by Zabar's Chef Andrew Regnier
I have two kids. Many of you probably do too, maybe more or less. Some of you have insanely busy schedules and jobs that keep you busy for too many hours in the day, family duties, community obligations, school, exercise, peace of mind, all in one day. Who has time to cook!
I love recipes that are easy and delicious (I also don’t have time to make things that aren’t good.) What I love about fried rice is that it is infinitely adaptable. You can follow the recipe to the letter, you can just use what’s in your fridge, you can cook your favorite rice for the dish or use leftover take-out rice. What I love about Chef Andrew’s recipe is that it improves on fried rice recipes without straying from the fundamentals and doesn't make things complicated. The ingredients are the key for achieving the beautiful layers of flavors he creates in this dish.
I absolutely follow his tip to prepare all the veggies and even measure out all the sauces before beginning to fry. Actually, I prepare everything hours in advance, before anyone’s hungry; it’s like magic having all the ingredients waiting for me when I’m ready to cook. Once it’s on the stove it’s a wonderful and fragrant couple of minutes before we’re sitting down to eat.
Let us know what you think when you try it. Do you have a favorite fried rice recipe?
From Chef Andrew Regnier:
Nasi Goreng is a popular dish as a meal with any type of meat is added, or as a side dish as presented here. The Indonesians use this rice dish to supplement any fish, seafood or meat they have available. Its complexity in flavors with the spicy sweet and savory notes is especially suited for pork & shrimp. My recipe is a home version of this Indonesian Staple.
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side.
2 cups cooked and cooled rice (white or brown rice)
1 leek, white part only (cut lengthwise then in thin slices) or a medium onion
2 carrots, medium sized, shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced small
½ medium cucumber, diced small
½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp crushed & finely chopped lemongrass
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp ketchup or tomato puree
½ tsp Sambal Oelek or Siracha (chili paste - optional)
2 Tbl light soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbl of water
1. Cook the rice ahead of time and allow it to cool for 3 hours or overnight. Warm or hot rice will release its starch when fried and create a glutinous final product, i.e. mushy!
2. Beat two eggs and fry them into a flat omelet. (At Zabar’s for presentation purposes we dice the omelet and incorporate it in the rice, but traditionally it is covered on top.)
3. Mix the prepared leek, carrots, red bell pepper, Kirby cucumber, ginger, lemongrass, and sesame oil and fry them in a hot skillet or wok for approximately 2 minutes.
4. Add the ketchup, Sambal Oelek, soy sauce, brown sugar and water and stir continuously for 1 minute.
5. Stir in the rice and cook until hot.
6. Remove from the heat, add the omelet and serve.
Tip: Prepare all the ingredients before you begin to fry. This dish goes quickly once you begin cooking.