The one most frequently cooked dish in my kitchen–a fried rice bowl–is like snowflakes: always wonderful, but no two batches are alike. In order to pull this out of your sleeve as an emergency instant dinner, you must merely have done the groundwork of putting away leftover rice, a day to a week before. The rest of the ingredients are either kitchen staples (oil or fat, fish sauce), or the products of a fridge-cleaning expedition (a scrap of pork chop, a leek, a quarter of a cabbage) or, in season, of a stroll in the garden (green onions, a single cucumber, a fistful of cilantro).
- 3-5 tablespoons fat (lard, bacon fat, duck fat, vegetable oil, or any combination you find around) random bits of cooked or raw meat (as little as ¼ cup shredded, or maybe a leftover chicken wing or ribs from a pork roast or a chunk of dry-cured sausage), optional
- 3-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice
- 1-2 cups shredded vegetables (any greens, leeks or spring onions, green or red pepper)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
Hot sauce, sliced radish or cucumber, a fried egg, shredded scallions, a squeeze of lime, fresh cilantro or basil.
Recipe by Paula Marcoux