One of the first things I cooked for the LAM when we first started dating was fried rice. In fact, the first thing I learnt to cook when I was 10 was fried rice. I remember I would stand by the stove to watch my mom while she cooked. And that was how I learnt to cook – my mom never actually taught me in a systematic, step-by-step manner. It was all observe-and-pick-up-what-I-could. I think in hindsight, it was really the best way to learn. The only draw-back I can think of is that because my mom never measured anything – it was all “agar-agar” (guess work) measurements, in order to blog these days, I now need to measure and write everything in cups and grams. BUMMER! 😛
I remember there was luncheon meat, eggs, and char siu in the fried rice I made for the LAM. It has been 8 years and even today, if I were to exclude any of these 3 ingredients when I cook fried rice, he would ask, “What is this? This is NOT fried rice!!”
Of course, my husband is a stickler for the familiar. He believes that once a combination works, why change it? To a large extent, he is right. While I had at times substituted roast chicken for the luncheon meat, it never really worked. It was OKAY, but the luncheon meat really makes the fried rice.
I had all these grand plans to cook something a little more elaborate today, but since my helper cooked extra rice last Saturday, the rice has been sitting in the fridge, begging to be dealt with. And over-night (or in this case, nights) rice simply begs to be fried.
You can cook fried rice from beginning to end in 15 minutes flat. EASILY. I started by placing a bag of frozen vegetables into a pot of boiling water. I cooked that for about 5 minutes so that the vegetables would soften. While the vegetables were cooking, I simply chopped the luncheon meat into cubes and pan fried them until they turned brown.
In the meantime, I cut the fish cake, also into cubes. Whenever I go to the wet market, I will visit my char siu lady. She will cut the char siu for me – into little cubes for fried rice, or strips for fried noodles. All I do when I get home is to divide the char siu into bags and place them in the freezer until I need them.
The last thing I needed to do before I could fry the rice was to cook the eggs. I simply beat the eggs with the soy sauce and some white pepper, and fried them in some oil in a really, really hot wok. For a pictorial guide on how to do this, see here.
In the same wok, I added some oil, and fried some minced garlic until they were almost brown.
I then added the mixed vegetables.
Once I had given everything a good mix, I added the char siu and fish cake.
This was followed by the luncheon meat.
I seasoned with white pepper. I love pepper. 🙂
Since everything I had used today was already cooked, mixing the ingredients took me about 3-4 minutes.
Now, this is what I always do when I cook fried rice. Once I have mixed the ingredients that I am using, I will take half of it out to store in the freezer. In this way, when I am in a huge hurry in the near future, I will be able to cook fried rice in 5 minutes. If you do not like to store food in the freezer, then use less of everything.
The rice was added to the ingredients, together with both the light and dark soy sauces and the ground white pepper. I turned the fire down to low and mixed everything together. If you like the rice to be darker, add more dark soy.
Once everything was mixed, the dish ready.
This is something I cook regularly at home.
Everyone, from young to old, from ang moh to Asian, loves this!
What’s not to love about this dish! 🙂
- 1 can Luncheon meat, cubed
- 250g frozen vegetable, thawed
- 200g fish cake, cubed
- 200g char siu, chopped
- 3 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp light soy sauce and a pinch of ground white pepper
- 1 tbs garlic, minced
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tbs light soy sauce
- 3 tbs dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 3 cups cooked white rice (kept in the fridge over-night)
- Boil vegetables for 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Fry luncheon meat in a little oil until brown. Drain and reserve.
- Fry eggs until just scrambled. Reserve.
- In the wok, add the vegetable oil. Add garlic and fry until almost brown.
- Add all the ingredients, except the rice. Toss.
- (At this stage, take half of the ingredients out if freezing for later use.)
- Add rice, light and dark soy, and ground white pepper. Mix until all the rice has turned brown.
- Garnish with chopped chives (if desired) and serve hot!