Crunchy Garlic & Ginger Fried Rice
February 9, 2010 § 2 Comments
Today I biked home early while the morning chill still hung in the air. With a pleasant lump of free time stretched out in front of me, I decided to stop on the bridge straddling the Rillito River to watch a narrow stream of water trickle through the silty wash bottom. (Water in the river is such a sight for sore eyes around here that folks whip out cameras, just to document the occasion.) Afterward, I glanced to my left and behold – I caught a glimpse of hidden biking trail! Rather, I happened to notice a biking trail obscured by a shrimpy mesquite tree. With an audible cackle, I took an impromptu ride West! I pedaled underneath several underpasses, passed two lime-green playground sets, a regal American Kestrel, a bobcat playing in the dribbly water and one very over-zealous Beagle that lunged at my front tire. By the time I made it back home, hands chilled, ears bright red and forehead indented from my fire-hydrant-crimson helmet, I was famished. I wheeled my bike into the hallway and waddled (sore tush) into the kitchen. Fingers crossed (hoping my star ingredient hadn’t been used), I ca-clunked the veggie drawer open and cheered with an “Oooh, YES!” as I pulled out a great bundle of leeks!
This might not sound like a standard post-bike-ride meal, but the mere idea of this dish kept me plugging up Camino Cresta – a hill so staggering I looked like a hamster in a wheel, making negligible progress. This Mark Bittman-inspired dish couldn’t be simpler: a rice, leek & sesame-flavored bowl, topped with crunchy flakes of garlic and ginger. Other vegetables would be great; leave the leeks; take them out; add some carrots, peas, whatever you like, but you’ve gotta keep the crispy garlic and ginger flakes. The crunch is killer.
Ingredients – Serves 4:
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger
4 eggs / 1 per person
4 teaspoons sesame oil / 1 teaspoon per person
4 teaspoons tamari / 1 teaspoon per person
1. Cook rice according to package instructions. If pressed for time, cook rice the previous day.
2. Fill a medium-sized bowl with cool water. Cut leeks into slivers including a bit of the tougher, green part; it’ll soften with cooking. Soak in the water. (Leeks often have dirt nestled between the concentric circles. Instead of scrubbing, I prefer to soak them; this way, the dirt settles to the bottom of the water and the clean leeks stay on the surface.) When ready to cook, remove leeks from bowl with a slotted spoon.
3. Peel ginger & garlic and grate. Heat approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil on the stove until hot. Add grated ginger and garlic and fry until browned. Remove flakes with a slotted spoon to dry on a paper towel and set aside. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed. Saute leeks on medium-heat until softened and slightly caramelized, about 6-7 minutes. When slightly browned, add cooked rice and stir for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
4. While rice is heating, cook eggs to your preference in a separate pan. My family prefers eggs scrambled; the original recipe calls for fried eggs.
5. Assemble individual servings: place rice & leek mixture in a bowl, top with 1 egg per person, sprinkle with flakes of fried ginger and garlic. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and tamari and serve immediately.
Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free