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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garlic Fried Rice

Simple pleasures are best. How often have we heard that one? Very often it proves to be true!

Bill and I like to eat or take out occasionally from a Philipino restaurant in Chicago called Pampanga’s. Our favorite dishes there are Tocino and Longanisa. Tocino is a bacon-ey sort of fatty pork dish, redolent of garlic and spices and some sort of subtly tangy glaze. Longanisa are sausages (Bill loves sausage, all sausage), with similar spicy, garlicky flavors. Bill used to get an order of each and we shared them (I got all the pickle and papaya – I thought it was limp cabbage slaw until a friend set me straight). Since each order came with a generous amount of steamed white rice we did not feel the need to order any extras. Indeed, we both ended up stuffed and offering remaining bits of pork and sausage to each other when we had trouble finishing.

Once we ordered garlic fried rice. It was delicious. I don’t remember what we ordered with it – probably Tocino and Longanisa - but that doesn’t matter. I am talking of rice!

Essentially, this was leftover rice stir fried with bits of garlic. I decided to try to make it at home. I mean, how hard could it be? I gave it a try and it was good – but I decided to check it out anyway and googled garlic fried rice. Lots of hits came back but they were all about the same. The only real difference I found was that some recipes sauteed the chopped garlic in oil for only a few seconds, and others cooked it until it became brown and crispy. Try both ways, they should both be good.

Garlic fried rice seems to be a breakfast food and a means of using up yesterday’s leftover rice. Serve it with sausages and eggs, alone or with anything you usually eat for breakfast (or anything that sounds good). Or serve it with tonight’s Pork Adobo or stir fry or whatever! Three ingredients, one pan, it’s all good.

Garlic Fried Rice

Garlic, minced or chopped – 3 to 6 cloves or even more!
Olive oil or Vegetable oil, a few tablespoons
Leftover cooked rice (match the amount of oil and garlic to how much rice you have)Note: You can buy the garlic pre-toasted and add it to the rice, or use it as a garnish.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and stir and sizzle anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes or until it begins to brown and turn golden. You can let it continue browning or add the rice now. Stir and toss the rice, combining well with the garlic and oil. Press into a single layer and cover the pan. The rice should be heated through. You can continue to cook and toss until the rice begins to brown or serve as soon as it is hot.

Last time I made this I served it with Pork Adobo I had made that day. The rice was leftover Basmati rice I had made a couple days before and served with Keema (spicy ground beef, Pakistani style). The Basmati made a delicious garlic fried rice. Try this with any leftover rice – Jasmine, Basmati or plain old long grain. It has to be good.

Next time, I’ll tell you how to make Adobo. And garlic fried peanuts!

Quotable Quotes; in the category Some Things You Just Cannot Do Without!

“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook”

Chinese Proverb

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