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
3 leeks
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

Methods:

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

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§ 2 Responses to Crunchy Garlic & Ginger Fried Rice

  • buncobabes says:

    This was one of Regina’s tastiest dishes ever — a definite “repeat” meal. In fact, I’m dreaming of tomorrow’s lunch, assuming she doesn’t polish off the leftovers herself! (Got that, Reg?)

  • […] + citrus salad, sliced the last of the butternut squash to mix with my favorite tahini dressing and bubbled rice for a few portable lunches this week, I leaned back against a pile of clean dishes and a cold glass in my hand.  In a room […]

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