So at Sunday Dinner Club, we have a little secret - we don't always eat the same meal that our guests eat. Sometimes we make something called "family meal." This meal is intended to boost the spirits and feed the bellies of the hard working team at SDC. The meal is usually humble, but often is used to test out some ideas for future menus. We try and use what we have around and we try to get the most bang for our time - quick meals are preferred when we have hours of prep to tackle. So, I present a favorite: Fried Rice.
Before I loved food, I loved fried rice. Before that, as a little kid I would cry unless I was eating pizza, burgers, or macaroni and cheese. My parents and brother often wanted Chinese, and I would cry. Somehow, I was ususally able to cry enough so my parents would drive through Wendy's and pick me up a burger on our way to Szechuan Garden. I would happily eat a burger at the table while my family enjoyed tasty and scary Szechuan food.
One day, my parents must have toughened up. No drive-thru on the way. I cried the whole way, and sat defiantly in the green Szechuan Garden booth, arms folded. I was a jerky kid. My dad made a deal with me - if I tried a bite of the fried rice, we could get Wendy's after we left. I pouted, but always amenable to a good deal, I took one bite. I convulsed, thrashed, made like I was going to puke and choked it down.
I got my Wendy's after the meal, but guess what - I was too big of a little bastard to admit it then and there, but I fucking loved the fried rice!
And still do. Here is a version that we made this week at the dinner club. We added some summer sausage, sweetened and funked a bit by sugar and fish sauce, along with our daily ration of green veggies. Fried rice is perfect for experimenting with - the possible condiments are endless.
Mise en Place!
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make and you can catch some of our deep thoughts about fried rice along the way.
Summer Sausage Fried Rice
* The ingredients below list the preparations for each component of the fried rice. Read through and prepare each part before following the final assembly instructions below.
- 3 tbsp. or so of oil or fat, grapeseed, canola, peanut or lard
- 1/2 cup diced and sweated onions, cook for a 3 minutes over medium low heat with 1 tbsp. oil until just softened
- 4 cups cold, cooked jasmine rice
- 1/4 cup chinese rice wine
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1 bunch of black kale (cavolo nero) shredded and sauteed for 1 min over high heat with 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 cup sliced summer sausage, tossed with 1 tsp. good fish sauce and 1 tbsp brown sugar, roast in oven at 400 for 7 minutes and cool
- 2 bunches scallions, sliced thin
- 2 eggs, whisked together and cooked quickly in a medium high heat non stick pan with 1 tsp. oil, cool and chop.
Final Assembly: Heat a large saute pan or rondeau over medium high heat. Add oil or fat and heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions and sweat for a minute or so, then add rice and break up clumps. Move the rice quickly through the oil, trying to coat each grain with a little hot oil. Add rice wine and mirin and continue to move rice rapidly until any liquid is mostly absorbed or cooked off, about 1 minute. You should be hearing a good sizzle, but not a crazy train.
One note, too quiet in a saute pan means two things: not hot enough or already burnt!
Add the kale, sausage, scallions and eggs and toss together with rice until everything is hot, about 1 or 2 minutes. Cut the heat off, and season with salt to taste. Or try some MSG!