Graham Elliot (from Masterchef US) and I share the same sentiments on rice with things in it (risotto, fried rice etc). He calls these other ingredients “goodies” and he likes his rice dish with almost 50% rice and 50% goodies. Hell yeah. Sure, it’s called fried rice for a reason. But my enjoyment really comes from getting a lot of “goodies” on my plate.
I’ve been watching my rice intake for a while now, because my pudgy belly isn’t really the sexiest thing about me. But today, I cut myself some slack since I can’t enjoy fried rice without, well, eating rice.
My mom woke me up today and asked me to make fried rice. I haven’t been the luckiest person when it comes to making it. Usually it ends up under-seasoned or mushy. But at the end of a 30 minute ordeal I managed to whip up something that reminded me of the Yang Chow fried rice we tasted in Hong Kong.
But this dish is very Filipino since I used Ilocos longganisa to really flavor it. Maybe this is a “once in a blue moon” dish since we really don’t have a steady supply of longganisa. Don’t worry, as of writing this I’m already looking for a recipe that approximates the amazingness of Ilocos longganisa.
And it’s my first time to use shrimp balls. I don’t know if it’s readily available in every supermarket but since I’m from Zamboanga, the one I used came from Family Fried Chicken, a restaurant that mass-produces squid balls, kikiam and the like for home consumption. It tastes like shrimp so it’s no surprise there.
I’d like to believe the secret to good fried rice is in the seasoning. No matter how flavorful the ingredients can be, a little sachet of powdered seasoning goes a long way to pull it all together.
Fried Rice (serves 5 – 6)
- 5 – 6 cups of rice
- one 150 gram pack shrimp balls, sliced in half
- 8 pieces Ilocos longganisa, sliced in half, lengthwise and casings removed.
- 1 chorizo bilbao, sliced
- Half a carrot, chopped
- ¼ head of cabbage, chopped finely
- 1 large white onion, chopped finely
- 3 eggs
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 8-gram pack seasoning powder (I used Knorr Meaty seasoning)
- MSG/Ajinomoto, to taste (I put in 2 dashes)
- 8 tbsp cooking oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions for garnish
- Over medium heat, heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large wok.
- Whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper. Cook the eggs in the wok and make an omelet.
- Once done, remove from wok and place on a plate. Shred the omelette to create strips. You don’t have to be precise with this. Go crazy!
- Using the same wok, heat 4 tbsp of oil and fry the shrimp balls until tender.
- Add the carrot, onion and chorizo. Fry for a minute then add the longganisa. Crumble it and cook until the fat renders, for about 2- 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and mix everything together.
- Add the seasoning powder and MSG and mix well. Add the cabbage.
- Cook for 1 – 2 minutes more and remove from heat. Top with the shredded omelet. Serve immediately and enjoy!