Fast Food, FoodHappy Style!

Team, I’ve reached a new low.

Remember how I told you that things would a bit busy for the next little while? Well, last week I found myself a mere mouse-click away from sending out a Doodle poll to schedule a time for a phone call. With my boyfriend. For real.

Fortunately, some higher part of my brain decided that the few milliseconds it would have taken me to hit the send button were better spent obtaining a bit of perspective, which then advised me to delete and get a grip. 

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While I look for a slot in my schedule to do the latter, I will in the mean time share with you another tasty, time-friendly recipe that I rely on whenever I’m in survival mode, which is to say when I find myself too busy to make a proper meal.

The recipe – or rather, unexpectedly addictive combination of kitchen basics – comes to me by way of my sister, whose schedule makes my own look like a day at the beach. The master of quick-and-delicious, my sister shared this with me one day when I was over to do the usual catch-up-while-catching-up-on-laundry, and I’ve made it many times since. 

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In its classic form, the dish is composed of a fried egg served over jasmine rice and topped with soy sauce and sriracha, an easy-to-find Thai red chili sauce. The combination, simple and strange as it sounds, makes for a dish rich in textures and flavours; the starchy, sweet rice and crisp-and-creamy egg serve as vehicles for the heat and sweet acidity of the sriracha and the salty, umami-ness of the soy sauce. Each bite feels like an indulgence – not at all what you’d expect from eggs on rice. 

When I’m after a meal, rather than simply a mouthful of starch and protein, I fast-fry the rice with the quick-cooking veggies that I always have on hand: a half-cup of frozen peas, a quick grating of frozen ginger, a small handful of chopped cilantro and a super-finely grated carrot. Add a bit of avocado before topping it off with the egg and sauces, and life’s good. Really, though, you can use whatever veggies you have around – as long as you’ve got the rice, egg, soy and sriracha, tastiness is all but guaranteed. 

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If you can, pick up eggs laid by hens raised under happy conditions (this chart will give you some sense of what practices are unfortunately largely lacking in standard egg production, and will show you how to identify eggs produced by farmers adhereing to better practices). Though eggs from happy chickens will be a bit more expensive, they may be better for you and won’t, as a meat-eating friend of mine observed, have the same fishy taste you find with some run-of-the-mill eggs. Unfortunately Canada is still getting it together when it comes to standardizing terms like “free-range” and “free-run”, so for the time being it may be best to stick with eggs specifically labelled as “certified organic”, as the producers of these eggs are, unlike others, upheld to high standards that are verified by inspection. Easier still, simply print of this handy wallet-sized pocket guide and pull it out when you’re shopping — if you can locate one of the labels, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. 

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Eggs & Rice: The Classic

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup hot, cooked rice
1 egg, preferably certified organic
Soy sauce
Sriracha
Olive oil for cooking 

Directions
1. Heat a scant tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
2. When oil is hot, crack an egg into the pan and cook until the white is opaque.
3. Flip the egg and cook for a minute or two more, until the yolk is to your liking.
4. Serve egg over hot rice, topped with a good drizzle of both soy sauce and sriracha.

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Eggs & Rice: Veggie Variation
Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup cooked rice
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp fresh, chopped cilantro
1 egg, preferably certified organic
Soy sauce
Sriracha
A few slices of fresh avocado
Olive oil for cooking 

Directions
1. Heat a scant tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
2. When oil is hot, add rice, grated carrot, peas and ginger to the pan and mix with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute ingredients amongst one another. Cook for a couple minutes to start heating everything through.
3. Push rice mixture to one side of the pan and add a bit of olive oil to the exposed half of the pan. Crack the egg onto this side of the pan and cook until the egg white is opaque.
4. Flip the egg and cook for a minute or two more, until the yolk is to your liking. While the egg cooks, stir the rice, taking care to keep it on its side of the pan. 
5. Just before the egg is ready to go, stir cilantro into rice mixture. 
6. Transfer hot rice mixture into a bowl and top with a few slices of avocado, the cooked egg, and a good drizzle of both soy sauce and sriracha.  

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