Latest posts by Romonobyl (see all)
- MIDWEEK RATIONS EPISODE XII – GUESS WHO’S BACK??? – August 9, 2017
- Commentist Beer Barrel: Boots On The Ground – Texas Edition – July 10, 2017
- MIDWEEK RATIONS EP: XI – TAIN’T THE SEASON – June 28, 2017
That’s right bitches, ain’t gettin’ rid of me that easily. Romo’s back, back again (relax, not the real one). Actually, wasn’t it his shoulder that did him in…twice? I guess Mk-2 Mod-7 Manningbot was fresh out of spare parts to rebuild him. Papa John requires but one lone cyborg apparently.
This will likely be my last submission a while with teh footing of the ball finally visible on the horizon, so I’ll go out with a bang by showing youse all how I finally managed to cobble together a spectacular batch of fried rice. I’m not bragging because I love this shit and tried making it countless times but it never came out very good, until now. I simply couldn’t get the rice right before, it always came out, the only word that describes it is…gloopy. Sticky rice is typically desirable in Asian cuisine when served as a side or in sushi, but not so much as fried rice because all the other good stuff won’t blend in well. I tried all the tricks – rinse the starch off before cooking, use leftover rice, you name it and I still had the same results. Then one day Dame Nobyl made a rice dish using a technique she learned from her mom, and it was excellent. The trick was to saute the rice a bit in oil before boiling. I also saw that on my TeeVee picture box once so I thought I’d that a try.
Bingo, that did the trick. Whether of not your making fried rice, use this technique every time you make rice as the results are perfect, unless you desire sticky rice for what you are making. It’s a little more work but well worth it.
On to the details:
That’s a fat cup of Jasmine rice, my particular favorite. I used about a tablespoon of sesame oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat, normally just use veggie oil but this is Asian-inspired after all. You won’t hear any sizzle as there’s no water here, so don’t crank the heat any higher. Just keep moving the rice around for a few minutes as it heats up. You don’t want to brown the rice, in fact at first a few grains will start getting really white, even whiter than Eli Manning’s annual Christmas card family photo. Just keep sauteing until you start smelling a bit of nuttiness from the rice, then you’re done. The Dame used her wok for this, which has a tight sealing lid, and just added water to the pan and boiled covered until done. I wanted to be different, guys are like that, and got 1-3/4 cups of water boiling in a separate saucepan and dumped the rice in that and simmered on low all lidded up. If you’re just making rice, let this go for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked to your liking. Use less water for drier rice. For this dish, a bit less water is good and pull after 10 minutes; we want this slightly al-dente as we will be cooking it more later. Oh, if possible do this a day early then let cool and refrigerate. Fried rice, just like sausage, dog food and inner city public school lunches, was created to use up leftover food products. Day-old rice will absorb the liquids better when we make the fried stuff, but it isn’t mandatory. I made the rice the same day and spread it out on a large plate to cool while I prepped the rest of the ingredients, it still came out fine.
About those other ingredients:
This would be a good time to raid your fridge for any leftover animal proteins laying around. Pork chops? Chicken? Steak? Check. Dice it up and toss in later. I had nothing, so I picked up some blade tenderized cheapo thin pork chops and a bag of frozen shrimp. I prefer domestic critters, preferably wild caught. The farm raised bugs from “other” countries are not as stringently controlled, I’m fussy about that. I can actually buy them freshly caught off the docks nearby, but I wasn’t there at the time so this will do. Raw and shells on if possible.
Oh, yeah. Some chicken berries (I actually used three) and a big shallot will make an appearance soon. Onion is also fine, but I dig shallots and use them a lot. A couple of garlic cloves will be needed, and some frozen veg as well, they didn’t make the pic.
A heavy shot of veg oil in the same pan then toss in the shrimp (NOT shrimps, I hate that). Yep, leave the shells on, they protect the meat from burning and add a lot of flavor to the oil. Toss this around over medium-high heat until just opaque. DO NOT overcook! Remember, this will be added back later and can finish cooking then. When done, scoop them on to a plate but save the oil. Remove the pan from the heat so we can peel the shrimp.
