Saturday, May 10, 2008

Variation on a previous dish

A while back I had some leftover rice (about a day or two old) that I wanted to use. Stopped by the store and picked up the ingredients for a dish I made a couple months ago, Thai Basil Chicken, and figured I'd make a fried rice out of it.

I've never been able to master the version that most restaurants serve where the egg is nice and stringy and some of the rice is seared from the wok. Instead, I usually end up with gluey/moister fried rice, not that it's a bad thing, but it's definitely one of my goals to be able to make a Cantonese style fried rice.

Anyway, it's quick which makes it a perfect weeknight meal. Most of the time is spent chopping the chicken anyway, and when that's ready, just throw it in the wok with the other ingredients and go!

The big hint is to use leftover rice that's refrigerated at least a day. It'll dry out the rice so that when cooked again, the rice won't get soggy.

Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai chili peppers (Bird chillies)
8 - 16 oz Chicken Breasts/Thighs
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped shallots
1/3 cup thai basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 cups of rice (refrigerated overnight)
2 eggs

1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion
Cold cooked rice (for a fried rice-like meal)

1. In a wok or large frying pan, add oil and stir-fry the garlic under medium-high heat.
2. When the garlic sizzles and turns golden, add chillies and chicken.
3. When the chicken is lightly browned, add the vegetables (probably after about a minute)
4. Mix in the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and rice (optional).
5. Add shallots, basil leaves and cilantro. Cook about another minute or so.
6. Add the eggs, give a nice stir. Break up as the egg hardens.
7. Add the rice, mix well, and cook for another couple minutes.

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