Have a dinner with friends coming up? Are you tired of going out to eat and want to impress a certain special someone? Nothing is easier or more impressive than a truly excellent fried rice, especially if its prepared in the Laos-Thai method. To save yourself time and money, heres my special way of making Thai-style fried rice. Most of the ingredients can be purchased at Natures Alpine Market in Colonial Village Mall or the Phai Nam Grocery Store on Broadway. The recipe is fairly quick, simple and absolutely delicious if you follow the instructions carefully. It goes well with a very light, crisp white wine and can be served as a first course or a full meal.
Servings: About 2-4, depending
3 cups cold, cooked rice (cold leftovers work well)*
sesame seed oil
3 Kaffir lime leaves shredded (available at Phai Nam Grocery on Broadway)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 green onions, minced
1 head of bok choy, (or cabbage) sliced into thin strips
1 lb. raw shrimp (not the jumbo kind)
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbl. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 red, dried chili pepper chopped or 2 small fresh hot peppers minced
2 Tblsp. minced fresh ginger root
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. grated lime zest
Clean the shrimp and place it in a bowl with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate. In a wok, heat a few drops sesame oil with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom, on medium heat, and gently sauté the green onion with the shredded lime leaves for about five minutes, or until an overwhelming odor of lime fills your kitchen (it smells awesome). Remove from the wok and place in bowl (discarding the leaf piecesthey dont really taste good).
Place wok back on heat, raising the temperature to medium-high. Add more oil if necessary, and throw one tossed egg in. Stirred as though making finely scrambled eggs, breaking it up into very small pieces. Let the egg turn very, very brown and then remove from wok and place in a bowl.
Next, sauté the shrimp (draining the marinade so that the shrimp is fairly dry) on a very high heat for about 3 minutesso that it is not quite done. Remove from wok and return to marinade.
Throw the rice in the wok with a little more sesame oil (about a teaspoon) and begin cooking on medium heat. Once all the rice is well broken up and each grain is covered lightly in oil, scrape the rice to one side of the pan and throw the other tossed egg onto the other side. As it cooks, slowly fold the rice into the egg, gradually incorporating the cooking egg with the grains until the mixture is uniform. Turn the heat up to high and toss the shrimp and a bit of the marinade, the egg, and green onions into the rice and stir fry for about seven more minutes. When everything is uniformly mixed together and the rice is looking fairly crisp, turn off the heat and mix in the sliced bok choy or cabbage. Note: It is very important that you turn the heat OFF when you toss the bok choy in; it needs to be only slightly wilted by the heat of the rice and not fully cooked. It tastes fresher that way.
Remove the wok from heat and serve hot. I like to garnish mine with fresh cilantro mixed with pulverized peanuts and a little sugar with a dash of soy sauce. If your rice is too spicy, the sweetness of the sugar and cilantro help to cut the heat a bit.
*1 1/2 cups uncooked rice to 3 cups water works out to about three cups cooked rice.
Keep in mind, if you like more limeadd more lime. If you like your rice spicier, add more pepper. All the ingredients besides the rice and egg are fairly flexible, so add ingredients to taste.