Sunday, October 21, 2007
Breakfast...Green Curry Fried Rice w/shrimp
Yah, yah. I know. I may be half-white but I sure don't eat like your typical white dude. I decided to make spicy fried rice for breakfast because I woke up pretty lethargic and, with a long day of studying ahead of me, decided that I needed some sort of endorphin rush to get me going. And you gotta love the fluorescent green plastic plate. Classy, right?
Fried rice is INSANELY easy. The key to success is to NEVER, EVER use rice straight out of the rice cooker. Well, you can, but that's for advanced users only. Freshly cooked rice is too sticky, too clumpy and too gummy and your fried rice will turn out the same way. Instead, use refrigerated, day-old rice. If you pick up a handful and squeeze, you'll notice that the individual grains will separate. This is the key to producing a light, non-pasty fried rice. Still don't believe me? Just try it and thank me later. And remember, DON'T OVERLOAD YOUR WOK/PAN! If you do, your rice won't fry properly and will instead steam. This is bad. If you need to make a large quantity of fried rice, either invest in a more powerful stove or cook in batches.
Here's how I made mine:
De-vein shrimp. Shelling the shrimp is optional...I left the shells on because I love to suck on stir-fried shrimp shells...so shrimpy! I think I used about 6 shrimp. Feel free to brine the shrimp.
Mince three cloves of garlic and two shallots. Slice up 2 Thai-bird chiles.
Measure out 2 teaspoons of green curry paste and 2 teaspoons of La Jiao Jiang. Set aside. You can use more if you want. Keep this in mind for future iterations.
Grab about 2-3 cups of leftover rice and squeeze it to separate the grains. Do this over a bowl or something...duh. You want to do this until the rice is in marble sized clumps or smaller.
Mince a handful of cilantro leaves.
Add some oil to a heated pan. Toss in the garlic, shallots and chiles. Stir-fry until aromatic. Toss in the shrimp and give it all a good stir. Toss in a few pinches of salt. Stir and let the shimp cook. Say, 2 minutes. Stir it again, flip the shrimp and give them a minute on the other side. See how the shrimp magically turn color?
Your shrimp should be done by now but if you're not sure, grab one and cut it open. Undercooked? I think you know what to do.
When shrimp are cooked, remove to a plate. Clean out and reheat the pan. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil and toss in the green curry paste and La Jiao Jiang. Stir fry for 30 seconds until the oil is well seasoned and aromatic. It may seem like an excessive amount of oil but trust me on this one.
Add the rice and toss to combine. You want to coat all of the rice with the flavored oil. This is an important step unless you like fried rice with inconsistent seasoning. Allow the rice to heat through. This might take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Toss in your cooked shrimp. Taste the rice. I've purposely omitted salt from this recipe because some brands of green curry paste can be extremely salty but taste your fried rice and, if necessary, add salt/fish sauce. Turn off the heat, toss in the minced cilantro and stir. Put on a plate. Serve with a lime wedge. Eat. Be sure to wash your face because it'll probably be hella greasy from the stir-frying.
Makes one generous serving. I'm stuffed and I've got a big appetite. You might be able to feed two small Asian people with this recipe.