Today is Chinese New Year and to celebrate I thought that I'd share a simple but delicious family pleasing recipe with you. Fried rice is an easy stand by meal that tends to please young and old but adding ginger adds a great flavour boost to make this every day a little bit more special. The best thing of course is how easy it is to make.
They say that the apple never falls too far from the tree which means that the similarities between us and our parents are closer than you might think. Despite being the most mainstream of his hippy family, Mr NQN certainly reverts to a lot of his family's behaviour as we all tend to do. This happened recently when he was tasked with grocery shopping while I was away.
When I got home, there was a lot of bulk items including a 10 kilo bag of rice. "But you don't even like rice!" I exclaimed. It's true, he will prefer to eat a curry by itself than with rice but the lure of a bulk bargain was still there, borne of the Elliott's bulk buying ways growing up.
It's not just the Elliotts of course. My parents have a continuously running stock of 1 year supply of creamed corn, tinned coconut milk and soy milk. There's nothing wrong with buying in large quantities of course provided that you can store it. They have a big house, we live in a tiny apartment.
I've been trying to think of ways to use up the rice and so far we're only three quarters of the way through because there are just the two of us and of course rice expands to four times its size when cooked. But I remembered a dish we had eaten at a Chinese restaurant. It was a ginger fried rice. Aha! It was a way to get my rice apathetic husband to eat rice as he loves ginger.
One of the things that I love about fried rice is how easy it is to make. If there was a 30 minute meal it would be this. But I didn't expect to love it this much. I added Lup Cheong, a Chinese pork sausage that I absolutely adore and some of the usual fried rice ingredients along with a generous amount of ginger, garlic and onion.
If you like chicken rice then you may enjoy this fantastically fragrant version of fried rice. It was even a hit with my father who doles out compliments at the rate of one per two years. I added masterstock which you can buy or make as it provides a delicious and quick way to flavour the rice. I gave a recipe for this in my memoir "Not Quite Nigella"and the lovely Tandy reprinted it on her blog here if you want to make it yourself. It keeps in the freezer and even becomes an heirloom in some families so it is worth making so that you have a great stock to add to soups and dishes.
We all loved it that we're serving it at a Chinese New Year dinner tonight! Kung Hei Fat Choy or Happy Chinese New Year Dear Readers!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a bulk buyer? Is there something that you stock up on? Do you celebrate Chinese New Year by eating out or cooking something special?
Ginger Fried Rice
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
- 4 cups day old rice (you get 4 cups of cooked rice from 1 cup uncooked rice)
- 1/2 cup Chinese masterstock
- Oil for frying
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 4 tablespoons finely minced ginger
- 2 pieces lup cheong Chinese pork sausage, sliced*
- 4 sticks green onion, sliced
- Salt and white pepper for seasoning*
*My mother never used black pepper growing up, it was also pre ground white pepper. By all means use black pepper if that is all that you have. I mostly use black pepper but I love white pepper in Chinese dishes. Lup Cheong is also found at some larger supermarkets or at Asian grocery stores. You can find it on a shelf at the store rather than in the fridge.
Step 1 - Mix the rice with the masterstock in a large bowl. Set aside. Heat a frypan onto medium to high heat and add oil. Fry the eggs to make a flat omelette and turn over. Set aside on a plate. Add a bit more oil and add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the Lup Cheong to the pan and fry this for a minute. Add the rice and fry for until cooked through and fragrant.
Step 2 - Place the egg omelette on a chopping board and slice thinly. Toss 3/4 of it through the fried rice and also add 3/4 of the green onions too. Taste for seasoning, it may need a little salt or pepper. Place in a serving bowl and decorate with the egg and green onions.