This is a cool little gadget. It’s a shrimp peeler-deveiner. The so-called vein in shrimp is actually their digestive tract. That’s right, you’re not removing a harmless blood vessel, that’s a crustacean poop-chute and it’s gotta go. There’s a technique to this though. As said by the vast majority of the women in my life, you can’t just put it anywhere.
This is easier with raw shrimp, but it still works. Slide the tip in (phrasing!) and keep going until the shell splits and peels away (niche phrasing!). A small paring knife across the back will also work. This will expose the turd tunnel which can be scraped away. Take the creepy legs off as well. Pile the cleaned meat in a bowl for later. Speaking of bowls:
One shrimp made it to the floor, so unlike most chain restaurants I didn’t return it to the pan, but tossed it into the dog’s dish. Here’s a fun fact: Dogs, at least mine, don’t much care for parboiled shrimp. This is disconcerting, as he won’t hesitate to nosh away at the cat’s litter box. He’s a freak I guess.
Back to business. Using that shrimp-infused oil still in the pan, we cook up the pork cut into bite sized pieces. I didn’t get a pic of this, I’m sure you get the idea. I kept the heat up to get some good browning, unlike the shrimp cook this all the way. If using leftover meat, just toss it around to heat through and soak up that oil. Add to the bowl of shrimp, saving any oil. Eggs are next, scramble away until just set. Set aside for now.
That bowl is bigger than it looks, like select parts of my anatomy.
Veggie time. Thaw some frozen corn, peas and carrots in the microwave, then toss in your biggest frying pan with the sliced shallot/onion and some butter. Use a mix with lima beans and I hope you choke and die on one of those disgusting little things. Lima beans are the Devil’s own shriveled, cancerous testicles. Notice I stay away from measurements here, like a good hibachi chef I just use the amount that looks right. Add some sesame oil if the pan gets dry, then press in some garlic cloves. I always add garlic later, it can’t take the heat as well as the onion. This is a good time to crank on a bunch of black pepper, but no salt yet. I remembered a pic this time:
This is when I wish I had a big restaurant-style flat top grill, that way I could do this all at once. Maybe in my next life. Regardless, now we start bringing everything together, this is why the big pan.
Add the rice to the veggies, get it mixed in well then add a good stream of soy sauce (get the good shit) until the color looks right. I like a little sweetness with some teriyaki sauce, please use homemade, remember? Toss this around until evenly mixed.
Notice there has been no salt added? We just did with all that soy and teriyaki sauce, which is swimming in sodium. A few shots of saki will be nice to waken up the cold rice a bit, then everything else…back in the pool!
Heat through then squeeze on some fresh lemon and test for salt and pepper, add as necessary. I also like a healthy pinch or two of toasted sesame seeds, whatever works for you.
And there you have it, sports fans. Sorry, no plating pic because we kept eating it right out of the pan, it was really that good. I avoid busy shit like baby corn and water chestnuts, I like this simple approach. The rice prep trick is the key, there was no clumping or mushiness at all. Yeah, not really a super quick meal but it didn’t take that long and there’s no lengthy wait times during cooking, which is why I love Asian-style preparation.
Speaking of. Last December The Dame and I spent two (2) weeks in Southeast Asia. Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, to be specific. It was a work trip for her, I just tagged along. I got desperately sick in an isolated village deep in a Filipino mountain range that we stayed in for a few days. Long story short – the altitude, lack of food and my blood pressure meds (the main culprit) apparently caused my electrolyte levels to crash. If it wasn’t for a few bottles of Gatorade someone dug up you might be light one Cowboy fan in this merry band. Yeah, I was really that sick. I might do a write up about it sometime, it was quite the adventure. I have lots of pictures, but I have to do some major editing as there are serious international laws about the use of such images.
Until then, hope you give this rice a try, you won’t be disappointed. See ya for the preseason!!! DAK DAK DAK DAK DAK!!!!!!