When I visited Eric Gower last month for a kitchen tour, I was also invited to stay for lunch, which turned into a lesson on how to make fried rice, breakaway style. It took Eric all of seven minutes to chop the vegetable and another seven to get them all stirred up and on to our plates. Here are his tips for fast, delicious stir-fry - plus the recipe...
Use a mixture of ghee and oil. Eric makes his own ghee, which is a form of clarified butter, and always keeps it next to his stove.
Whenever you cook rice, make extra so you'll always have some on hand.
Cut everything into similar-sized pieces.
Whip a little vinegar from a jar of pickled ginger into the eggs to add creaminess.
Secret ingredient: Umami salt. If you do nothing this week but make this, you will be a happy, happy cook, I swear.
Kitchen Tour 14 Minute Fried Rice
Remember, a stir-fry is the poster child for improvisational cooking: all amounts are approximate and all ingredients are flexible.
Eric Gower's Barefoot Stir-fry
Peanut oil and ghee
1 small red onion
1 very small spicy pepper, or to taste
2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 cups roasted cauliflower (leftover from last night's dinner)
1 or 2 chicken sausages, chopped (ditto)
4 cups leftover brown rice
2 eggs, beaten with a dash of gingered vinegar
Umami salt, fresh pepper, fresh chives
Chop all vegetables medium-small, keeping them roughly the same size. Chop the pepper a little smaller, take out the seeds if you're a scaredy-cat (like me).
Heat a wok or a nice sturdy cast iron pan over a medium-high flame, add about 1T each oil and ghee and the onions, pepper, broccoli and cauliflower. Stir fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, then add the chicken sausage and the rice and stir fry a few minutes more until everything is hot.
Make a well in the middle of the vegetable mixture, pour in the eggs and cook until just beginning to set, them scramble into the rice. Turn off heat, add umami salt, fresh ground pepper and a handful of chopped chives. Serves 3.
Bare feet are optional but dangerous...then again, some folks like it that way.
Visit Eric's blog for his own version of this recipe.