This is the ultimate cheap food – a sublimely delicious dish made out of leftovers and odds and ends. You can use any vegetables you have on hand; just make sure to chop finely so that they’ll cook quickly. This is inspired by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s excellent cookbook for these lean times, Seductions of Rice. Serves four as a side dish; for a main dish, make this recipe once, then wipe out wok and repeat.
• 2 Tbsp. oil
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 2 cups cooked rice
Vegetables such as:
• 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
• Broccoli, cut into very small florets
• 1 or 2 kale leaves, sliced finely
• Leftover poultry or meat, sliced thinly
• 2 tsp. fish sauce
• 1 tsp. soy sauce
• Cilantro leaves
• Cucumber slices
• Scallion greens, finely chopped
• Lime wedges
• Fish sauce with chilies
• 1 egg per person
1. This is a great dish to cook in a wok. Otherwise, use a large frying pan.
2. Heat the wok, and when it is hot but not smoking, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring until golden. Add vegetables and keep stirring and cooking. Then add the rice, separating the grains as you scoop and turn and press.
3. Add the scallions, fish sauce and soy sauce. Cook, while still stirring and tossing, for another minute.
4. Serve with cucumber slices, cilantro leaves, lime wedges and scallion greens.
5. If desired, wipe out wok, add another tablespoon of oil and fry an egg in the wok for each person. Serve on top of the rice.
6. For a spicy condiment, finely chop fresh chilies and combine with 1/2 cup of fish sauce. Keeps in a sealed jar in the fridge almost indefinitely and mellows over time.
More Feeding Your Family for January 2009
- ESSAY: Junk Food
- RECIPE: Thai Fried Rice
- WHAT'S IN SEASON? Escarole!
- GADGETS & GOODIES...and GIFTS! Soup Skimmers
- HEALTH CHECK