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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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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