Lasang Pinoy 22: Egg Fried Rice

I love rice but when it comes to getting imaginative with cooking featuring rice, I’m afraid I can not rice to the challenge. Naku, kung hindi ako nagkakamali... I could only go as far as cooking arroz caldo and lugaw. But despite my busy schedule and jet lag (yeah, surprise, surprise! I am having a 2-week vacation back in Beijing!), I just couldn’t miss an LP round.

Here is a quick and simple recipe for egg fried rice that I usually prepare for breakfast to go with anything fried like tuyo, dilis (dried anchovies), longgonisa, tocino and the likes. Beware… it may not be for you. He he he I don’t wanna be responsible if you get Salmonella bacteria so just go check out this site before trying it.

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Lasang Pinoy 22: Congee

This beautiful entry is written by Erwin Ines for Lasang Pinoy 22 – Rice to the Challenge hosted by Cooked from the Heart. Blogging from Toronto, Canada, this is Erwin’s 3rd time to join Lasang Pinoy. Read his other articles listed here.

Tubong Lugaw

Outside is totally white and blustery. Toronto is experiencing one hell of a storm today; the worst after nearly sixty years as the radio announced very early this morning. Unfortunately, today is a Sunday, and I’m scheduled to work, and I did. I worked for 3.5 hours from my usual 8 or 9; being cut off as customers slowly trickled into the restaurant. I expected to be cut. I volunteered to be cut. I anticipated it, but the idea of working 7 days a week for the next 3 weeks is beyond me. A few hours reprieve from the kitchen is a big sigh of relief. I also get the chance to clean my apartment; cook dinner and what have you.

Upon leaving work, I decided to pass by the liquor store and bought a couple of bottles of Soju, a strong Korean spirit that I’ve learned to drink on cold, nasty weather like this one. It’s also cheaper compared with Canadian Whiskey or Vodka. Soon, I know, I’ll be cooking with them. But whatever, wine just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I’ve also thought of drowning myself in Rum maybe over the holidays just to keep myself warm and upbeat every morning when I wake up to do the same bloody routine again until the 31st. Jamaican Rum’s alcohol level is at 63%, much stronger than Soju, and sure does provide that healthy kick and punch, if drank moderately.

In Manila, where the climate is as hot and humid as a car’s muffler, some kind of deep-fried spicy food with white vinegar and an ice cold San Miguel provides that comfort. In my case, I’d stick to those hot egg noodle soups topped with beef or chicken and paired with the best tea in Manila’s Chinatown. They are just perfect before or after my weekly Tai Chi classes, next to Dim sum (chicken feet!!). One of my favourites however, is the Chicken or Plain Congee. It’s just magic, and I never knew how it was so easy to prepare, until now.

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Lasang Pinoy 17: Egg Fried Rice

Erwin Ines is this blog’s regular Contributor. A Credit and Financial Analyst in Manila, Erwin migrated to Canada in 2003 and made a drastic career change a year and a half later. With his passion for food and love for cooking, he decided to take a Continuing Education Chef Training Course at George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto.

China Crisis
(Circa 1983)

Eggs are probably one of the most versatile ingredients next to the chicken. However, many in this world of ours relate eggs with breakfast and or with desserts. In my case, I’d prefer eggs with breakfast. I love breakfast and just couldn’t wait the next morning to prepare my Double Toasted Bagel Cream Cheese with Two Eggs Easy. Every now and then, I would change my bread to Rye or Whole Wheat and prepare a Western or Mushroom Omelette or Frittata. Last winter, I cooked four (4) pieces of crunchy bacon alongside this combination and mixed one crunchy slice with my omelette of the day. My morning was almost always so gratifying that I was in heaven on earth after taking such a huge meal. That meal would last me until about 3:00 P.M. before taking my quick leftover lunch. My early morning days-off would almost always turn into brunch. They were precious early mornings I cherished every week. I don’t get tired of cooking eggs. In most occasions, I’d flip the egg just to practice my speed and skill in tossing much like creating fire in the saute pan. That was my initial take on eggs.

At the moment, I am just totally confused on what to present for Lasang Pinoy so I resorted to writing this idea right away. I’m sure I won’t be presenting something “Pinoy” but maybe something more contemporary, western or classical as one might have expected as I myself have; living in the northeastern hemisphere in the western world. Initially, I wanted to combine eggs with potatoes and bread, but yet again I had to plan and to organize my ingredients to the last spec. I knew firsthand that would turn out something really flavourful, fulfilling and majestic, but yet again, time is not working for me. Spring is already here and summer is just lurking behind. It really gets out of hand during this once a year, 12-week phenomenon in Canadian summer; so with my schedule. It might get even longer and hotter due to global warming which only means more menacing work ahead. With this upcoming battle with summer, I had to devise a personal meal plan that worked. I’ve been avoiding processed food for health reasons and rice was the next best thing that was available in my pantry. I have been experimenting with rice lately cooking Chinese Congee with Julienned Green Onions (some say scallions) and Ginger. It’s fast and quick meal. It’s also a delicious and fulfilling fare similarly to my breakfast of toast and eggs. For LP17, I have decided to cook my version of Egg Fried Rice. It’s one way of cleaning up the fridge of leftovers before proceeding to Chinatown’s sweet market buys.

