ASIA WEEK: Fried Rice
I flew back to Portland this morning. I can't tell you how hard
it was to leave this little guy:
Frozen with Leo (twice) this weekend. I
am probably the last remaining person on this planet to
see Frozen and probably the only living American
who does not know every word of the theme song - Let It Go... so now I
as up-to-date with current American Culture as I wish to be.
Leo is just fascinated with the movie, the music, and has
a serious crush on the orphaned co-heroine, Queen Elsa - a girl
who is has some sort of magical power/curse that makes
things (people, entire countries, oceans) instantly
freeze/turn to ice, unless she wears
gloves to control her impluses until she is cured by the
power of love and no longer needs the gloves... which, of course, you can purchase
from Disney for your
child or grandchild. Or for yourself.
But do not.
Leo has the Disney Frozen Elsa's Magical Musical Gloves.
Leo LOVES the gloves. The gloves play Let It Go
and make "ice" sounds (think hotel ice machine)... but the dang gloves have left blue glitter
all over Lenny & Lisa's house. We even found
glitter in Lucy's ear! Do not buy these magical
gloves... except, of course, unless you do, then please
click on the photo or link above so I get a little
commission from amazon.com.
But consider yourself warned.
I can't tell you how hard it was to leave this little
by little, I mean little. Though Lucy seems
massive to us compared to her birth (nearly three weeks ago),
she still weighs under seven pounds. Lucy does finally
fit in newborn-sized clothing, which makes dressing her
so much easier. Lucy seems more alert every day, but
still mostly nurses, poops and sleeps.
I had a busy few days in Los Angeles - Leo attended two
birthday parties, I ran a lot of errands for Lisa,
furniture was delivered for the new family/playroom and
Lisa or I cooked most meals. Laundry. There was a lot of
laundry. Lenny returned from his
trip last night, so I flew back to my neglected husband
I have been wanting to cook a few of our favorite Asian
dishes, so decided to have "Asia Week". Asia Week will only be four
days due to a planned RV trip... but you get the gist. We started-off
Asia Week with lunch out.
One great thing about flying in and out of PDX is the opportunity
to try some of the fabulous restaurants on the "other side of the
river". We rarely venture over to the east side of the Willamette River
(except to go to the airport), but that is where all the fabulous new young hip chefs
have decided to open all their fabulous new young hip eateries. We are in the habit of
trying a new place on our way home from the airport. Lunch or dinner -
no matter - and it often is a good excuse to avoid rush hour traffic.
Today we went to lunch at
Nong's Khao Man Gai
- a counter service joint that serves a very popular Thai dish - Chicken
with Rice (khao man gai).
Chicken with Rice (Khao Man Gai)
Whole chickens are poached with aromatic herbs and
spices, then the broth is used to cook rice. The chicken is served over
the rice with a tangy sauce... and at Nong's, a little broth is also
served with the chicken. You can get white meat, dark meat or a combo.
$8. Nong Poonsukwattana is originally from Bangkok and started selling
this dish from a downtown Portland food cart. Now she has two carts, a restaurant and also
sells her bottled sauce. The menu at Khao Man Gai has basically three items: chicken
with rice, pork with rice, or chicken with rice and peanut sauce. One
little side dish is the skin from the boiled chicken - deep fried til
crispy - which
sells out early in the day. Poonsukwattana also generously
gives her recipe, and recently
won a cooking competition - Food Network's Food Truck Fight.
Chicken with Rice and Peanut Sauce (and broccoli) at Nong's
Tonight, I made fried rice for dinner. Chicken fried rice, to be
specific... so we basically had the same thing for lunch and dinner.
Lisa in Taiwan - 1985
I grew to love fried rice when we lived in Taiwan. Fried
rice - chao fan, pronounced chow fawn - in Taiwan is nothing
like the fried rice you find in Chinese restaurants in America. For one
thing - it is white. Never ever is soy sauce added to this dish. Just a
little yellow or green onion, garlic, scrambled egg, a few bits of
veggies. Often cooked shrimp or chicken are added. Delicious. Easy.
Since I have a terrible allergy to shellfish, I quickly
learned how to order vegetable or chicken fried rice in Mandarin - and
always added "with no fish, please" to the waiter, just in case. Sometimes
(especially in a seafood restaurant) the humble fried
rice was the only non-lethal item on a Taipei banquet table.
Tonight I prepared a classic chao fan with left-over grilled chicken, minced
yellow onion, garlic, boiled carrots, green peas and scrambled egg.
INSTRUCTIONS: Use peanut or vegetable oil to scramble a few eggs in a
massive skillet or wok. Remove the egg to a plate and chop-up a bit. Coat the skillet
generously with more oil and saute 1/2 cup minced onion, 3 cloves minced
garlic and a (peeled-minced-cooked) carrot for a few minutes. Then add
1 cup thawed frozen peas, 2 cups cooked cubed chicken and 4 cups cold
left-over Jasmine rice. (Use wet hands to easily break-up the rice.)
Stir until heated through. Return the scrambled egg to the pan, mix
well, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Serves 4.
Was that a recipe? There really isn't a recipe for Taiwanese fried
rice... you can use any combination of veggies, egg, cooked meat or fish you choose.
Or simply make it vegetarian - this is an excellent way to use left-over
rice. Just remember
one thing: NO SOY SAUCE!
To accompany the fried rice, I served crunchy cold
Until my next update, I remain, your fried correspondent.
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