Pickled Mustard Green Fried Rice

Do you have days where you sort of run out of things to cook? Days when you are short of a few ingredients for a dish but don’t want to drive out to the store just yet because you end up picking up non related stuff? Yup I have plenty of those days and yesterday was no exception.

I’ve been bad lately; sleeping late and waking up late as well. :( This mean skipping what nutritionist calls the most important meal of the day-breakfast. When yesterday lunch time rolled around I just popped the fridge and put together what I had which resulted in this surprisingly yummy Pickled Mustard Green Fried Rice (Bai Cha Jruk Spey) បាយឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពី.

I had my share of mushy fried rice days until recently. After numerous trial and error and with some research online I was able to perfect my fried rice, IMHO. 😛 Here are my tested tips to homemade but restaurant style/quality fried rice.

  • Chill left-over rice in the refrigerator overnight.
    This will allow the liquid to dry up and the grains to hold it’s shape and not turn mushy when frying. The sauce and seasonings will liven it back up. The rice grains will absorb all the liquid making them flavorful in every bite.
  • Fry ingredients separately.
    This will ensure that each item you lay on the pan get their share of “wok/pan time”. You want to be able to taste each of the flavors and not crowd them. Since all the ingredients will joined again at the end, you only have to cook it to about 80%.
  • High heat is essential.
    Just be patient and allow the pan to heat up again before you start frying the next item.
  • Try not to touch!
    Sometime we are tempted to start moving thing around fearing they might burn. Spread them out and use all the pan surface. Give them a chance to cook and crisp up then go at it. If you do too much digging and poking, you will end up breaking the rice grains releasing the starch which results in a mushy and sticky fried rice.

Ingredients
2.5 cups cooked rice
10 lil’ smokie, cut into cube
3 eggs, lightly beaten season with a dash of salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 hot red bird’s eye chili, chopped (optional)
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1 cup chopped pickled mustard greens

Seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon sesame oil

Method:

Prepare seasoning and set aside.

Heat a pan til hot then toss in lil’ smokie. There is no need to add oil as the meat will draw out it’s own oil. For a nice and crunchy meat make sure to arrange them in a single layer on the pan. Do not touch it! Let it cook for about 1 minute on each side. Remove, leaving the fat behind, and set aside.

Wait a couple of seconds for the pan to heat up again and use the remainder oil in the pan to quickly fry the lightly beaten eggs. Separate them with a spatula. Remove when it’s 80% cooked. The eggs should still be a bit watery.

In the same pan add garlic, chili, ¾ chopped green onions and do a quick stir fry until fragrant but carefully not to burn them. Next toss in chopped pickled mustard greens and spread them out. Make a well in the middle (or move them to the side).

Add cooked rice (try to do it in a single layer so that the grains touch the bottom of the pan). Leave it alone for a couple of minutes before you start to stir them around. This will allow the rice to crisp up.

Pour seasoning all around and continue to stir fry to incorporate the flavors. You will notice that the rice grains barely stick to the pan. They are still plumped and not mushy. This is because you allow them “wok time” ( a chance to touch the bottom on the pan/wok).

Finally return the lil’ smokie and fried eggs and mix them together one more time.

Dish out to serve and sprinkle with the remainder chopped green onion. Enjoy this delicious creation of mine :). I hope that my tips were helpful to you and that you enjoyed making and eating this as much as I did.

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