*Fried rice is such a quick classic home cooked dish which is perfect for using up leftovers. This version uses tomato that flavours the rice beautifully and best of all the cooking time is short and that includes the egg netting on top. It's a delicious meal in one on your table in less than 30 minutes! *
Even as a child, my favourite time of the week was the weekend. I never really looked forward to school, I always felt as though there was something else out there although when I was small, I never really knew what it was. But for me, school was a drudgery but a necessary one.
Still, I would sit in wait for weekends ready to pounce like a cat. Because every Saturday when we were growing up, my mother would make fried rice. There was always rice left over because my father has a fixation on rice. I've mentioned before how particular he is about it. He once visited me when I lived in Japan and left the country because he didn't like the rice. That is 100% true. So growing up, he would always make plenty of rice for dinner (and only he would make it) and as a result by the end of the week we would have a lot leftover. The best part of fried rice was of course the layer of crunchy rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. I would always get this because I was the oldest much to the disappointment of my younger sister.
Most of you know that you need day old rice to make fried rice and this is to ensure that it doesn't get too goopy or gluggy. But it was when I put up a picture of a tomato tarte tatin made when I bought a glut of tomatoes for tomato sauce that a follower asked if I had made tomato rice. I've had Vietnamese tomato rice, that fabulous take on regular rice but I had never made it myself.
I decided to make a hybrid of the Vietnamese tomato rice and Chinese fried rice (hence the generic "Asian" title). When I put the tomato mixture into the rice I thought that it looked absolutely awful and was about to pack it all in and take something else out of the freezer instead. But once you keep turning and turning and cooking the rice and add seasonings it really is something delicious and transforms from a pale, watery mix to a full flavoured dish that you can serve on its own. And all in under 30 minutes too!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you order fried rice or steamed rice when you eat out? And are you the eldest, youngest or middle child in your family?
Asian Tomato Fried Rice
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- Oil for frying
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 2 Lup Cheong sausages or 3 rashers of bacon, sliced
- 4 cups day old cooked rice
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 cup peas
- 1-2 tablespoons chilli sauce
- Sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- White pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
Honestly, what a boring photo. Boiled rice? Really Lorraine?
Step 1 - Place the beaten eggs in a squeezy bottle or place in an empty milk carton and cut a little hole out to pour it in a thin stream. Heat a large frypan or wok on medium high heat and add oil. Make a cross hatch pattern with the egg.
Don't worry if your first one isn't perfect, by the third or fourth you'll have the hang of it. Lift the omelettes gently and place on a plate for later. You will actually make about 4 or 5 with this.
Pouring the beaten egg into the squeezy container
Step 2 - Blend the tomato paste and tomatoes together until smooth. Add more oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the Chinese sausages or bacon and fry until cooked. Add the rice and fry. Turn the heat to high, add the tomato and tomato paste mix and stir to cover the rice.
Add the fish sauce for flavour and then the peas. Add some more oil if you are finding that it is sticking. Add the chilli sauce, sesame oil, sugar and white pepper to taste. Add more fish sauce if you need more saltiness or add more sugar if it isn't quite balanced enough (it depends on your taste and how sweet the tomatoes are). Save two of the nicest lacy omelettes and cut up the rest and toss throughout the rice along with the green onions.
It goes from this...
Step 3 - Place on a plate and drape the two lacy omelettes on top.