Most leftovers in our house end up as Oriental style fried rice. The thick slices of roast pork that had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days were no exception. With eggs, shredded cabbage, finely chopped red bell pepper and carrot, I cooked this roast pork and cabbage fried rice for my daughters’ packed school lunch today. It’s a complete meal with meat, vegetables and rice. For recess, I packed some potato salad accompanied by store-bought cheese bread.
I don’t know what it is about Oriental style fried rice that makes it such a treat. Perhaps, it’s the wonderful play of colors and textures. Perhaps, it’s the burst of contrasting and complementing aromas as the dish cooks. For whatever reason, Oriental style fried rice is such a comfort food for me. I so enjoyed cooking this morning that the school bus had arrived before I was through packing the lunch boxes. I had to ask my hubby to drop them off to school on his way to the office.
What went into the fried rice? Nothing fancy, really. All very basic ingredients. Because the roast pork is already very flavorful having been rubbed with lots of fresh herbs, I seasoned the fried rice with salt and pepper only.
- cold roast pork as much as you please
- 1/4 head white cabbage cored and shredded
- 1 onion finely sliced
- 1/2 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper cored, deveined and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 cups cold cooked rice
- 2 eggs beaten
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil
Cut the cold pork into half-inch cubes.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the pork, cook until reheated then throw in the vegetables. Stir fry (over very high heat, naturally) for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring, until the rice is heated through. Then, make a well in the center and pour in the beaten eggs. Let the eggs cook without letting the rice and vegetables get mixed in, stirring often, until firm but still moist. Toss everything together until the eggs are cooked through.
To make sure that the fried rice won't get watery inside the lunch box, make sure that the eggs are cooked thoroughly. If in doubt, you can always fry the eggs separately then chop them before stirring into the rice mixture.
Taste the fried rice and add more salt and pepper, if you think that's necessary.
What can be simpler than that, eh? Note that you can always substitute vegetables of your choice. Crisp chicharo (snap peas), broccoli or cauliflower florets, togue (mung bean sprouts) and onion leaves are only a few possibilities. You can add sliced mushrooms too of whatever variety -- white button, oyster, straw, shiitake... whatever strikes your fancy.