Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Garlic fried rice is the Filipino version of the traditional fried rice found in Chinese cuisine. No carrots. No peas or chicken. Just garlic and little bit of margarine and an optional scrambled egg mixed in.
This dish holds a very special place in my heart because it's the very first thing I ever learned how to cook. I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade then. Can you imagine a ten-year-old alone in the kitchen? And I wasn't making toast. Never had a home economics class either. It was from watching my mom cook this over and over that I learned to make it myself. I remember I wanted to surprise my her with a nice meal when she got home. I pretended that I had my own restaurant. On the menu was garlic fried rice and slices of pan-fried spam. (Filipinos love that spam!!) I remember printing out little menus and drawing fancy borders on them then putting it in a pee chee folder. My restaurant then was called J & J Restaurant. The other "J" being my mom. It's a simple dish and the Filipino way of comfort food.
The rice. No Asian household is without a rice cooker. It's a must and very essential. To cook rice over the stove, click here. I'd tell you myself, but I've never cooked it over on stove pot. Except maybe for Arroz Caldo. (Chicken Rice Soup) That will be for a future post.
If you've got left over white rice from your Chinese take-out, use that too. For the margarine in this recipe, I use Star Margarine. It's a product of the Philippines that's been around since the 1930s. I believe it's now sold in the Asian aisle of some super markets here in the US. Not just in the local Asian markets. It's really good on toasted pan de sal or sliced bread with sugar sprinkled over it. But you can use any margarine of you choosing.
The memories are flooding back. Now 15 years later, I'm still cooking it.
Garlic Fried Rice
1 Large Garlic cloves (sliced or minced)
3 c Cooked Rice (rough estimate)
2-3 Tbs Margarine
1 Tbs Oil (vegetable, olive or canola)
Salt to season
1 egg (beaten - optional)
Heat the oil in a large pan, pot or wok. Cook the garlic until they start to turn brown, then add in the rice. Toss constantly for a couple of minutes, then season with a little salt and add the margarine. Again tossing constantly
When the margarine has dissolved into the rice you can add the optional egg. Again toss for another minute or so or until egg is cooked, then serve.
If you feel like adding more garlic or margarine, go right ahead. You can eat this for breakfast (most Asian cultures eat fried rice for breakfast), lunch or dinner. Either alone, with a fried egg or a side dish of your choice. I usually like to eat this with a freshly diced tomato or my personal favorite some banana ketchup. More on that later. Yum!