Asian-Styled Shiitake Mushroom Fried Rice
Home late from work, tired, stressed-out and hungry... those are just of the things that I was by the time I finally got home this evening- although not necessarily in that order!
I had basically nothing in the fridge at home and was trying to hold-out until tomorrow and the market as usual- but on my stop at the supermarket to pick up yogurt and other such stuff- I got tempted by the delicious looking Shiitake mushrooms- and that was that. Supper was decided on!
An absolutely low-stress meal, absolutely not "authentic"- but absolutely delicious and perfect in a situation like this- Oh- and especially super-easy thanks to my trusty rice cooker! All I had to do was tend to my veggies for a while and then Bang! it was done- finished in just 20 minutes!
Apart from the Shiitake mushrooms, I just relied on absolute basics that i already had at home and needed clearing my fridge of anyway! I just made the most of what I happened to have- a stalk of celery, a carrot, a Spring onion, a couple of mini red peppers, about 3-4" of leek, about 1" of fresh ginger and a little parsley. As I said- not authentic maybe- but it ain't only what you use- it's also the way that you use it!
With a few great Asian seasonings and spices, I was still able to get a lot of great flavor into my simple vegetables and rice and turn them into a delightful plate of honest good food- and that's good enough for me! If I really wanted "authentic" Chinese and did not depend on a traditional family run restaurant to prepare it for me- I would be pretty silly really! But for a weekday night? Oh- this was a pretty good solution for plain ol' lil' ol' me! Haha!
So, whilst the rice was simmering away (I boiled it for 10 minutes and let it sit and steam with the power turned off, for 5 minutes more), I sliced up my vegetables thinly and chopped up the ginger into a fine dice.
I also trimmed the ends from the stems of the mushrooms and cut them in half- and as soon as I had my frying pan nice and hot, I added a little peanut oil and got it sizzling and ready to go!
I began with the celery, carrot, peppers and chopped ginger, as they were the ingredients that would take longest to cook.
2-3 minutes later, I added the mushrooms and a generous sprinkle of chili flakes- in this case my beloved shrimp-flavored Thai chili, which you can get at most Asian supermarkets- but any will do! And if chili is to hot and spicy for you- just use pepper- it's all good!
After 2-3 minutes, I added a good splash of soy sauce to get the seasoning going...
Next came the rice, with a good sprinkle of 5-spice powder and a splash of Thai fish sauce to round off the flavor and get the seasoning fuller and richer.
A final drizzle of sesame oil and a little chopped parsley, a good toss in the pan, a drizzle of Hoisin before serving and a scattering of parsley leaves as a garnish... and there you have it! A faux-Asian, but yummy bowl of vegetables and rice to enjoy! The only thing that really matters is that it is healthy and delicious anyway!
And it just so happens to look as nice as it tastes too! Either that... or the opposite... or both!