Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fujian seafood fried rice

A luxury twist on comfort food. Without being a total stereotype, I used to live off fried rice. It honestly was my bread and butter, especially whenever I went over to Grandma's house. No 'ma-ma chow fan' (Grandma's fried rice...boy was it a special fried rice) = unhappy, spoilt child. Especially if my Grandma would make my brother's favourite tomato beef. Yes yes, he's the prodigal son...but Grandma, I would still like your fried rice. We would dollop a load of ketchup in the rice (blasphemous) and although it looked odd, it was glorious. Little gems of vegetables, char siu pork and prawns - every little grain cooked to perfection and with the perfect aroma of ginger, spring onion and garlic wafting through from her tiny alley kitchen. If I had one last dish with my Grandma, it would be this one for sure. Will definitely put a post in for her exact recipe once I get it from her, but in the meantime, this is a brilliant (and slightly more exotic) version of fried rice.

The first time I had this was in a restaurant in London. I think it was one of those family clan gatherings and my Uncle shouted out for some Fookin rice. Ahem, what's that Uncle? No need to swear...but it's memorable Chinese name (Fukien..pronounced fookin...originally from Fujian province) all came handy when I wanted to recreate my version at home. The base is a simple egg fried rice, however it has a 'wet' gravy sort of seafood topping made from prawns, scallops and vegetables. No need for my tommy K to dollop in then I suppose. Substitue whatever veggies you want from there - and if you don't have dried scallops patiently waiting in the freezer for these kinds of worries - you can add fresh scallops or just increase your prawn quantities. There are so many variations of this dish I found, but for me I just worked with what I had available lurking in the cupboards and the Co-op round the corner. A complete meal in one, no need for any other dishes to accompany it if you don't want to. 

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

Fried rice
250 grams of jasmine rice
2 large eggs
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 spring onions, chopped into rounds
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped

Fujian seafood
7-8 dried porcini mushrooms, soaked for a few hours in 250ml of hot water. (if you have chinese mushrooms, even better) 
3 dried scallops, soaked for a few hours in the same 250ml of hot water  (scallops can be just the fresh ones if you want)
1 carrot, diced
4 large asparagus - chopped into rounds
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
150 grams fresh, uncooked prawns, diced 
1 tsp chicken powder in 200ml of hot water (or 200ml of normal chicken stock)
1 tbs cornflour
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs soy sauce 
Cracked black pepper, to finish

Make the fried rice to set aside. The best fried rice is when the rice you cook with is a day old. If you don't have this, cook your rice and once its done, spread it out on a plate or large surface and wait for it to cool (sometimes I stick it in the freezer for a quick blast). You want to have this as cold as possible, otherwise the water will mean you get a bit of a soggy porridge lump if you try and stir fry it.
In a hot wok, add a tsp of oil. Roughly beat eggs in a bowl and once the wok is hot, pop in and quickly scramble your eggs for 30 seconds. Add your rice, garlic and ginger in and mix around. Make a small area in the pan to flash fry your fish sauce (again, mix) and stir fry for two further minutes, along with the spring onions. Add your soy sauce over the rice and mix till most grains are covered in the soy sauce. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Make sure you dice your mushrooms, scallops (shred them if they are dried, dice if fresh), carrot, asparagus ginger and garlic before you start the cooking. In a hot wok with a dash of oil, fry up  your carrots, asparagus, ginger and garlic for 30 seconds and then add your mushrooms, prawns and scallops. In a separate bowl, add 200ml of chicken stock to the cornflour + 100ml of the soaked mushroom water (if you don't have this, just add more chicken stock). Add the soy, and oyster sauce and pour into the wok. Cook for another 30 seconds till you see a gravy coming about and then you're good to go! Add more water should you want more of a gravy (just cook it for longer...the cornflour should be enough to thicken it into a sauce on the heat). Serve on top of the rice and you're good to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment