my aunt, right?

I've never had restaurant-style oriental food (only dishes made by people from those countries - lucky me!), so I don't know if this tastes like what you would buy in a Japanese or Chinese restaurant. Make it yourself and tell me.

This recipe below makes one serving. Multiply it according to how many people you need to feed. Of course, like most cooking, it's very flexible. Add a little extra rice to make it stretch. Skimp on an egg or two if you don't have enough. And so on and so forth.

So...Here we go: (And, once again, I apologize for how wordy my recipes are. Can't help it!)

Orient Rice, Amber-Style

~ minced garlic (the kind you buy in a little jar in its own juice is so convenient! ...But you could chop fresh garlic too. Just be sure to chop tiny.)
~ 2 TBS butter, or a little less. Maybe 1 1/2 TBS
~ 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, one day old (the age is important so that it's not too moist.)
~ 1 egg (home-raised is best!)
~ 2 TBS ground beef, cooked with onions (Is your family like mine, where you cook up a bunch of ground beef with onions at one time, early in the week, and use it throughout the week for spaghetti, sloppy joes, soups, casseroles, etc.? I just grabbed a little bit from the fridge.)
~ 1 tsp. soy sauce (Please do measure this - just 1 tsp. is enough! Ever read the back of the bottle? 1 TBS gives you 38% of your daily salt allowance!)
~ 1 large carrot, scrubbed
~ 1/2 of one large green sweet pepper (fresh from the garden is delightful!)

Are you ready?
: (Note - you will be making two parts for this dish - rice, and fried vegetables to go on top. Make the rice first and keep it warm, or, if you're talented, get the veggies going, and when they're almost done start the rice.)

Rice Directions:
Melt some of the butter (3/4 TBS or less) in a small frying pan. Once it is melted, turn your heat down to simmer and add a small scoop (1/4 tsp. or so, to taste) of minced garlic. Let that saute until the garlic is soft and smells wonderful. Don't let the butter get too brown. Keeping the heat low is key. Think slow cooking.

Add the cooked meat, and toss to coat in butter. Let it heat for a few moments. Turn the heat up to medium. Once it reaches the heat level you would use to cook eggs, continue.

Now, you want to do the next three additions quickly, so have them all ready. Have your rice measured out and ready to dump in, plus 3/4 tsp. of soy sauce and one egg.

Add the egg to the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon. You're making scrambled eggs. As soon as the egg starts to cook, add the rice and soy sauce. Stir continuously as the egg cooks. You want the rice to fry, but you don't want the egg to over-cook and be rubbery. Find that perfect moment of "doneness." And remember, eggs always continue to cook in their own heat once you take them off the stove, so stop a few moments before you think they're done.

Now, set the rice aside, but keep it warm until your veggie topping is ready.

Fried Vegetables Directions:
Chop your carrot and green pepper into 2.5" lengths. Then slice the pieces into strips. The strips should be thin, like a lasagna noodle, and about 1/4" wide. Now melt your remaining butter in a larger fry pan, and saute a small amount of garlic until soft. Turn heat up to medium. Add remaining soy sauce (about 1/4 tsp.) and the carrots. Let the carrots cook for 2-3 minutes, to give them a head start, since they're crisper, and then add the green pepper. Fry until the veggies are soft and limp, and just starting to caramelize around the edges. (Mmmmm!) Remove from heat and serve over the rice.

Try to restrain yourself.


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