Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Into the Frying Pan- Out of the Garden!

Riso Fritto con Verdure dal Giardino
Garden Vegetable Fried Rice


I know there are people out there that study recipes, devise a master plan and then head out, armed with a shopping list to get what they need to carry out said plan... but that's not me!

I am more the kind of guy that looks what's in his fridge and then thinks up a plan... and sometimes even a "plan b" based on what he's got!


So, tonight's supper was a fried rice dish, with a few Asian seasonings, but no particularly Asian ingredients except for a little ginger. But that's ok- because I wasn't aiming to recreate an authentic Asian dish at all- I was just aiming to make a nice plate of fresh food and be happy.


Apart from a little ginger, all I had at home were simple, everyday vegetables... so I used the last of the fresh peas, a stick of celery, a carrot, a handful of small, mild green peppers, and 5-6 radishes to turn my couple of cups of rice into a lovely Summer meal.

Fried together with peanut and sesame oil, seasoned with fish sauce, Thai sweet chili, 5-spice powder and lime juice, this was a light, fresh and tangy treat! Oh yes indeed!


Not your regular stir-fry it's true... but that's what this was all about for me! Just doing something a little different and having a little fun! That's what I like to do most in the kitchen!


There is a little chopping to be done of course, whilst the rice boils- but you should easily be finished with it in 10 minutes!

The carrots and celery were cut into slices on the diagonal, the radishes I cut into quarters, the ginger I chopped very finely and the Spring onion I also cut into small slices. As for the peppers... well to be honest, they were so ripe that after cutting off the tops and trying to cut out the seeds from the inside, I found that they simply snapped into pieces, all by themselves! That being the case, I gently pulled out the seeds and then tore them into quarters, just so, by hand... it was more fun!


The peas went into my rice cooker after the rice had boiled for 10 minutes, so that they would be partially cooked through the residual heat, whilst it sat and fluffed up for the next 10 minutes. I always prepare my rice this way: twice as much water as rice, boil for 10 minutes and then allow to rest with the lid on for 10 minutes- this gives you perfect, fluffy and moist but dry results every time.

I stir-fried the vegetables- all of them except the Spring onions, in a little peanut oil at a very high heat for 2-3 minutes, until they started to turn brown.


Next- it was time to bring everything together- the rice and peas and the other vegetables and to add some serious flavor!

I added a good splash of fish sauce- 1-2 tablespoons, 2 tablespoons of sweet Thai chili sauce, a half teaspoon of 5-spice powder, a splash of sesame oil, the juice of half a lime and mixed everything through nicely, with the heat still nice and high.


The result was a mildly sweet and spicy rice, healthy, light and delicious! Not greasy, not heavy and pretty and tasty at the same time- that's my kind of food!


Everything you need for a nice light meal- and lots of color and flavor to go with it! Enjoy!


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