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Fried Aubergine Slices & Stir-fried Rice

We had been served simple yet tasty yellow rice in a private Chinese restaurant few weeks ago and since then I couldn’t stop experimenting how it was done. It has onion spring chops and small bits of egg shreds that looked like it has been stirred with it. It’s not salty at all. Not oily which is typical of northern Chinese fried-rice that made me think it was steamed and once cooked, mixed right away with egg and spring onion. And twice I did it exactly like that. Good but sticky unlike the one we had – firm, loose grains of perfectly cooked non-sticky rice… until I finally got it right!

I served the rice with fried tuna fish and fried aubergine slices. The latter, of course, is so easy and simple. Great as a side dish to anything fried. And oh I remember Brunei’s Pizza Hut has it at the salad bar! Haha icky? Maybe but I love ‘em!

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Beef Rice

There is something special about this food photo that would forever remind me of Bursky (awww Dhey you know why). Do check out his blog. He said I owe him a review but for what?! I don’t certainly do blog reviews or even LP reviews hehehehehe. But hey this guy shamelessly called me “a wonderful lady” in his LP entry which he posted the very next day after I put a shotgun in front of his face; the least I can do is link to his blog and invite you all to read his very interesting post for LP16. It has no food photos but I am sure like me you would be amused by this young lad’s fascinating take on Pinoy food culture.

I have no idea how to call this but beef rice – reminiscent of how I prepare Hainanese chicken rice. A recipe was given to me by a dear friend (Joey yeah that’s you!) but the rebel cook I am I didn’t do it exactly the way it should be done. Reasons… I don’t have the canned ingredients and I don’t wanna bake. Anyhoo, if you are reading this, Joey, you know what I changed.

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Lasang Pinoy 15: Erwin’s Paella

Erwin Ines is this blog’s reader/commenter who never fails to give great cooking tips. I invited him as a guest blogger and I am ecstatic that he agrees to contribute this entry for the 15th round of Lasang Pinoy. A Credit and Financial Analyst in Manila, Erwin migrated to Canada in 2003 and made a drastic career change a year and a half later. With his passion for food and love for cooking, he decided to take a Continuing Education Chef Training Course at George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto. He currently works as a cook in an Italian-American restaurant.

Strange Love

Ever wondered why Filipino cooking has never transcended into the realm of fine dining? In Manila, fine and casual dining has evolved from 15 to 25 years ago because of several obvious factors: economy, competition, creativity, the need for newer and fresher concepts and globalization. These liberal and presented juggernauts of world politics and common belief of almost total to complete improvement of self as well as self-respect and political parody have brought Filipino taste to majestic heights. However, this is only true for Manila, the city I have abandoned and loved. How about across the Atlantic? Have Filipinos realized how far Pinoy food has competed against their counterparts? South Asian, Thai and West Indian Cuisines have flourished, expanded, mutated and sprouted from all over, releasing their exotic and Caribbean tastes and spices. Indeed, they have become known and popular through these years. Spices such as All Spice, Garam Masala, Curry Powder (in paste & powder forms), Jerk, Coriander, and Cumin have become a mainstay in many kitchens nowadays. They have also been praised by Professional Chefs who have in time included some noticeable, succinct flavours into their menu-fusion.

Sadly, Pinoy food has only reached a certain level of appreciation and has never soared to a new level or new heights. Did you ever wonder why Pinoy cuisine, despite the never-ending and continuous flooding and flocking of immigrants around North America, have never transcended into the realm of true, exquisite, fresh, and flavourful cooking? In my short stint here, I have discovered one reason for this shortcoming: SHORT-CUTS. I feel, for many involved in cooking as a hobby, more so as a profession, and based on my kitchen experiences, Pinoys tend to cut corners and alleviate from what is right and proper or to what should be to what NOT. For example, Italians generally know how to make healthy, nurturing food for the family at a short time without making sacrifices on many ingredients. The key to good food, in their case, is freshness.

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Chinese-Style Fried Rice

As I have been exposed to Chinese-Malay food for quite sometime and developed a craving to it to a certain degree, some Filipino dishes that I usually prepare has mutated into a mixture of different cuisines that I now have difficulty identifying them. One of these is my fried rice recipe. A former boss (he’s Chinese-Bruneian) once volunteered to cook fried rice for midnite makan as we were rushing to finish a project. Now it is something that I prepare for breakfast or even lunch. As always, I am on the lookout for the easy-to-cook dish.

As a child, the norm is to stir-fry cooked rice w/ garlic. We may crack an egg, add a teaspoon of soy sauce & stir the rice w/ it as another way of doing it and that’s about it. Here, I still do the browning of garlic to bring out the aroma as a tribute to what sinangag (Filipino for fried rice) really is, and then proceed to all the Chinese stuff. The fried egg topping is definitely Malay inspired. I could have easily called it nasi goreng istimewa (Malay for special fried rice) but that has dilis or dried small fish & shrimp paste, and worth of another blog post.

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Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is a dish normally included in any restaurant menu w/ southeast asian cuisine, very popular to Singaporeans that it is also known as singa rice. I’ve been very much interested in the recipe for quite sometime & this is the 1st time I tried it successfully. I did tried once following the tips given by a bruneian-chinese friend. It was edible yes but not how it’s supposed to taste. Lately I found the time to check out the net so my chicken rice now tastes as it should be… or maybe even better!

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