The Parts Make Up The Whole

About a week ago, The Boy - on kitchen duty - asked me what I wanted for dinner. "A delicious feast!" is what I asked for, and a delicious feast is what I received. Two dollar pork buns courtesy of our local Asian grocer, wok-fried greens and a lovely eggy rice dish. The parts made up the whole, and the whole meal was delicious.

These two side dishes are perfect mid-week fare, quick and simple and cheap as chips. Get your hands on some sesame oil, it is really the key ingredient in these two recipes, and keep a few pork-buns in your freezer too. Yum-cha in your own kitchen!

Wok Fried Greens

You can use any veggies you like for this dish, this recipe contains my favourites:
  • Bok Choy (or pak choy, or choy sum. Whichever you prefer)
  • Brocolini (or brocoli) cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Green beans
  • Snow peas
  • Baby corn (not strictly a green but delicious nonetheless)
  • Thickly diced zucchini
  • One tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • Three or four drops of sesame oil
  • A pinch of chilli, if you'd like a little kick
This dish is simplicity itself. You'll need fresh produce, minimal accoutrements, and a red-hot-wok. Prepare your veggies, heat your wok, then toss everything in and off you go! If you don't have a wok, try to avoid using a non-stick frypan. The flavour of this dish is all in the burning, so none of that fancy-pants teflon thank you very much! Resist the temptation to add extra oil - the vegetables should char, so keep your wok as dry as possible. Remove when everything begins to burn at the edges, and serve immediately. A delicious and nutritious side dish.

Eggy Fried Rice
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil, light soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil
Another simple side dish, this makes a good base for other fried rice dishes too. Fried rice is Asia's answer to bubble and squeak - you can throw anything in there (within reason) and chances are it will be tasty!

Cook rice as per packet instructions, stand aside and allow to cool completely*. Heat a little vegetable oil in your wok- just enough to coat the bottom - whisk two eggs together and pour them over the hot oil. As they begin to cook, splash some soy sauce over them, then scramble with a fork. This dish is best when the eggs are half way between runny and solid, they need about a minute before the rice goes in. Throw in your cold rice and toss everything around until the egg scramble breaks up and disperses. Drip in a little sesame oil, a little extra soy to taste, and keep tossing until the dish is warmed through and the rice has yellowed slightly. Then eat, eat, eat.

* When cooking fried rice, the temperature of the rice itself is important. Using cold rice prevents your dish from turning into fried mush. Any long-gran rice is suited for frying once cooled, but basmati is best as it has a lower starch content than other types of rice and is less likely to soften when re-heated. Leftover takeaway rice is perfect for use in this dish, if it's sitting in the fridge lookin' a little dry, all the better for it!

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